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“Emergency Intercom” is about nothing in particular, but I anticipate it every week

YouTubers and podcasters Enya Umanzor and Drew Phillips first rose to prominence on the now-defunct platform Vine.
YouTubers and podcasters Enya Umanzor and Drew Phillips first rose to prominence on the now-defunct platform Vine.

If you were a frequent Vine user between 2013 and 2017, the names enjajaja (Enya Umanzor) and Drew Phillips might ring a bell.

Or, if you didn’t use Vine, you may recognize them from YouTube.

Both Phillips and Umanzor, who are longtime friends, have had an online presence for nearly a decade. They’ve become well known influencers with unconventional senses of humor.

In 2017, Umanzor started her own podcast titled “Radio Is Dead.” While it only lasted for two episodes, it was loved by fans. For years, requests for “Radio Is Dead” to return were scattered throughout Umanzor’s comment section on all platforms.

Followers were kept waiting until July 2021, when Umanzor and Phillips finally took to Instagram to announce their new podcast, “Emergency Intercom.

I speak for many fans when I say this announcement was extremely exciting.

I’ve followed the duo since 2017; even when I grew out of regularly watching YouTube, I continued to watch their videos. In 2020, Phillips and Umanzor even had their own show called “Field Trip,” which also included Josiah, a friend of theirs. Unfortunately, it ended after five episodes.

In more recent years, Phillips and Umanzor have uploaded videos less consistently, which has become an inside-joke between them and fans.

“Emergency Intercom” is everything we could’ve wanted: Over an hour of content every week in audio and video format.

It’s different from other podcasts in that it doesn’t have a set topic or main idea. The pair just sits down and discusses everything on their minds at the moment. Then, during the last few minutes of an episode, they share their media of the week.

Sometimes they’re joined by friends or their sound man, Ky. The setting varies as well, ranging from the top of a building in New York City, a Zoom meeting, a building in Mexico or from Umanzor’s car.

“Okay,” you’re probably thinking, “But these two just sit down and talk. What’s so great about that?”

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And to that I say: Everything.

“Emergency Intercom” is refreshing. It's unpredictable and eccentric. You never know what you are going to hear Umanzor and Phillips discuss, and, no matter what the subject may be, they make it extremely entertaining.

From making fun of James Charles to discussing personal experiences at concerts, being catfished, 3 a.m. notes app thoughts and humorous interactions, Umanzor and Phillips do an excellent job at keeping things interesting and enjoyable.

The pair is naturally funny, and their dynamic works very well. The way the two interact is entertaining on its own because, like true best friends, they feed off each other’s energies.

Their sense of humor resonates with me and people my age. 

It’s based in pop culture and internet references, but mixed with sarcasm and cynicism as well. It works perfectly with the things that the duo talks about, as they find a way to incorporate their energy into almost everything.

“Emergency Intercom” isn’t all fun and games, though. Phillips and Umanzor are often candid about their experiences with mental health and substance use, which I appreciate.

It makes the podcast more relatable to the viewer, especially those of us who are close in age to the duo.

In one episode, Phillips discusses a very personal time in his life that caused him to fall into a deep depression. The period of time included heartbreak, the death of his brother and quarantine. In another segment, Umanzor is candid about imposter syndrome and how it affects her life.

Discussing serious topics like these makes them more human. They aren’t just messing around with microphones — they are real people with lived experiences. And, as fellow young adults, their audience has shared those experiences.

In typical Gen Z fashion, Phillips and Umanzor often make light of their struggles, which makes them more charming to me. They are addressing serious issues but don’t make it depressing.

“Emergency Intercom” is nothing fancy. It’s mostly recorded in a corner of the pair’s kitchen. But I like that. The podcast feels inviting, almost like a conversation with two of your own close friends.

You will find that many podcasts are scripted or meticulously organized. That is what makes “Emergency Intercom” so authentic. Phillips and Umanzor are just being themselves; they talk about things in a casual, everyday manner.

As someone who has followed the pair for a while, it feels as if we have grown together. Many longtime audience members feel the same. We have watched Drew Phillips and Enya Umanzor go from teenagers filming in their childhood bedrooms to adults who are figuring out their lives, just like us.

Being in college and starting my own adult life has been hectic. It’s stressful and there is always so much happening.

That is why I look forward to “Emergency Intercom” every week. I can escape for an hour, laugh and listen to what feels like a conversation with old friends.

If my raving didn’t make it obvious, “Emergency Intercom” is a solid 10/10.

@_chloebowie_ 

southacr@miamioh.edu

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