by Danielle Desir
Podcasts created by people of Caribbean Heritage are on the rise. Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is the founder of Caribbean Podcast Directory (CPD), a hub for discovering podcasters of Caribbean Heritage. In this interview she shares what inspired her to create this directory and how you can get involved.
1. What inspired you to create a directory for podcasts hosted by people of Caribbean Heritage?
In February 2018 there was an article written on carryonfriends.com called 10 Podcasts Hosted by Caribbean and American Podcasters. That article did very well and when shared on social media I discovered a lot of other podcasters of Caribbean Heritage that I wasn’t aware of.
One day I was having a conversation with a host whose podcast was on the list and they mentioned they get a lot of traffic from that article. So later that year in 2018 when I launched Breadfruit Media I decided to create a page on the website with a directory of podcasts expanding on the original list. Because that post did well and continues to do well I figured that having a dedicated website for the directory could help with the discoverability of other podcasts.
Breadfruit Media is a podcast production company created to provide strategy, show development and production of stories by Caribbean Americans on a variety of topics reflecting the diversity of experiences of the Caribbean’s global diaspora anchored by quality content and production.
2. Before the directory, how were people discovering podcasts hosted by people of Caribbean Heritage? What were the challenges?
Before answering this question it’s important to note that not all podcasts hosted by people of Caribbean Heritage will have an accent or will reveal their accents on their show.
Some podcasts hosted by people of Caribbean Heritage create content for a general audience and some create content for the Caribbean audience. There are people of Caribbean Heritage that don’t necessarily lead with that identification or is part of their personal/public brand.
These different layers of what it means to be of Caribbean Heritage or whether a person includes their cultural identity as part of their personal brand adds to the challenge.
Back in 2016 I started using #caribbeanpodcast which has been a way to find shows. Otherwise it was by word of mouth or chance discovery.
3. Why is it important to share Caribbean stories?
Representation. The Caribbean isn’t a monolith. The region represents a mixture of races and cultures brought to the region from Slavery and Indentured Servitude.
Podcasts give Caribbean content creators like me the opportunity to create a community; to move beyond the one frame of the Caribbean; the single story of how people see us and most importantly how we see ourselves as we explore our complexities, diversities and similarities.
4. So far, how many podcasts are included in the directory?
As of December 2019, there are 46 active shows in the directory and 12 more shows will be added through March 2020. Over the next couple of months we anticipate more shows becoming eligible. It’s very exciting to see the interest and engagement from podcasters.
Through Caribbean Podcast Directory I am seeing shows in categories like Music, Family and Education. Through a CPD submission, I found the first Caribbean Sports podcast called “The Drive Phase” which is based out of Jamaica. This captures the power of the directory and why it’s necessary for the platform to exist.
5. Why do you think the number of new Caribbean shows is increasing?
Simple answer, podcasts have exploded and it seems like everyone is doing it because podcasts are somewhat inexpensive to start and gives greater accessibility.
And this fact is being noticed because a 2018 Nielsen report notes that “an increasing amount of African-Americans in particular niches including the Caribbean are increasing their consumption of podcasts” and so naturally, more people will also want to create their own shows.
6. What Caribbean-led podcasts would you recommend?
Wow – this one is hard.
From a cultural perspective, here are some shows to check out:
- Di Soca Analysts
- Caribbean Millennials
- Reggae Lover Podcast (this is a new one I just discovered and I’m loving)
- Style & Vibes Podcast
7. How can people submit their podcasts to the directory?
The Caribbean Podcast Directory submission details explain the two different submission forms. The main reason behind the submission criteria is to encourage consistency. So the first criteria is at least one of the hosts is of Caribbean Heritage, whether born in the region or 1st, 2nd generation, etc.
Next, the show must be 6 months or older and have consistently produced at least 1 new episode every month unless the show is produced in clearly identified seasons.
Now shows that are less than 6 months old are not left out. There’s the “New Show” submission to make sure that in these initial months new podcasters still get visibility and support. We profile the new shows to encourage them along the way.
The submission details also outline what happens if a show stops being consistent because that’s a reality for many reasons. So again, I hope this creates an opportunity for people to connect, to get help with whatever they need to maintain their shows and be consistent.
8. What’s the best way to connect with you and stay updated on new developments?
I am available by email firstname.lastname@example.org to answer questions about submissions or other questions regarding the directory or podcasting in general. Follow us on social media @caribbeanpodcast on Instagram and @caribbeanpod on Twitter.
Danielle Desir is a travel finance strategist, podcaster, writer and the founder of The Thought Card. The Thought Card is an award-winning travel finance blog and podcast about affording travel, paying off debt and building wealth. Danielle paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, she bought a house at 27 and she has traveled to over 25 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from pursuing her dreams and she encourages her readers and listeners to live life on their own terms.