Podcaster Spotlight: Damian Scarlett

Damian Scarlett host of Word Inspiration on Caribbean Podcast Directory

About the Host

Damian Scarlett is the host of the podcast Word Inspiration. He lives in Kingston, Jamaica. Outside of podcasting, Damian does Pastoral Work/Youth Minister and is the Lead/Senior Producer for Talk Up Yout Radio Show in Jamaica, the VOICE of the Jamaican youth.

He is intrinsically passionate about serving people, helping young people in their areas of development through advocacy, training and mentorship just to name a few.

Why did you decide to get started in podcasting?

I realized that I had a gifted voice, loved how I sounded and anytime I was doing anything with a microphone my tone was smooth. Outside of that, I used to share inspirational thoughts on WhatsApp, recorded content via my cell phone and shared it with my family and friends. The feedback was overwhelming and my friend encouraged me to start researching Podcasting and this led me to switch my recorded content on WhatsApp to an online media platform.

About the Show

New episodes are available twice per week. Live video shows are available on the Youtube channel at least once per quarter.

What is the show about?

The show solely started to encourage people through daily interviews, testimonials, words of encouragement – to uplift people and to challenge them spiritually. However we are not limited to just discussing religious matters.

Why did you choose this name? What’s the significance?

The Podcast as indicated started out of the initiative to share inspirational content (prayer, devotions etc) with individuals. I was praying one day about the initiative and immediately I got the words, “Word Inspiration.” Inspiring the minds of listeners and viewers locally with an expected hope of a global target.

Why did you choose this topic(s) & format?

We felt that the Christian Community and by large the  Church at large in Jamaica needed this kind of space through podcasting. People need to hear the Word of God and general thoughts on everyday matters in a NEW and CREATIVE way that keeps them coming for more.

Are there many other Caribbean podcasters that deal with this topic? If not, what is your experience being one of the few in this space?

I am not sure if there are a lot of Caribbean Christian Podcasters perhaps I need conduct that research (and by this I am not referring to doing episodes that is stuck on religious things only). However, the experience being in this space is fulfilling and rewarding. Overtime, I have learnt the importance of owning your voice within the creative space. If you give people quality content they will gravitate towards that over the quantity of the episodes.

What has been the reception since you’ve launched the show?

The reception since we have launched has been tremendous. March 17th was our 3rd Anniversary. People absolutely love the work that we do. As we began to grow, I was able to identify volunteers who are committed to the vision of Word Inspiration. Now we have a Podcast Management Team.

We’ve had listeners from several countries across the world. See some highlights below.

  • Podbean App – Feb 2020 – January 2022 – 4.4K Downloads 
  • Total downloads 5.8K 
  • 3K of which came from Jamaica

Now that you’ve launched your show, what are you hoping to accomplish?

We are hoping for Word Inspiration to become a household brand here in JA and globally. The podcast is done in my own creative style. Not many of us will be able to start our own radio stations [for example] but you are able to use the voice and capture the attention of thousands, even millions.

Who is your dream guest for the podcast?

Samuel Medas, Guyana Artist, and Usain Bolt

Which episodes do you recommend a first time listen start with?

For a new listener, I would encourage them to listen to the Podcast Anniversary episodes. These give a wider understanding of what we do and the kind of impact it has made.

Podcast Experience

What impact has podcasting had on your personal brand?

WOW! A lasting impact! It has helped me to become professional and passionate about my craft. People are not only able to hear a voice but now can match a face to it. This means being more visible, working on my deportment – maintaining a professional image. 

Listeners in Jamaica, more so my circle can easily identify the voice without seeing who it is! 

The more people are able to associate you to the brand, the greater the impact. I’ve had people singing our theme song and intro in the streets, because it’s catchy and it promotes the brand in a good way. 

How has the podcast grown your ministry and faith?

It has helped more people  to become aware of what we do and what we are about. The tagline “Renewing your mind and increasing your Spiritual health” has resonated with a lot of individuals. The feedback from episodes when shared are not responses from the surface level but it has touched the deeper cores of the hearts. We’ve gotten reports of encouragement and persons delighted to continue pursuing their walk with God and general spiritual growth. 

This has helped to increase my faith to know that I am pouring out content in their lives which ought to impact mine as well from the start.

What’s one tip you learned before you started podcasting that was really helpful?

I wouldn’t say I learned any major tip before; since I discovered and taught myself everything. But in that case, I would say research what you are about to get into. Know the basic ins and out before commencing production, know the tools and equipment needed.

What’s one thing you wish you knew before starting your podcast?

I wish I knew how time consuming it can be! I wish I had a full audio interface and fully paid for audio editing software.

What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself or your audience since you started?

I have learnt that I am able to be more patient with myself and the content I’m focusing on. I carry a level of top quality and “sticktoitiveness” – If it’s not up to standard of production, I will not be posting or uploading the audio file. 

What are your top 3 podcasting hacks?

  1. Watch your setup – Assess and get the right tools for your podcast – microphone, production and editing software. You have to be able to get the audio content right
  2. Show up when no one else does or when you don’t feel like it. Create value through your brand along with consistency – post and go live! People are watching 
  3. Book and schedule guests for your show. Do teasers, Create graphics for your episodes and post them.

How have resources (or lack thereof) impact your ability to podcast?

I always tell this little story. Use what’s in your possession. Before I ever dreamed of buying a podcast microphone or editing software, I used my VOICE. I recorded it with my cell phone. Uploaded the file to my laptop and used an audio platform to edit audio.

Who or what has influenced/inspired you the most to start a podcast?

Honestly, my friends motivated me to start the podcast! They said I have an amazing voice and I should put it to good use.

Other than your show, what are some of your favorite podcasts?

Just about any Solid Christian podcast – Steven Furtick, Td Jakes, Godman Akinbali, Focus on the Family

General Favorite Podcasts: Crime Junkie, Trevor Noah, Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, Focus on the Family, TED Talks Daily

What do you enjoy most about podcasting?

The fact that the team is able to create NEW content from our own style, creativity and ideas and publishing episodes for our listeners and supporters. It gives me joy personally because I am doing something I am in love with, passionate about.

What do you enjoy least about podcasting?

EDITING! Lol – Before I got a team, I used to do everything – from Graphics to Writing, Recording, Mixing music with speech – all things post production. I did this religiously for 1 year. Then people saw the growth, vision and volunteered to help in some areas.

What advice would you give to other aspiring Caribbean podcasters?

Wow! Do it for the love not the likes! Podcasting requires a planned carved time to focus on content generation. 

  1. Write out your ideas and plans, Make a schedule
  2. Make time for Production work 
  3. Watch your lane and keep the momentum – don’t get distracted by those who are seemingly ahead. 
  4. Embrace your own style – Be YOU and Authentic in your mission and delivery. 
  5. Don’t settle for mediocre – If you are not comfortable with the final product, FIX IT rather than rush to posting.

Fun Questions

What is the 1 thing from your Caribbean culture that you cannot do without?

Food! – Ackee and Saltfish, Jerk Chicken! Reggae Music!

Share a fun fact about you.

I love spending time with my friends. I am excited about aspects of nature and I am in love with chilling at the RIVER. River and waterfalls are therapeutic.

Conclusion

Where do you see yourself in the next 3 months?

The next 3 months we hope to see Word Inspiration grow to the point of attracting sponsors especially to build out more of our YouTube Channel. As mentioned before, we are a brand so we have to meet the needs for the Podcast App and Website component as well as the YouTube channel. 

The next three months should see us:

  1. Revitalizing the episodes
  2. Seek Sponsorship, Grants for projects 
  3. Building out Podcast Proposals
  4. Offering Training to those who need it
  5. More Partnerships for Dubs for the podcast

Where can the listeners find you?

Word Inspiration on podcast apps (Podbean App, Google Podcast, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Deezer, Listennotes) 

Website: wordinspiration.podpean.com

Full links to the social media pages and podcast apps here.

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