Last week, I was featured in The Toronto Black Media Association. It is dedicated to connecting Toronto’s Black creatives with one another, providing an online safe-space for them to communicate and network, and also assisting in the provision of career opportunities.
Here is the complete spotlight:
Happy Friday Everyone! This week for #FeatureFridays the Spotlight is on Sherley Joseph from Black Canadian Content Creators. Check out our interview with her to learn more about her and her current projects:
How did you get started in your career?__________________________________________________________________
“I’ve always had a fascination for broadcasting. TV raised me. Something about gaining new information and the way that investigative reporters would get to the bottom of the truth fascinated me as a kid. I grew watching people like Dan Rather, Christina Amanpour, Oprah Winfrey and listening to Howard Stern I know, I didn’t stutter. Yes, you read that right, Howard Stern.
After high school, went to Humber College Radio Broadcasting program, but I got intimidated by the amount of talent in my class. So I stuck to production. During the mid of my second year, I got pregnant, got a job. Life kicked in and at a work party in 2008, I won an iPod Nano that changed my life. Actually, it got me back into my passion and dream of broadcasting and I discovered podcasts.
I studied my faves and researched everything I needed to know about podcasting for 2 years. Even got in touch with my faves tech guys to provide me with all I need to know. So in 2010 with the research and knowledge and my educational background in broadcasting. We started the ChoNilla podcast for 5 years every week with over 400+ episodes.”
What was a memorable yet life-changing moment that you’ve cherished?__________________________________________________________________
“Other than the birth of our three kids. One day I was watching a four-part series called the 8th fire hosted by Wab Kinew on CBC Doc. My life partner and I who is also the co-producer and co-host of ChoNilla. We started thinking about having guests outside of our friend and family group.
I was so inspired by how much I was learning and also embarrassed by the fact that’s so much history was hidden from me, from us as Canadians in regards to what indigenous people have gone through and continue to go through in Canada. I was gravitated by Wab as a host and as himself and felt this deep need to have them on the show. But at the same time was thinking here’s this itty bitty podcast that’s kind of new, would someone of his calibre even consider to be on. I just felt this deep need that our audience really needed to know from him to know the truth and the story of his people and educate us as well. so I set my ego aside bet on myself and as podcasters and as fellow communicators to DM on Twitter and he said yes.
That was a defining moment for us it was a reminder of if you put your best foot forward and your authentic and you’re very clear on your goal and the message that you are trying to convey for your audience with your gas the doors are wide open that you can truly have anyone on your show. Your possibilities are endless!”
Your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?__________________________________________________________________
“In late 2017, I decided to start a Facebook community out of frustration because I was having a hard time finding fellow Black Canadian Podcasters or Black Canadian Comedians to connect for my show. I was moved by the way our show was embraced by fellow Podcasters in the United States and wanted to create this communal camaraderie in Canada digitally. So I created Black Canadian content creators in order to find each other, to connect with one another and for people to have a chance to share their latest content and hopefully people take the helm to collaborate with others.
I also created the podcast in order to Spotlight amazing content creators who are not just at the pinnacle of their influence or public figure-dom. But, people who’s on the come-up. We don’t have to wait for someone to get to a Drake or The Weeknd level type of creators to celebrate or pay attention to their work. Let’s celebrate amazing content creators NOW, as they are growing or continue to evolve as they are producing their own path in any type of content creation. Whether they are a blogger, an author, a podcaster, a vlogger, a photographer, a filmmaker, a producer, a musician, a strategist, a web design genius. a visual or digital artist and so on.”
What advice would you give to individuals trying to get where you are?__________________________________________________________________
“It’s the typical cliche, but true statement. Just be you because there is no one else on this planet that can do YOU better than YOU! Stop trying so damn hard to be someone you’re not. And if you find that it’s hard then tell your inner saboteur or ego to sit it’s a** down cause you don’t have time for it right now cause you are too busy in believing in yourself and rather place that energy in a positive and rewarding space with betting on yourself. Which goes back to just do you boo! By doing this, you will connect with people who relate to either your perspective or idea. By presenting YOU as a content creator, it gives permission for others who identify like you to be themselves but most importantly to know that they’re not alone.
Research and put your best foot forward, and still learning say it and claim it. By being very clear on what you are going to create and where you minimize any outside pressures. Always stay on top of your craft, that’s in anything. For me as a podcaster, I always stay on top of what are the latest gadgets in podcasting, what are the latest software and plugins, who are the new podcast players or podcast shows are in the podesphere or companies that are getting in the podcasting game etc. And, I listen to podcasts every single day. Nothing disappoints me more as a podcast producer when people say I want to start a podcast but either never listened to hardly any. Or, just to have one because it’s a checkmark on a list. Trust me, if you are someone who starts a podcast just to have one, that sentiment will shine through and be heard from the mic to a device or speaker if that is your only reason. This goes to say that is it important to be your authentic self and really know the goal and the purpose why you create the type of content that you produce. And if you don’t know the goal, that’s where I come in to dig that out of you for a strong podcast plan.”
Working on any upcoming projects we should know about?__________________________________________________________________
“Building a website and working on expanding BCANCC as a community outside of Facebook. Creating more virtual meetups. I started co-hosting with fellow BCANCC members a clubhouse every other Thursday (bi-weekly) to talk about our knowledge, our concerns, what our community needs to know and spotlighting fellow Black Creatives on the platform (Shout-out to Nicole Waldron, Karlena Waugh and Tristan Barrocks). And soon, collaborating for videocast production for both The ChoNilla Network and Black Canadian Content Creators. I also co-launched People Of Canada Stock Images (@pocimages) with my business partner Johanne Britton from The Mob’s Press. POC Images’ goal is to spotlight and feature the culture of Black and Indigenous people through a Canadian lens and atmosphere while exploring all the different colours that make this land so beautiful.”
With the world’s current state, how have you been able to move your career forward?__________________________________________________________________
“By being unapologetically Black. By going to non-black communities and making them aware of our existence while creating our own spaces. I no longer wait for structures that weren’t really built for me or us to be invited to the table. I’m constantly working on creating my own or collaborating with others within the black community to bring our tables together. This goes back to my Haitian roots, “L’union Fait La Force!” which means There is Strength in Unity. And if you feel me, let yourself repeat after out loud, “AYIBOBO” (Amen in creole) on that!”
You can find Sherley here on Instagram: @SherleyJos & @BlackCanadianCC Feature Fridays”.