While the COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of hardships, it also helped to spawn creativity in some. During quarantine, this 22-year-old Eastern Michigan University student jump started his business idea.
Damon Calhoun is a Detroit native studying public relations at EMU with a minor in journalism. On his YouTube channel named The TimeLine Podcast (TLP), he interviews local music artists and more. Additionally, he has a connected website where he posts music reviews, and an Instagram page that keeps followers updated on the wildest current pop culture.
“It started off in 2019 with me and my friend and we just had the show on Soundcloud, there was no video, it was just me and him and a microphone,” Calhoun says. “When we first started, the show was based on talking about whatever was trending on the timeline (hence the title), whether that be Twitter or Instagram or somewhere else.”
After three hour-long episodes, the two stopped being consistent. Around a year later, the pandemic began, and Calhoun started up TLP again whilst in quarantine, but by himself this time. Soon after, he got the idea to start interviewing people.
“I had the idea in mind to interview Gucci Lando, he was the first person I ever interviewed, and he was just my friend but he rapped, so I thought that could be my start into it,” Calhoun states.
During those few months that everyone sat in the house full of boredom, Calhoun watched a lot of interviews. He started to realize that some of the biggest pages consisted of older white men asking the hottest rappers invasive questions that were only loosely related to music.
“I started doing interviews the way I wanted it to be done or the way I think it should be done and that’s been working out,” he says.
After posting his first interview, Calhoun got 2 or 3 messages from people saying they wanted to do one as well, and began interviewing everyone who said they wanted to.
“I got to the point where I started targeting people, so I got more acclimated into the music community of Detroit and discovered people who were coming up around the same time I was, so they would be more willing to sit down with me and do an interview because it’s mutually beneficial,” Calhoun states.
Doing more interviews brought even more interviews. Now, Calhoun may get 20 messages after posting a video, allowing him to be more selective on who he sits down with, rather than just taking whatever comes.
“One of the first videos I ever made was about 21 Savage’s new album coming out and I had a part where I was talking about Metro Boomin and I posted that and he followed me. So that was another one of the first things that made me feel like I should keep doing it,” he says.
As TLP grows, Calhoun hopes to continue to touch base with larger artists, as accomplishments like these motivate creators to keep going.
“My biggest interview is with a rapper from Cleveland, Lil Cray, but I interviewed him in Atlanta,” Calhoun says.
While most of his interviews are Detroit-based, Calhoun’s other biggest market is Cleveland. Regardless of who he interviews though, he feels that he always gains knowledge with each sit-down.
“I learn something from everybody I interview, and that’s just cool to me because I like doing something different every day,” Calhoun says. “I’m essentially interviewing people everyday, but it feels different to me.”
While the interviews have mostly been music artists, Calhoun is open to interviewing anyone, and has already interviewed a dancer, a videographer, and a fashion designer.
With music being Calhoun’s biggest interest though, it is the main focal point; however, TLP also consists of talk surrounding sports, pop culture, and interesting unexpected news.
“I started the Instagram page around that same time during quarantine, and I was just using that to try to promote the podcast, and then I just came to the conclusion that it could just be part of it,” Calhoun says. “I can put some content here, some on YouTube. I also use it as a tool to reach out to people to get new interviews; that’s usually how they find me. I can also promote other people’s music.”
Apart from the Instagram page, Calhoun also made a website just a few months ago where he writes and posts music reviews.
“My first article that I wrote was about WTM Dae Money, who I interviewed as well. He put out a new album and it inspired me to write an article about it, like I liked it so much I wanted to tell other people,” Calhoun says.
After writing his first article, he wasn’t sure where he was going to put it, so decided to quickly create a website of his own.
“I made a very basic website, it took me like 30 minutes, I wrote up the post and just went from there,” Calhoun states. “Now whenever somebody hits me up for one, I write it, or whenever I see something I wanna write about.”
In the past, Calhoun was unsure of what he wanted to do with his life, but TLP gave him a sense of purpose.
“Before this, people always asked me what I wanted to do and I never knew, and then it just came to me,” he says. “Once I realized that I could do it, it just made me want to do it more.”
For the future of The TimeLine Podcast, Calhoun has the main goal of expansion.
“Right now I’m mostly based in Detroit, so I wanna get a lot more Cleveland artists, but also Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, places in the Midwest that the world isn’t tapped into yet,” he says. “There’s a lot of artists out in those places, but there’s not a lot of media outlets. I literally can see it, I can see the room for growth, I can see the need and the market.”
While he is currently working as the social media manager at Puffer Reds in Ypsilanti, Calhoun would love TLP to grow to the point where it can be his main career focus.
“At some point I wanna maybe have some type of show that I’m doing, maybe similar to Oprah and 106 & Park together, something like that, but I don’t exactly yet, but expansion [of TLP] is what I’m currently thinking about.”
Seeing the progress he has made encourages Calhoun to keep going and find more ways to flourish with his ideas.
To check The TimeLine Podcast out for yourself visit https://linktr.ee/thetimelinepodcast. Follow TLP’s social media on Instagram @the_timelinepodcast and Twitter @TheTimelinePod1.
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