We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, how do you think about risk?
For the majority of my life I wouldn’t consider myself a risk taker. I like to have things plan out. That hasn’t always led me to the best outcomes and often times left me wondering “what if?”.
When starting Shoptalkpodcast Studio I left that thinking behind and started taking risk and betting on myself and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. There was a shift in my life where I came to the realization that I would rather have an “Aye, remember that one time we did that thing and it didn’t work out” vs “I wonder what would have happened if I had enough courage”. Through business my outlook on life has changed.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I found it difficult to label myself so I asked some friends to describe me and I came away with multimedia professional. Most notably I host two successful podcast (Shoptalkpodcast & This Week In Culture). Ive been in the podcast space for the last 5 years. I have a podcast studio in the Metro Detroit area named Shoptalkpodcast Studio. The studio has been in business for 4 years and has been the home to over 100 podcast in the Detroit Area. I also do photography and videography work personally and professionally.
The first podcast that I started was Shoptalkpodcast along with my longtime friend and business partner Damon “Dame” Bradley. Our show is based around the barbershop conversations which include race, religion, sports, music, and good ole fashion debates. Its not an easy task finding our voice, honing your style, building a listenership, and developing a relationship with our audience. It’s not that it was “difficult” per se but it took a strong commitment to the work. Since June of 2016 Dame and I have released a podcast every single week without missing a week. In that time our lives have changes, we have lost loved ones, relationships, world wide pandemic etc. If it’s one thing you can count on is a new episode of Shoptalkpodcast every Saturday morning. We are currently on EP274. The personal sacrifice was definitely worth it and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
This Week In Culture is a podcast that I cohost with my friend/brother Anthony “Trinidad Ant” Wooden Jr. This is a show that focuses on TV and Movie reviews “for the culture”. Ant and I do long form breakdown of Black TV shows and Movies and have very good conversations regarding the topics. The show, since starting in 2018 has grown very quickly and the engagement has been very humbling. We have been able to host movie screenings rent out theaters, watch movies with out listeners and have discussion’s with them after. One of our fam favorite segments of the show our “BlackBerry Letter” segment where listeners send in emails/voicemails and ask for advice. Advice about dating, parenting, career advice etc. Think…Steve Harvey’s Strawberry letter but 40oz induced advice lol.
Shoptalkpodcast Studio came up as an idea after recording Shoptalkpodcast for little under a year. It wasn’t really supposed to be a public studio at all…we just wanted a place to record whenever we wanted and didn’t want to have guest that we didn’t know inside of our homes. Opening the studio was one of those “step out on faith” moments and a risk i was willing to take. I rented a small space, maybe 150 square feet being generous. Once we started recording, others reached out and asked if they could use it to start and record their own podcast. To my surprise, other than me paying the first month and Security deposit…we have never had to reach in our pockets to pay rent. God is good.
The studio started to fill up quickly. Something that started just for my pod turned into a legitimate business quick. A year and the lease was up. I knew how much money i was making with just the one studio and a finite amount of time to record. I decided that If I had more space and more studios then I could double or triple the money. The monthly cost on the bigger space was more than triple what I was paying so I was nervous. i used to be risk adverse but I doubled down on myself and got a bigger space that had 3 different office spaces so we could house up to 3 studios. I took the risk and haven’t looked back. In May we celebrated 4 year in business with close to 150 podcast who have called Shoptalkpodcast Studio Home. God is good.
Im the head audio and video engineer for the studio. I make sure all the audio is mixed and EQ’d correctly as well as take care of video recording and editing for the studio as its an add on option for anyone booking time. Whether its on air talent, producing podcast for others, editing audio or video, if it has something to do with multimedia i have my hands in it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Spots to eat…If you are from Detroit then you know this is the home of Coney Islands. But you have to go to a real Coney Island. That would be a L.Georges or Nicky’s Ds. You’re prolly going to have to go to the hood to get some real coney…I’m sure you’ll be aight Lol.
If you’re Vegan, make sure you go to Detroit Vegan Soul or CMO (Chilli Mustard & Onion). If you like soul food and still want to be healthy then DVS will get you together. If you want some Coney and want to be healthy get some CMO.
If you like pasta, then you have to go to Pasta Bowl Restaurant. The best BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese that you have ever tasted comes from right there.
If you want to grab a cocktail and some good food make sure you go to The Block or Central Kitchen + Bar. If its just drinks you want then I recommend Grey Ghost, The Sugar House, or the Evening Bar.
You also have to go downtown to the Riverwalk, Campus Martius, and Belle Isle
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Crystal White. Owner of W By Crystal White