When Billy Nation and Andrew Lebowitz met last year, a friendship formed as the two began bouncing ideas off one another. Nation liked the idea of starting a podcast to cater to Memphians, while Lebowitz wanted to focus specifically on the many creative aspects of the Bluff City.
"Starting the podcast was a little bit of an evolution," Nation said. "Andrew has a lot of creative community ideas, and I had wanted to do a podcast for a couple of years, but it wasn't until last December that we decided to make the podcast about the creative culture in Memphis."
Fast forward four months, and the Creative Memphis Podcast was born. Based out of Nation's East Memphis home, the podcast is a biweekly show run exclusively by Nation and Lebowitz.
The shows are pre-recorded, with each hour-long episode focusing on a different subject. Guests are varied and typically relate to the design field, culinary industry, photography, art, or Memphis culture. As of press time, the Creative Memphis Podcast has two shows available for download on iTunes.
The first introductory podcast features Nation and Lebowitz offering their take on the Memphis creative scene, while the second episode is an in-depth look at local freelance photographer Joey Miller.
"We both come from fine arts and graphic design backgrounds, so when we say we are looking for creative people, it could be taken as a narrow point of view," Nation said. "But the way we look at is that anyone who is contributing to the creative culture of Memphis is welcome on our show."
By keeping the definition of a "creative Memphian" loose, the duo hopes to cover everything from forward-thinking chefs to eccentric musicians. To keep things interesting, they say the podcast won't feature back-to-back guests of the same trade.
"We are trying to reach people who have a vested interest in the creative community, either because they are part of it or they support it," Lebowitz said. "But we are also trying to promote the idea that Memphis has a thriving creative community, in case people don't know."
So far, the Creative Memphis Podcast has had a few hundred downloads, mostly thanks to social media promotion. Lebowitz said he hopes that one day the podcast will have sponsorships, as long as the sponsors don't try to influence the content.
"Eventually, it would be great if we could start a Memphis podcast association because there are so many great podcasts in the area," Lebowitz said.