Local Spot: The Record Store in Sydney Is Where Good Music Lives
As part of our first ever major campaign, we shot four super talented individuals at four Sydney locations: chef Mitch Orr at his restaurant ACME, Olympic synchronized swimmer Olia Burtaev at The Old Clare Hotel, musician Ecca Vandal at Tatler, and the musician Genesis Owusu at our favourite record store, which is aptly named ‘The Record Store’.
This week, we spoke to Stephan Gyory, co-owner of The Record Store, about how he's made it the place everyone wants to buy their music. (Yes, people do still buy music!) Opening in 2003, The Record Store is seated in the middle of Darlinghurst, which has a rich musical history, as Stephan explains. Originally formed to service DJs, The Record Store now boasts a wide variety of musical genres to satisfy most vinyl hobbiests, including but not limited to house, techno, dubstep, funk, soul, jazz, and reggae. They also throw some of the funnest parties in Sydney, as part of their service to the community. Very in line with our campaign concept: For Locals Everywhere.
Image credit: recordstore.com.au
What is the key to making The Record Store a space that locals feel comfortable to spend time at regularly?
Treat everyone who comes into the store with respect and courtesy whether or not they are buying records. We are just totally not into the infamous record store ‘tude. Everyone started sometime!
How important is Record Store's Crown Street location to business? Are there any other areas in Sydney that appreciate music in the same way?
It’s hard to say. We love Darlo and have been here in one guise or another for 21 years. Newtown seems to have a great little cluster of record shops, but Darlo is where all the dance music vinyl stores were back in the day — 14 at one point, all catering to different sub-genres of music — so that historical link is nice. Plus the hood is very open and individual and accepting so it’s a lovely place to exist.
How important is a feeling of authenticity and genuine passion to a business like Record Store?
It’s not a feeling — we really are this way! But yeah, it’s hard enough being yourself; why pretend to be someone else?
What sort of music are Sydney locals interested in that might be a bit unique compared to any other city?
It’s a pretty global thing; great music is great music. It knows no borders.
Image credit: recordstore.com.au
Quite unique that your store has the full team and their pics/bios on the site, for a local business. Is that because given the type of business you have it's important for people to kind of come in and trust the judgement/taste/etc of the people running the place?
Why yes, yes it is! But really, um, tbh, we like to clown around and this was a good way to take the mickey out of each other. We were inspired by the template on the website builder and thought, why not, we’re not shy. Turns out people dig shopping from real people, so it’s lucky we all exist. :D
How important are events to the success of Record Store?
I guess from a business POV, they are important in keeping the store up there in people’s awareness, but to be honest, we just like to party. So that turns out to be a happy confluence of life goals.
Do you feel like you've created a sense of community around Record Store? How have you gone about it?
If you treat all comers like friends and make people feel at home a community develops. But THE guiding principle we have always operated under is that we have always considered that this space is not mine and my business partner’s but belongs to the staff and the customers. It’s a public space that we curate (for want of a less wanky word).
Could you tell us a bit about your art walls?
Didn’t anyone ever tell you that a picture speaks a thousand words?! :D When we moved here the back wall belonged to a crew, they did it off and on, then OS Gemeos came to town and needed a wall, so we gave them our front one, then we kinda (unintentionally) took the piss and got a complaint, so we went and got a DA from council to have art up there legally and now we just say yes whenever an artist approaches us and we like their stuff.
What would you do differently if you could start over again? What would stay the same?
We would change nothing; it’s been a cracker journey thus far. But it‘s the same old story: I wish I knew then what I know now! And so part two of this question has answered itself.