An Interview with Christina AKA The Vinyl Guru

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The Vinyl Guru - YouTube

Christina AKA The Vinyl Guru is one of the new kids on the block within the YouTube Vinyl Community, but don’t be fooled or take her channel for granted. In a short time, Christina has managed to grow her channel and make a real impact on the VC. Her unique style and delivery gives viewers a very real insight to the person behind the camera. During Christina’s first year as a YouTuber, she has put out dozens of excellent videos which prove that vinyl collecting isn’t the boys club it was once thought to be. Yes, it’s true, women can truly be “Vinyl Guru’s,” too and Christina certainly is just that. With walls of records, endless musical knowledge and the swagger to deliver the goods, you can expect her channel to continue to grow for as long as she wants to keep at it. Christina releases a few videos per week, but in between, you can head over to her Patreon here and consider supporting her efforts. If you’re new to her channel or YouTube in general, you can head to her channel here, and check out her latest videos as well her entire back catalog. Don’t forget to hit subscribe before you leave. With all that being said, let’s do this.

Andrew:
Christina, thank you for taking the time to talk with us here. It’s been weird year, hasn’t it? What have been doing to pass the time?

Christina:
Just started a YouTube account and starting filming. Talking to people about music is what I lived for post COVID so this was all too necessary of a step.

Andrew:
What’s your backstory? What was your musical gateway? What got you hooked on vinyl?

Christina:
As someone in the music industry, it’s an easy transition. I was and am a musician pre-COVID. I also have three uncles that led me to vinyl. They were major collectors all with various taste who lived together (two of them were blind so the auditory sensory was even more of a heightened experience for them). I spoke about them in a video and explored this on my channel as well.

Andrew:
You’ve been running the Vinyl Guru channel via YouTube for some time now. Tell us more about the channel, and how it got its start. What made you want to get in front of the camera?

Christina:
COVID gave me a kick in the ass. I always wanted to do it but felt overwhelmed by it all. I’m an analog girl in a digital world, so I didn’t understand editing, cameras, etc. I started it and after two weeks, I was hooked. I would recommend it for anyone. It’s a great way to express yourself. Even when you are confined to your cage.

Andrew:
There are unfortunately very few female vinyl YouTubers out there today. Why do you feel it’s important that more female voices are heard within the vinyl community?

Christina:
This is a great question because it’s one of the biggest reasons as to why I even began to start my journey on YouTube. I wanted to see someone like me represented. Still to this day, I haven’t seen someone with a collection like mine (that was earned on their own might I add). A lot of experience and sweat equity is put into a labour of love like that. Women love to collect things, too. It may not always be so tech/gear related, but we are creatures with a mild neurosis as well. I am hoping by existing on the platform, it’ll help other women feel more comfortable along their journey. I have already gotten private messages from girls telling me they started because I inspired them and no money/fame will ever give you that feeling.

Andrew:
Piggybacking onto my last question a bit. As I am sure you know, women are vastly underrepresented throughout the vinyl community, and within the music industry in general. What can we do change that?

Christina:
Just keep showing up. KEEP being in the room. Don’t get intimidated. Love what you love, unapologetically. Eventually, the curious questions will stop. Eventually, it’ll be normalized. I want more women to go from being a casual collector, to a fiend for it! Haha!

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Andrew:
This year, there has been some talk of doing away with the term “female fronted” in regards to bands. I think it makes sense, as there is no good reason for the designation. Would you agree?

Christina:
Yes, a lot of women are tired of hearing that term. They just want to be a ‘’band.’’ Not a ‘’female-led band.’’ Personally, I don’t mind it much when it comes to the world of art. Women and men provide different perspectives. It would be a crime to minimize that and try to equalize our voices when we are meant to carry different tunes.

Andrew:
As I am sure you know, quality control is an issue within the industry. What are your thoughts on that?

Christina:
QC has been a topic of conversation for a few years now, but it has gotten far worse as of late. RSD releases I have recently gotten were warped, and the new Ozzy Osbourne album sounded horrible. There are only a few labels and mastering engineers I truly trust wholeheartedly to have dignity in their craft. To still care for the curation of vinyl and think about the listener. It’s not about the money for everyone.

Andrew:
Record Store Day is a sort of hot button issue within the community. Attitudes are all over the place regarding it. What are your honest thoughts and opinions on RSD?

Christina:
I remember the early days of RSD. It definitely is a completely different beast entirely now. It’s become all about pushing legacy acts and live albums. But…if you look hard enough, there will still be great releases around the bend.

Andrew:
One of the things I like about your channel is you’re unique and honest. You’re always yourself. I’d say that’s pretty important in the world we live in. Would you agree?

Christina:
Of course. People can always smell it if you are phoning it in, honey. The world has definitely lost its FUN unfortunately. That’s another thing I really wanted to see in a channel. Sure the knowledge is great. But the personality behind the records keeps me coming back for more.

Andrew:
Is there anything within the music industry that you would like to see change for the better, for both the fans and artists alike?

Christina:
Where does one even begin to start? A big one for me at the moment is that the industry needs to stop marketing dead artists and start promoting NEW ones. Ones that people can still benefit from seeing live, enjoying, having around for a long time. If we just push older acts, we will only have them around for another 20 years and then what’ll be made of the model of the industry?

Andrew:
We know you collect records, but how big is your collection now? Where do you like to shop for music?

Christina:
Thousands of rekkids. I constantly have to stay conscious of not getting carried away. (But is that really possible? Lol!) There are a few main spots I like to hit. But my favourite for REAL diggers is Cosmos Records. A legendary spot in Toronto and in the UK as well. Great musicians have been seen digging there, Hip-Hop producers in particular because of the great OG copies that they have of everything. They don’t sell new albums. Everything pre 2002?

Andrew:
Here’s one I am guilty of. Are you like some of us, who purge records, only to rebuy them again later?

Christina:
Thankfully I haven’t purged something I had the itch to want again. I have been a smart purger! Phew! Though, I have had some real vinyl regrets as we all have I’m sure at some point.

Andrew:
What are some of your favorite albums? What ones still mean the most to you?

Christina:
Tops that are on the island are probably: Kate Bush – Never For Ever, Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure, David Bowie – Low & Scary Monsters, Marvin Gaye – I Want You, Nine inch Nails – Pretty Hate machine. And for some obscure islanders, Damon – Songs of a Gypsy, Lounge Lizards – Self Titled, Fear Itself – Self Titled, The Pop Group – Y.

Andrew:
2020 was a weird year for sure, but we still saw a lot of incredible music released. What were some of your “must have” albums of 2020?

Christina:
I think way more is to come in 2021. A lot of musicians are in studios recording their woes right now. The Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters is killer. Run The Jewels dropped a tasty one on us too with RTJ4. I love the UK Punk band, Idles, they just dropped a great one on us. Also another more Indie group called Sault. Unknown to the public because they do not show their faces, they are an anonymous band that puts monstrous music out. They just released a new album on Bandcamp too. I enjoyed the new Gorillaz album which came out this past fall, with a lot of interesting collabs on it.

Andrew:
Once COVID-19 calms down (if it ever does), what’s next The Vinyl Guru? What lasting effects do you think COVID-19 will have on the industry?

Christina:
I want to take some things out on the street. I will be expanding the show. No signs of slowing down, believe that. I think the music industry will take the longest to readjust. Concerts sadly are considered the least of priorities. It may seem like a leisure activity to some, to others it’s therapy.

Andrew:
What drives you? What inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?

Christina:
The music and the great people I am meeting along the way. People that I can nerd out with about rekkids! I never fully had that in any city I lived outside of family. I just started to form one and it is something I wish I did years ago.

Andrew:

Last question. As a YouTuber, you’ve obviously embraced the DIY mentality and ethos, which is awesome. What advice would you have for anyone that wants to give it a go?

Christina:
JUST DO IT. (Not sponsored by Nike).

But it is just THAT easy. I was so overwhelmed by the tech and the work that I thought would be needed to do it but once I got the hang of it, I kept on swinging. The reward? Honestly is the engagement with really great like-minded people. And creating more means being able to continue that dialogue. I highly recommend it to anyone. Preach the gospel that is vinyl and get the word out there.

Want to learn more about Christina and her Vinyl Guru channel? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

Published by Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, USA, Andrew has always loved writing, music, drumming and collecting music on CD, tape and vinyl. After losing his life-long vinyl collection in 2014, Andrew began his vinyl collection from scratch again when he met his future wife Angela in 2015. Andrew’s love of music only further blossomed as his collection spanned all genres possible. After amassing over 3,000 albums in under two years, he knew it was time to finally follow his dream of being a music journalist, and thus, Vinyl Writer was born.

Andrew’s not only the go-to friend for music trivia, but his intricate knowledge of the ins and outs of the music industry allows him to develop engaging questions that really tap into each artist and individual to deliver insightful and enjoyable interviews. He’s proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict, for fellow music addicts.

Andrew lives on Long Island, NY, with his wife Angela and their four cats, Oliver, Patrick, Charlie and Kevin. Andrew’s collection of over 4,700 vinyl albums, plus several hundred tapes and CDs, tells the story of his passion for all that is music. Andrew works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer website by night. Andrew is also the admin of several Facebook groups dedicated to music.

2 thoughts on “An Interview with Christina AKA The Vinyl Guru

  1. She’s from my town. Now she’s a downtown girl. ,,,, I never thought of there being a male/female issue for collecting records. I just figured if a chick likes records, well there’s someone new to talk to. Same with women in bands. I have Kim Gordons book and her big issue with interviewers (I don’t blame her at all) is when they feel they have to ask “so, what’s is like to be a girl in a band?” What does that question even mean?

    V. Guru has a massive collection that I can’t fathom how she got so much in such a short period of time. And her tastes are pretty Damm varied and impressive. (For a girl!)kidding. Sheesh.

    1. Hey Derek. We definitely agree that anyone who collects vinyl is a vinyl collector, regardless of gender. There are definitely differences in how females are treated in the industry, and we see that in other industries as well where they are paid less than men in the same positions. It’s a double edged sword in asking these types of questions, because ignoring the topic altogether doesn’t help bring the required attention to normalize women in vinyl and music, and unless we start to discuss these things, change won’t occur. Here at Vinyl Writer, we have a column dedicated to helping to bridge this gender gap called Women Who Love Vinyl, and you’ll see lots more to come from us on the perspectives of women in the music communities. We always love when you comment, so thanks for stopping by! Good to see a familiar face. Stay safe!

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