Hampstead music lover brings mobile vinyl store to Wilmington area
Kevin Siegel is a big fan of classic rock legends like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Who.
“I also like a lot of new artists,” he said. “I love Phoebe Bridgers and there’s a new album that just came out by a band called Wet Leg that I really like. There are so many bands and artists that I really like.”
The Hampstead resident loves music and enjoys listening the classic way – on vinyl. With his new business, Black Wax, he looks forward to meeting other record enthusiasts at events in Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties through a mobile store similar to area food trucks.
Starting in May, Siegel would like to bring records and music to customers on a 16-foot trailer in the Wilmington area. It plans to sell new and used vinyl records, music products, and offer an all-vinyl DJ service.
“There are so many different venues and events happening, it’s more in the historic district or the arts district of Brooklyn,” he said. “These regions certainly have a lot of people who are very interested in vinyl records. Giving them the opportunity to find some of these records that they are really looking for is something that I would like to offer.”
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At a time when small businesses are going mobile with food, coffee, bars, shops and pet care, Siegel said it was the right move to make.
“In an economy that is constantly changing and with skyrocketing property prices, it is difficult to start a small business with so many high fixed costs,” he said. “So the idea of a mobile check-in bar was born.”
The veteran served for 13 years before being medically retired from the US Marine Corps and worked in real estate and other jobs, but always had an interest in music. He currently buys rare records through social media, online, and new records from distributors.
“It’s a lot of work, it’s not an easy process because there are a lot of people who aren’t ready to part ways with their album or there’s a lot of sentimental value to them,” Siegel said. “It’s challenging, but it’s also fun and rewarding.”
So far he has collected about 8,000 records.
“I’ll probably haul about 2,000 at a time in the trailer and swing them around,” Siegel said. “Of course, I still buy records so there will always be a constant turnover of albums that I have.”
An “old” spin on listening to music
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, streaming overtook both digital downloads and physical products during the 2010s and accounted for over 80% of the market in the United States.
Siegel knows the convenience of digital music and not having to carry around CD players or turntables, but he said he lacked so much of what artists wanted.
“Vinyl records are not compressed digital audio files, you can hear music much more clearly on vinyl,” he said. “Musicians take as much time planning the album and track layout as they do writing the songs themselves. Playing an album in its entirety is as important as listening to your favorite song. Albums tell a story. story.”
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He added this record cover that people like to flaunt.
“There’s a physical and emotional connection to playing vinyl records,” Siegel said. “Selecting an album, removing the records, placing it on a turntable and dropping the needle creates an attachment that radio, Spotify and digital music cannot. When you hold it in your hand, you might remember first listen or who you were with. It’s almost like magic.”
As a music lover, Siegel believes that vinyl records inspire people to pay attention to music, while focusing on the here and now in a busy world. He also thinks music is meant to be social.
“Once, people would get together to listen to the latest album releases,” he said. “Music on vinyl helps bring people together. Vinyl was pretty much extinct in the late 90s and early 2000s. CDs had pretty much killed vinyl record sales. Vinyl picked up and in 2020, it topped CD sales for the first time in 30 years. People just happen to like vinyl records.”
Journalist Chase Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.