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HomeTrendingMusic Rewind: Local Youths Charmed By Vinyls

Music Rewind: Local Youths Charmed By Vinyls

Vinyl records, the quintessential analog music storage medium, seem to have been around forever. If you’re an audiophile, chances are you’ve already heard of the vinyl fever, and its resurgence in Singapore is showing no signs of coming to a halt.

One common comment would be: “Why vinyl, why not cassettes?”

The Singaporean youth has lived through the era of cassette tapes (remember the mess it made when the black tape ran?), CDs [compact discs], and now the digital era. So why is vinyl the only one resurrected, back to be replayed?

To those under 30, vinyl is a ’new’ medium since they weren’t around to experience the era of distorted scratches and inevitable pops when vinyl was first popular in the 1950s to 1990s.

UrbanWire spoke to Nick Tan, founder of Hear Records, who attributes the trend to how vinyl gives youths what they want in a form they want.

He explains: “Everything exists by comparison. If you bring in vinyls without the type of music they [Singaporean youths] want, at a cost that isn’t accessible to them, there won’t be a resurgence.”

It may seem confusing that we’re going back in time on the music timeline, but it is actually really simple: youths are now able to find music on vinyl that they can’t on cassettes. Even artistes like Katy Perry and Chvrches have their music on vinyl!

Put simply, like what Nick says, “We’re living in a digital world, but we’ll always have an analog heart.”


Are you a vinyl fan at heart? UrbanWire summarizes some traits:

  1. Age doesn’t matter

It’s never too early to fall in love with vinyls. Youths, some as young as pre-teens, have fallen in love with vinyl: 60% of customers from The House Of Turntables’s (HOT) Plaza Singapura outlet are youths.

  1. Music is your life

Vinyl fans are usually huge music fans even before they decide to enter the vinyl world; casual music fans are likely to stick with digital downloads and CDs.

Owning vinyl records is not just about the satisfaction of being a hipster or making your room look fancy; it‘s the love for music that’ll decide if you’ll stay. As Nick says, “If it’s about the cool factor, it wouldn’t last.”


  1. You’re prepared to spend time, effort and cash

A trip to the record store is akin to a treasure hunt. The time and effort spent looking for vinyls is more than that for digital downloads or CDs and you don’t know if the record stores stock what you’re looking for.

However, as what 26-year-old writer Janine says, “It’s exciting because you don’t know what you’ll find!”

Making friends while browsing is common. Music has a unique way of bonding people, and this is especially prevalent in vinyl culture—something Nick terms “Record Store Magic.”

Vinyls definitely require more care and more money. Their prices may be reasonable, costing you anywhere from $20 to $40, but without a turntable (which costs at least $200) you can’t even play the records! That’s an extra-incurred cost, but because of their love for vinyl, fans do not mind paying more.

Quick tip for tight wallets: clean the records with a microfiber cloth and distilled water, instead of using record cleaning fluid or machines (which can cost up to a few hundreds).

Remember: don’t use tap water, as particles in it may be deposited on the vinyl grooves, affecting sound quality. As for turntables, go for second-hand or third-hand ones instead!

  1. Vinyls go past being just music

To some, it’s sentimental. “My father is a vinyl fan, and he passed some of that love down to me. I guess it’s all about the memories attached to vinyls that makes it all the more important,” says Sherman Tang, an 18-year-old student.

To Janine, seeing a record spin on the turntable is therapeutic.

“Nothing beats when going home and putting a record on. It sounds very warm and has more soul.”

For artistes, it’s a way of customizing music; Pharrell’s international hit song “Happy” had a limited edition yellow vinyl, while Marina and the Diamonds produced a deluxe boxset for the album FROOT, containing 6 records bearing different fruity scents! Yes, vinyl can be more than just a shiny piece of plastic.

  1. You know exactly what genre you’re into

A sentiment echoed by both HOT and Hear Records, many customers come in knowing exactly what type of music they are there for; whether it is 70’s pop, modern pop such as the likes of Nicki Minaj, Meghan Trainor or The Script, or even Indie music like The Jungle Giants.

It’s good if you’re not shy to proclaim your love for a lesser-known genre. Siti Hazwani Bte Musahar, 22, Sales Executive of HOT, shares a quirky observation.

“Some customers play aloof – they’ll walk to the pop section then slowly, you’ll see them going to a different section.”

It’s alright to love what you love, even if it isn’t popular. No one will judge!


Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday of April annually, and each record store has its own way of celebrating.

For example, Hear Records sells local music with proceeds going to charity and HOT has in-store promotions of Record Store Day exclusives, as well as plans to bring in artistes to perform.

It’s a chance to draw people into the store so “Record Store Magic” can enchant fans. Expect to see limited music releases and performances!

For those who are new to vinyl, it’s a good opportunity to experience the vibrant vinyl community, so grab a friend and join in the fun next Record Store Day, Apr 16, 2016!

Photo courtesy of Hear Records

Do you have any thoughts to share about this “new medium” of music? Tell us in the comment box below!



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