Ava Gold,
The TVD First Date

“Growing up in Miami, one of my first experiences listening to music was with my mom’s vinyl collection from Cuba. Music was always playing in our house and I can still vividly remember how excited I would get when she would go to turn on the record player. For some reason, the energy was never like that when the radio turned on or we put on a CD, but the minute that ebony needle lifted, you’d think Christmas came early.”

“One of my all-time favorite vinyl records at the time was The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night. I loved the feel of the old cardboard in my hands, looking at the artwork and of course, singing along, as I knew every song by heart. I also sang my little heart out with frequency to another favorite, Whitney Houston’s self-titled album, which was the record that led me to fall in love with that golden voice. We listened to all kinds of music in our house, anything from Celia & Johnny to Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

My two sisters and I played violin in a youth orchestra at one point. I will never forget this one conductor we had named Alice Ayala, who undoubtedly changed my life and the way I saw music. All the musicians were gathered for orchestra rehearsal and she took out an old vinyl recording of Smetana’s “The Moldau.” She had us close our eyes, let our imagination run wild and visualize what was happening in the music and then draw what we saw. As a little girl, I was so moved by this experience, as it was my first encounter connecting imagery to sound and emotion.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I quickly learned about Amoeba Music, an independent music chain with a huge vinyl collection. As I never got the opportunity to go to a proper record store growing up, I decided it was time to purchase my very first vinyl record. It was enchanting walking down the aisles, that very particular smell of time passed and music in the air. There were entirely too many choices, but I finally settled on Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life. It was an excellent choice. I am still in awe of this musical legend and I definitely heard that particular record more times than I care to count.

It was a recent trip to that same record store that resulted in inspiring my latest EP. I found a bunch of old Cuban and Spanish vinyl records from the ’30s and ’40s and began experimenting with sampling them. There were some really obscure ones in the mix like An Evening At the Sans Souci by Cuarteto D’Aida, which was recorded in Cuba and Cugie! by Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra (1933-1940), which featured Dinah Shore. Although I didn’t end up using the tracks with those samples for this 1st EP, the process was incredibly instrumental in inspiring the direction of the project. I was a little bummed when that record player broke shortly after. However, I recently acquired a Radiogram from the ’70s and it sounds amazing!

I’ve since discovered all kinds of new record stores here in Los Angeles and my last trip to one of them culminated in me accruing a brand new batch for my collection. The theme: soul. I love soul music and was very pleased with my findings, some of which included Sam Cooke, A Change Is Gonna Come, Jackie Wilson, Solid Gold, and Prince & The Revolution, Around the World In a Day.

Vinyl has undoubtedly made a comeback and although the debate is still open as to whether or not there’s a technical difference in the sound quality between vinyl and CDs, I am on the side that vinyl simply sounds better. In either case, the fact that vinyl has found its way back to popular culture makes me happy for selfish reasons and is confirmation that quality will always stand the test of time.”
Ava Gold

Ava Gold’s debut singles, “Havana” and “Classy” are in stores now.
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