Ethav,
The TVD First Date

“I started collecting vinyl when I arrived in LA to study drama at the tender age of 17. Tired of being typecast into certain roles because of my ethnicity, I turned to music, because with music I could just be myself. I always wrote poetry and music was a perfect medium and outlet for my writing and lyrics. Still today I focus on my music as a source of pure and honest expression, rather than trying to be someone else.”

“As a student struggling with my expenses, a guilty pleasure would be always to stop at the huge Amoeba store on Sunset Boulevard and sift through the vinyl records for sale. On my tiny student budget I would spend hours in the clearance section sifting through hundreds of records, searching for forgotten treasures and exciting new artists. Without a listening post, it was a real process of discovery and learning new people’s stories, searching through genres, artwork, and names of unknown bands, often picking records based on the cover.

Real finds included “I Try” by the Montreal DJ duo Made By Monkeys on the Star 69 label with its bright yellow cover and a picture of a monkey wearing headphones with hands perched on top of his head. The track was remixed by Star 69’s owner Peter Rauhofer, founder of the label based in New York, providing a platform to release his own tracks. My favourite remix is Rauhofer’s Future mix, a relatively lesser-known gem that speaks to me in volumes. The lyrics are about unrequited love.

My greatest pleasure used to be getting home and putting these records on to see what I had picked that day and see how I might be able to mix it with other records from my collection, with these unkown artists and white labels, on my Technics; often with the identity of only an e-mail on the sleeve, only adding to my intrigue of these offerings where people had mastered, created the lacquer, the time and expenses invested into the process.

Therefore, you really have to believe in the material you put out there and have something to say. I never came across material that I regretted spending time on, or maybe that was just luck.

Of course, my collection grew and when I decided to move to London at the age of 19 to pursue music further, my records accompanied me. I gave most of my belongings to charity, but held on to the records. I could not part with them, not even when I was threatened by the airline that I wouldn’t be able to check-in with more than two bags and the attendant refused to let me fly. I threw tantrums, swear words here and there, and eventually the manager gave me a warning and left.

I remember sitting there on top of my bags filled with the records, while all around me became quieter and there was no one else left in the queue to check in. Even then, I refused to leave them behind. Just before the flight was about to leave the staff agreed to let me on board, arranging for my luggage to arrive on the next flight, the following day. Most girls would think about packing their favorite shoes and clothes, whilst I could only think about my records! While in London the records have travelled with me from one hostel to another, while looking for a permanent home in London, stored carefully under my bed, and in cramped rooms shared with three other girls.

But my record collecting hasn’t stopped there. In London I picked up on new record labels such as Cross Town Rebels, Get Physical, Underwater records and others.

To me even though vinyl is expensive to buy and to make, they can never be replaced by CDs, downloads, or streaming. Vinyl is special, the grooves on the record, where it stops, ends, the sound, the skips, the hisses, the pops, it has a life of its own, and its limited manufacturing number means I could be one of the few who owns THAT record. Now, that is special.”
Ethav

Ethav’s second single, “Warrior” is available September 25 via Inverted Music UK.

Ethav Official | Facebook

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