• One thing about vinyl records is that they can last for a pretty long time
• Some music has not been converted to digital and still sounds how it did long ago
Vinyl records and turntables are now becoming the ‘in-thing’.
They are slowly making a comeback, and I love it.
As part of my long-term plans, I intend to becoming a vinyl collector.
Whether first pressings or reissues, I am determined to learn and enjoy this type of musical culture.
I don’t know why but they seem really cool.
The few artistes that I listen to are now rolling out their albums in vinyl, and best believe, I am making pre-orders and orders once I buy my first turntable.
The value that comes with vinyls makes most of them rare and largely limited editions because they are like NFTs of music.
I recently attended the Goethe Institut's reopening of its spaces, and I loved that the highlight of the event was the vinyl exhibition.
I found this a great start to my collector journey. Basically, part of my learning and due diligence stage.
There, I met Samuel Owiny, alias DJ Stone, who hails from Kampala, Uganda.
His parents relocated to South Nyanza, Kenya, when he was a little boy, before they finally resettled in Nairobi, where he went to school.
His love and inspiration for vinyls and music was impacted by his dad.
When his dad started giving up on music, Owiny took it up upon himself to pick up from where he left off and carry on with the music legacy.
Right from when he was young, he used to sing in the church up till when he was done with school.
After school, Owiny used to hang out at different Nairobi music joints, where he learnt more about his music taste and how to become a deejay.
He adopted the stage name DJ Stone and started playing in different joints.
He enjoys spinning vinyls while using turntables and prefers the latter to the new-generation controllers like the Serato and Pioneer FX.
“Deejaying with a turntable is just like driving a manual car. When you change gears, you get to feel exactly how the car is moving. Same case applies here,” Owiny said.
“The music is soul food, and I am given the chance to move my hand freely to start the song from a specific part without having the limitations of buttons. I play from the heart and get to actually feel the originality of the music.”
At the exhibition, DJ Stone was showcasing vinyls by different artistes.
This included Kamba land artists like the Kilimambogo, Kikuyu artistes like DK Kamau, Nyanza’s Omolo Gabriel and Western Kenya’s David Amunga.
He was also exhibiting Fela Kuti, Lucky Dube, Miriam Makeba, Sam Mangwana and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
“I remember the first time when I heard some of these artistes, we were still living in Mbotela Estate. Some of my earliest favourite artistes were Edward Maya, Franco and Michael Jackson,” he said.
As a rhumba and pop music fanatic, Owiny said the thought of having vinyls make a comeback is a great idea as they were slowly fading from the music scene.
“Music today is hidden as it requires a click of a button here and there. With a turntable and a vinyl, one gets to see and feel the music. You see the vinyl as it goes round and the stylus as it falls and settles on the groove making it catchy,” he said.
One thing about vinyl records is that they can last for a pretty long time as some music has not been converted to digital and still sounds the same as it did in the early days.
Owiny’s passion and love for music and vinyls was really inspiring.
Watching an artiste enjoy his art as well as warmly talk about and describe what he loves is admirable.
I think bringing back that part of the earliest generation will allow us to hold on to the history so that our future kids will benefit and learn from the past times.