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MUSE RADAR: Tay's House of Vinyl

 Photography by  Taja Sparks

Photography by Taja Sparks

Chantaya King is a social worker by day & avid vinyl collector by night. She has spent time traveling from South America to Canada enthusiastically discovering rare & collectible vinyls.

It's safe to say, Chantaya has been on my radar for quite some time now. When I was a student at Kean University in Union, NJ, Chantaya was my Resident Advisor (On the Sozio First Floor Dorm Hall to be exact!) and anytime she would pass by me, my spidey senses would go off! We knew each other primarily in passing, but the beautiful thing about my friends in the Garden State, we always stayed connected. We all cheer each other on in our endeavors, checking in from time to time & it never feels forced when we life allows us to reconnect.

In the time that I did a digital purge & began to start the editorials for the Muse Chronicles, I began to remember the people I wanted to know more about. Chantaya being one of them. I remember sitting in conversation during a trip to New York for a photo walk and telling Dexter (our #MCGuestList contributor from A Walk In My Soles) how I couldn't wait to connect with her. He said, "Oh yeah because of the vinyls?" and I said, "OMG, how did you know?"

With a keen eye for sourcing new locations to shop for vinyls in any city she visits, Chantaya made a trip to Philadelphia to peek through some of my city's music collection. I was impressed by how resourceful & knowledgeable she is in any town she visits. Among many other reasons, this is something we all love about Chantaya, she shares her love & light with strangers or friends alike literally grooving to her own beat & knowing EXACTLY the tune to jump into. So, who is Chantaya King & why should she be on your radar?

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Where are you from & what do you do?

Born & raised in Newark, NJ Brick City. I am a school social worker and the best thing about my career is that I work in the same community I grew up in. I am pouring back in to my students the lessons my teachers gave to me. 

Why is vinyl collecting important to YOU?

I’ve been collecting vinyl for 6 years now. It’s become more than just a hobby- it's a  form of Self-Care for me. I’m a full time social worker and I love what I do, but there days that are good & some that are more rough than others.  When I come home from work, I always find something in my collection that matches my mood, giving me the boost I need. Vinyl collecting is therapeutic and crate digging is so much fun because you never know what you are going to find. You may find records that remind you of a favorite past time with family and friends. Now I’m in a space, where I’m looking forward to helping others start and build their collection.

It’s become more than just a hobby - its a form of self-care for me.
— Chantaya King

How did you begin collecting your vinyls?

My first memories of records & record players are from my great grandmother, Sallie. She had a record player when I was kid and I remember being fascinated by it.

I started collecting vinyl’s 6 years ago; I didn’t even have a record player when I brought my first record. I saw Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” on vinyl in a thrift store in Jersey for $19.99 & I couldn’t leave it there. From then on, I started finding vinyl in thrift stores and learning about collecting vinyls by visiting record stores. 

Who is your biggest musical inspiration?

I can’t name a particular artist that’s a huge inspiration. It’s more about a genre of music that has been a big inspiration and that would be House Music. I grew watching my family, mom, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. come together over house music. Rejoicing & dancing in love to the soulful beats of house. House music is my go to when I’m happy or feeling down. House music brings people together in harmony. Growing up in Newark, house music was & still is apart of the culture of Brick City birthed by DJ’s, and because of that I have always appreciated the art of DJ’ing .

What do you think the music industry is missing right now?

Creativity is what the music industry is missing right now. So much of the music we hear on the radio all sounds the same. I want music to feel like the 90’s and early 2000’s again. That era of music was the BEST! Everybody was at the top of their game. 

What kind of music are you into right now?

Currently on heavy rotation right now is Kaytranda’s 2016 release of 99.9%. It’s everything! Kaytranada gives me vibes from all different genres of music with soulful house music vibes. My favorite tracks are “Together” ft. AlunaGeorge & "Leave Me Alone" by Goldlink ft. Shay Lia

Whats your favorite way to discover new music?

I’m always discovering new music, by word of mouth. My circles of friends have an eclectic ear and we are always sharing new music with each other.

You’ve done  vinyl shopping in different cities & countries. Tell us about your favorite vinyl shopping experiences. 

I love traveling and in 2014 I combined my love for traveling and record collecting. Every time I book a trip, I’m looking to see if there are record stores in that city. So far I have visited record shops in 10 different places. Buenos Aires (Argentina), New Orleans, Baltimore, Philly, Jersey, New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, Vegas. What I learned is that you will find record stores are in the most vibrant parts of cities. Toronto has been my favorite place to vinyl shop. I hit 5 shops in one day and along the way I got to explore Toronto. Next on my to do list is to visit some record stores in St. Louis, Nashville, Amsterdam and South Africa.

What are your favorite vinyl purchases you’ve made thus far? 

This is a hard question to answer. Every vinyl record in my collection has a story behind its purchase. Those stories are about where I bought it during my travels, a friend who surprised me with a vinyl or an online order from overseas. Some of my favorites are Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage: The Legend of Dance. I have two of the volumes in the collection. I live, love, eat, sleep breath, dance, disco and house music. Larry Levan was the best at mixing dance music. His music sends you straight to the dance floor. 

 

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I strongly suggest to anyone who's looking to hear more from Chantaya, check out her Instagram where she shares her daily vinyl choices & urge her to start a DJ channel or event where she can share her pearls of wisdom with you.

As much as we have a shared love for soul, house, dance & hip hop music, if you're into other genres, Tay's House of Vinyl is a woman-creative you want to meet. 

Check out more from Chantaya with Tips on How To Shop for Vinyl & MC Guest List playlist.

Follow Tay's House of Vinyl on Instagram