Resident Music
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Resident Music is a Record Store with a big reputation. Based on Kensington Gardens in the North Laine, Resident has become a Brighton institution, catering to crowds of record enthusiasts and growing with the revitalisation of vinyl in the past 5-10 years. We spoke to Natasha Youngs, co-founder of Resident to ask about her journey and how a modern day record store works.

 

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HOW WAS RESIDENT MUSIC STARTED?

Myself & my now husband Derry Watkins met whilst working for Virgin / Our Price & realised we had similar dreams to set up our own business doing what we love best: running a record shop.

 

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HOW HAS THE POPULARITY OF FORMATS CHANGED THE BUSINESS OVER RECENT YEARS?

We opened as a CD only shop, as vinyl was already heavily catered for in Brighton at the time (we opened in 2004). There were more than 20 places selling music in Brighton & Hove at that time so competition was strong & we wanted to be sure we were doing what we did really well rather than dabbling in a bit of everything. At the time, the demand for CD far outstripped the demand for vinyl but clearly, over the last 14 years, this has changed dramatically. We introduced a box of vinyl on the counter. This quickly became a lot of boxes under the CD racks. This this then became CD racks being swapped out for new vinyl racks. Then we just ran out of space! So we took on the shop next door, knocked the 2 together & now we have a happy CD / vinyl balance with space to shop more comfortably & a book corner too.

 

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WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RECORD STORE DAY?

We’re big fans of the event as it’s the one day of the year when independent record shops have a spotlight shone on them. It’s a way of bringing us all together in celebration of our place on the high street. A way to remind people how important record shop culture is – either an affirmation for those who already know & help us keep it alive every day of the year or a way for those who have forgotten or who don’t invest in the culture regularly, to be reminded or re-engaged. In the press, there is too much focus on the actual releases & the commercial aspects of the day & nowhere near enough focus on the actual shops involved the people behind them & the culture of our sector of the industry.

 

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HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE STOCKING OF BIG AND SMALL BANDS AND LABELS?

We don’t really consider our curation of releases so much in this way. We try to consider lots of different elements surrounding our buying – customer demand (across a hugely diverse customer base, all ages ranges, locals & tourists, hardcore devotees & occasional buyers), how previous releases have sold, how much we are into it ourselves, press / radio coverage, how much we trust that label’s own tastes & previous releases

 

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TOP 5 RECORDS OF 2018 SO FAR?

Across all the staff tastes, the mid-year vote revealed the following to be our favourites:

Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

Rival Consoles – Persona

No Age – Snares Like A Haircut

Fire! – The Hands

Sleep – The Sciences

 

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ARE THERE SOME HIGH FIDELITY STYLE QUIRKS THAT COME WITH WORKING IN A RECORD STORE?

Of course – we all have geek like tendencies & obsessive behaviours. It’s what holds us together!

Hopefully we come with a lot less snobbery though. I personally hate any snobbiness related to music. Who’s to say whether one noise is more superior to another? Whatever engages someone’s brain, makes them dance, takes them to a different place, helps them feel a sense of belonging, has a nostalgic warmth, challenges them, makes them feel fuzzy, causes cathartic release – that’s the joy of music. One person’s intolerable racket is another person’s melody. One person’s cheesy pop is another person’s euphoria.

 

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DO YOUR STAFF INFLUENCE THE SELECTION OF RECORDS IN-STORE?

Yes, all of them, whether they realise it or not. We always try to recruit people with a fresh approach or who bring a set of knowledge with them that we are lacking as a team. The wider the tastes in the shop, the more people we can confidently cater for. Derry & I can’t possibly hear, understand, know or like everything out there so we need a set of people around us that can help filter & curate.

 

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HAS YOUR CUSTOMER BASE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS YOU’VE BEEN OPEN?

Yes, although many of them are the same people that walked through our door in week 1 which is brilliant. We have changed as a shop, in response to the demands of our customers. We started out pretty mainstream as that was Derry & I’s background, what we were familiar with & what we were confident with but we’ve evolved. We take on board everything we get asked for that we don’t stock & adapt accordingly.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

It’s home. It’s an incredible city. It’s what we know & where our heart is. The thriving live music scene here is crucial to our success & the people here want to be involved in all things cultural. Also, the support for independent businesses here is strong, especially in the North Laine.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR RESIDENT?

Our plans change all the time. Expand Resident further. Open more record shops in different towns. Open more shops selling different stuff in Brighton. Just cruise along exactly as we are enjoying what we’ve built here. Pack it all in & live in Australia. Who knows what the future holds?……

 

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If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Meet Laura Stupple,
our new creative content person.

Hello to ‘Stupps’ our new creative content person

We’ve recently started working with Laura Stupple, or ‘Stupps’ to those that know her. She is working with us on strategy, content and improving our joke-telling.

It’s great to have her on board and below she tells us a little about herself and the things that make her tick and, indeed, tock.

 

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WHO THE HELL ARE YOU??

Laura Stupple – freelance content writer and social media manager.
Food lover, spontaneous hugger, dog person.

 

TELL US MORE…

Writing a Q & A about yourself is weirdly difficult, so I’m going to tell you what I’m not because that’s easier.

I’m not used to writing about myself, clearly. I spend most of my time writing about other people – their ideas and their businesses. I love to help brands find their tribe and build connections, whilst building an identity that’s authentic along the way.

I’m not very good at working in the traditional way – at a desk 9-5. I used to think this made me a shitty worker, but actually that’s the opposite of true. I’m a grafter, but only between my most productive hours of 6-11am and 6-11pm, weird right?! I believe that routine is the enemy of creativity – which is why I went freelance. That being said I am constantly on my phone replying to clients and am pretty much contactable 24/7 (how sad!).

I’m not interested in working on projects that have no soul – I want to work for people who I think are interesting, on projects that I think are interesting. How spoilt of me.

 

WHERE HAVE YOU WORKED BEFORE?

If I listed all the jobs I’ve ever had, you’d judge me. Top picks would be: Sky, Learning People and Edge Hill Entertainment.

 

NAME ONE MARKETING CAMPAIGN YOU’VE SEEN THAT YOU’VE LOVED AND WHY?

This Girl Can – everytime I see it I want to jump in a swimming pool or message my girlfriends to see if they want to go on a run. I massively believe in the message and it also inspired 2.8 million women to get active which is very cool.

 

WHAT STIRS YOUR PASSION?

Food, authentic people and adventure. In that order.

 

YOU’RE AT YOUR OWN FUNERAL SITTING AT THE BACK OF THE ROOM – WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT YOU?

What a nutter. Just kidding, but they probably would be telling stories about the crazy things I’ve done – like deciding I was going to Africa and booking a flight for that day. Yes, I actually did that.

 

WE HEAR YOU LIKE A ‘CRUISE’. WHERE ELSE CAN WE FIND YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF?

If it’s sunny: the beach! If it’s raining: in a coffee shop with a good book. If it’s Saturday: in the tea hut at AFC Stoneham.

 

AOB (ANY OTHER BOLLOCKS) WE SHOULD KNOW?

I can rap the whole of Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G.

 

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