Meet Desuana (pronounced: DUH-SHAW-NA clarifying here since her twitter does), this fun spirited and lovely woman is the East Coast Ambassador for Vinyl Me Please. Her main role is hosting ‘The Spins’, Vinyl Me, Please’s nationwide monthly listening party. She’s based in Philly but also occasionally hosts events in New York. Desuana loves going to shows, dabbling in photography and traveling whenever she’s able to (usually dragging friends along with her against their will). She also does a blog/ vlog but claims “…honestly I’m so bad at keeping up with it”.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
Originally, I started as a girl looking to get into collecting records. When you first start your collection, we all know how intimidating that can be. Not knowing where to begin, I looked into vinyl subscription services. I figured it would be kind of neat to have records picked by people who love music just as I do. In February of 2014, while browsing the internet one afternoon I stumbled upon Vinyl Me, Please and the rest was history. I fell in love with the first package I had received, so I decided to record and upload an unboxing to show some of my YouTube viewers how great the service was. One unboxing video turned into monthly vlogs, and each month I was more impressed than the last. From there Vinyl Me, Please reached out to me and I’ve been working with them on projects ever since.
What is a day in the life like?
So as an East Coast Ambassador I spend all month gearing up for The Spins, our nationwide monthly listening party. Every month we throw parties all around the globe, usually the same night, to celebrate our record of the month. It’s a night meant to bring together music listeners and vinyl lovers over drinks and conversation. I currently host at MilkBoy on South Street in Philadelphia. Each month is just one big ol’ music lovin’ party.
As soon as the Essential Record of The Month is released we get started on promoting it right away, up until the event. On the night of The Spins, we’ll play the album as well as some music inspired by the record. I also take photos, give away records throughout the evening and meet with members who decide to come out. I’ve met some of my closest friends through these events, it’s been amazing to see how music brings people of all backgrounds together. During and/or after the event, all the Ambassadors will post photos to socials and within a week we’ll discuss how to make the next event much better than the last. And then cycle starts all over again next month.
What has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
One of the coolest things I have been a part of has been hosting The Spins when we dropped Biggie’s ‘Ready to Die’. We hosted at this really cool family owned dive bar in Bed Stuy. The turnout was great and we played Biggie and Bad Boy all night. The night was a success with the help of some other lovely ladies at Vinyl Me, Please. It was just really great to host an event that paid homage to the artist, and felt inclusive to all kinds of vinyl and music listeners.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I don’t think I’ve had too many difficulties with anything work or job related. The last four plus years being involved with the company have been pretty great. I think if there’s been any difficulties it’s been being a woman of color in the vinyl community in general. We’re a pretty unrepresented bunch. Through my work with Vinyl Me, Please it’s been cool to show some representation at events and my perspective throughout some of the projects I’ve worked on with them. I always want the events I host to be a safe space for music listeners of all backgrounds and demographics.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Aw man, I was just a girl who wanted to show off her collection and her journey to build one on the internet. If there are any writers or creatives who want to get into work with vinyl companies or just the music industry just shoot your shot. Chances are companies and publications would love to have people who appreciate the craft.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Yes, I am a vinyl collector. One of the main reasons I collect is because I would much rather have a physical copy of someone’s music than the digital. I think about all the times in high school I downloaded and paid for multiple copies of MP3s just to not have them exist now. It still baffles me how much of my time I spent downloading songs from Frostwire and LimeWire haha. I also believe in supporting artists and listening to music on the clearest format; buying vinyl is one of my favorite ways to do so.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I’m excited to see the different formats in which vinyl is being pressed. I read an article not long ago about increasing audio length, and that’s something that seems pretty impressive to me. When that will happen I don’t know, but I’m excited about anything that improves audio quality and durability of records.
Tell me what you’ve been listening to lately?
This past week I’ve been stuck on Snail Mail’s ‘Lush’ and the new Lil Wayne record. Quite the juxtaposition, I know.
Website: Vinyl Me Please.