About Resident Music
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
Resident was born back in 2004 when myself, Natasha Youngs & Derry Watkins (my then partner & now husband), finally found the right site in Brighton’s North Laine to set up our very own record shop. Until then we had been working for Virgin Our Price, both starting out as Sales Assistants after finishing Uni (albeit 10 years apart & in different locations) & totally falling in love with record shop culture. However, despite our addiction to our working environment, we ended up in head office roles (where we met), spending our time in meetings, dealing with emails & getting caught up in office politics. We were no longer in love with our jobs, but through working on the same projects & getting to know each other, we were now in love with each other. Aww!!
It was time for a change – we needed to get back to working in the only environment that had ever made sense to us – a record shop.
The best thing about owning our own record shop is that we no longer have to make decisions by committee & pass suggestions through board meetings. We can decide something’s a good idea & implement it straight away. We have direct contact with the most important people in our business – our customers - & we never forget that everything we do is for them & for meeting their needs. That basic concept is so easily lost in big companies.
What gets us up in the morning is our 6 year old but what keeps us motivated in this job is the people we work with every day – the customers, the other Residents & the many brilliant people that work in this insane industry – labels, suppliers, artists, promoters & all the others who collectively make this such a special job.
Resident started out as just the 2 of us, setting up a shop that in terms of product offer, wasn’t too dissimilar to the background we knew but it quickly became apparent that we needed to cater for a less mainstream market & so the shop evolved.
Things have changed a lot over the years. Our beautifully presented shop (we have a real love for design too) sells a massive & really wide selection of new releases & back catalogue on vinyl & CD as well as tickets for most local gigs. We don’t specifically specialise in any area but aim to offer a really solid range across most genres.
In 2015 we got brave & took on the lease for the shop next door & knocked the dividing wall down to create double the space, making way for a much needed expansion of our ever growing vinyl range (& to think we were a CD only shop when we opened!). The team now consists of more than 16 Residents (a mixture of full & part time), all of whom work tirelessly to bring the music hungry people of Brighton & Hove (& far beyond) a genuinely warm, informative, good humoured & never snobby or judgemental record shopping experience.
The first was Genius / GZA – Liquid Swords on CD.
The last was Big Thief – Capacity on vinyl.
The first record shop I remember going to (other than Woolies) was Beanos in Croydon. It was a haven of secondhand records that you could lose yourself in for hours & hours. My friends would go off clothes shopping while I shopped here & we’d meet up later. The 1st record I remember buying was The Cure’s ‘Head On A Door’. I was a late starter in terms of buying records but once I’d discovered the joy of hanging out in record shops, it was all I wanted to do. I got myself a job on Woolies’ record counter in my home town (the only place you could buy records there) & that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since – sell records for a living.
I love Drift in Totnes & Jumbo in Leeds (although I’ve yet to see their new site). They have a massive passion for what they do & that clearly comes across. I also have a massive admiration for Banquet Records & everything they do. Further afield, Amoeba in San Francisco is impossible not to love & we also really loved Pet Sounds in Stockholm when we visited.
Opening the doors to our own record shop back in 2004 & winning the Music Week Award for best Independent Retailer 3 times.
Battles at ATP, Minehead
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Leon (Luc Besson) – I even named our son after the film
The Cure, Fuck Buttons, Low, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Kate Bush, Grizzly Bear, Joy Division, Portishead, Lionel Richie, Elliott Smith, Queen (with Freddie of course), PJ Harvey, Young Fathers, TV On The Radio, Michael Jackson, Beastie Boys, Battles, Nina Simone, LCD Soundsystem