Many industries are going through a lot of changes to adapt to the needs of the consumers which are influenced mainly by technological advancement.  The music industry has been going through an evolution of its own since its formation.  Mid to late 80’s saw the launch of compact discs, which were popularly known as CD’s. Despite the resistance from some music stores and consumers, CD’s were seen as an ideal replacement for a vinyl.

As years went by, the industry saw the invention of iTunes as part of Apple Music which was made available to computers, smartphones and tablets.  More recently, we saw the introduction of Spotify, Tidal and Google Music among such innovations.  However, there are still music collectors who still have an attachment to a vinyl record for all the nostalgia associated with it.  They still love to turn the records from one side to the other.

Khaya Records is a shop which sells strictly vinyl records.  It’s owned by 38-year-old Paul Buttery.  He is the brother to Durban guitarist Guy Buttery.  “I found this space which was previously a DVD store available for rental and named it Khaya Records”, he told Jazz It Out.  The opening of Khaya Records was received with mixed emotions among customers. “There is a lot of hype around vinyl records.  They are still going to be popular with collectors for years to come”, he told Jazz It Out.

Paul Buttery. Picture by Zamindlela Zama

The shop is located in 48 Florida Road, Windermere, a part of Durban that is always busy on weekends. Entering Khaya Records, customers walk in to the sound of the music coming from the sound system operated by Buttery himself.  The shelves are packed with vinyl records of jazz, rock, soul, reggae, classical and South African music. It’s the jazz section that attracts the interest of Jazz It Out.Customers pace the wooden floor of this shop located next to City Roast Coffee Shop, looking and feeling the vinyl records on stock. Ike’s Books, a second-hand bookstore, is also next to Buttery’s record store.

Khaya Records always attract different types of visitors ranging from music collectors to photography students and curious individuals who have never been to an all vinyl record shop.   Buttery wants people feel at home at his record shop.  “A lot of vinyl collectors from many parts of this country always pop in at the shop to see what is available”, he tells Jazz It Out.  What is even more interesting is that some of those customers look like they are Buttery’s age or younger but are into collecting vinyl records.

His stock is made of second hand and new material.  There are very few shops that sell only vinyl records in Durban and Khaya Records is in fact the only vinyl store Jazz It Out is aware of.  With the years of selling vinyl records came reliable business contacts for Buttery. When asked how easy it is to find old and new releases to sell he said: “it comes down to who the artist is”. “Some artists are easy to find, while others are hard to get.  One needs to be willing to part with money for a good vinyl”, he added.

December is the busiest month for Khaya Records with customers wanting to add more titles to their collection.  However, despite the location of the shop next to coffee and book shops, Buttery firmly believes that record stores always attract loyal customers irrespective of where their premises are.   His record shop often hosts live performances which creates a platform for engaging with customers at another level. These include poetry sessions and album launches.

 

Stock on the shelves. Picture by Zamindlela Zama

Buttery’s idea of running a vinyl store is more service driven than profit driven. “There are overheads and staff to pay. Add buying of the stock to my expenses and not to mention the three kids that need to be provided for financially”, he added.  When asked about how to identify a good turntable since he is in the business of selling vinyl records, he confessed that he is not much of an audiophile and his passion is just for records.

“I always advise my customers to not to rush to shopping malls when looking for a turntable because some of those turntables are not worth their price tag”, he told Jazz It Out.  His shop also sells second hand turntables.  Khaya Records has customers beyond Durban.  In fact, 50% of what they sell is at the shop and the other 50% they sell online.  They use the courier services to reach their customers outside the city.

Khaya Records is available on social media platforms. Like their Facebook Page @khayavinyl and follow them on Instagram @khaya_records.  The telephone number at the shop is +27 31 303 2936. Buttery’s mobile number is +27 79 343 8634 or email him at paul@khayarecords.com