Let’s groove with the soulful 30 year old Taya. From Newark, New Jersey Taya is a School Social Worker and she hosts a podcast with two of her girlfriends called 3P’s In A Pod. Already on the right path discovering and adding jazz artists like Lonnie Liston Smith to her collection, Taya for sure has a dope collection of Soul/R&B, Hip-Hop, and Disco/House records.
“House music is a little bit of Funk, Disco and Soul. It’s grooving on the one…when the beat drops…you can’t help but two step.”
If you haven’t checked out Taya’s collection via Instagram you’re definitely missing out, but its not too late.
“Bring U Up by Romanthony has been one of my all time favorite house songs, since I was a kid.”
Below you can read more about Taya’s record collecting journey and be sure to follow her via social media.
@TayshouseofVinyl and @3psinapod88
Top 5 Favorite Songs:
“Doing it to the Death” James Brown (The J.B.’s)
“A Song for You” Donny Hathaway
“Love is the Message” by MFSB-Deep Grooves
“Free” Deniece Williams
“Love Injection” by Trussel
Top Favorite Records:
“Hotter Than July” by Stevie Wonder
“Come To My Garden” by Minnie Riperton
“I Want You” by Marvin Gaye
“Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story” by Larry Levan
House Music, Funk, Disco, R&B and Hip Hop
Favorite Record Shop(s):
Iris Records (Jersey City, NJ)
Trax n Wax (Catonsville, MD)
Dusty Groove (Chicago, Illinois)
Superior Elevation Records (Brooklyn, NY)
A1 Records (New York, NY)
Wax ‘N’ Facts (Atlanta,GA)
What made you start collecting records?
I started purchasing records, without even having a record player. Collecting records and learning about the vinyl sound just happened. Buying the records triggered a childhood memory for me. My great grandmother Sallie had a vintage record player in her apartment and I spent a lot of time with her and my grandmother. I was always amazed and intrigued by the music coming from that player. I remember grabbing records from it and just watching it spin. I was about 7 or 8 at the time. Every since purchasing my first record, I start searching for my favorite jams. A few years later, I came home and said, “Wow, my living room is turning into a mini record shop”.
What is the first record you’ve bought?
The story goes like this, about 8 years ago I was in Unique Thrift store in Union, NJ with my mom. We love to thrift shop and as we are at the register checking out, I notice a Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” record behind the shelf for $19.99. I literally said to mom, “I can’t leave this here”. At the very moment, I brought my very first record, with no record player at home. No thought in mind to even purchase one yet.
What are the most recent records you’ve added to your record collection?
The Dizzy Gillespie Story, South Shore Commission Music from “Do the Right Thing” A Spike Lee JointI have not been record shopping in a few months. I’m gearing up for my first crate digging session for this year.
What records are you looking to add next?
I’m starting to explore the genre of Jazz. I’m looking forward to discovering Jazz while digging. I just discovered “Cosmic Funk & Spiritual Sounds” by Lonnie Liston Smith. Hoping to stumble upon some of his records this year.
And I love collecting vinyl from film. I love when I find scores from movies. I would love to get a copy of music from “If Beale Street Could Talk”. Talk about some tunes to touch your SOUL.
How many records do you think you have in total without counting?
People are always asking me this and I’m always just guessing. I’ve never counted. I think approximately 350-400.
How do you organize your record collection?
True story, I’ve been trying to organize my collection for the last 2-3 years. My collection is far from organized at the moment; I plan to get to it this year. Most importantly, I know where everything is, that’s all that matters.
What is a day of crate digging like?
Crate digging is always an adventure and journey down memory lane. First off, back in 2014 I linked my love for traveling and record collecting together. When I’m traveling, after I book my hotel and or flight, I’m looking up the record stores in the area. I love crate digging in new cities. My first international crate digging session was in Buenos Aries, Argentina. I introduced some of students to crate digging that day. Crate digging as an adventure; I never go to a record store with a list of records I’m looking for. I like to dig in the crates and see what I find. You just never know what you are going to discover. Sometimes you come across records that trigger a memory from your childhood or a moment in time. I love record shopping, I’m singing songs, as I’m digging, I’m thinking about the first time I heard a record.
How does music make you feel?
I always say my record collection is the soundtrack to my soul; it is the definition of my two-step and the rhythm of my heart. Music is my happy place. The dance floor always lives beneath my feet. Where there is music, there is always space to move your body freely. Music makes me feel free and empowered. In particularly, house music does it for me. It brings me so much joy or any given day. Music is my self-care.
How important is music and having records apart of your life?
Music and my collection are important to me because it gets me through everything. My self-care is my collection; I come home from work and always find a record to match my mood. My love for music draws me to collecting records. Records are timeless, and the album cover Art is a whole other subject. The records and songs have a story to tell, they are the soundtracks to our lives. Music is love in motion.
Why does female music taste matter?
We have a story to tell and sometimes we share our stories through music. Female music is empowering, it's uplifting, it's motivating and inspiring. It will always matter and we have to continue to create for the next generation.
All photos featured are by photographer Taja Sparks.