It’s rare for someone to get exactly what they want, and it’s even more rare for a community to get exactly what they want. However, this past Saturday, Astoria Queens got exactly what it wanted: it’s very own record shop. That’s right, no more commutes to Brooklyn, or Manhattan. It’s official, we’re on the musical map and we’re here to stay!
Founded by Javier Velazquez, Hi-Fi records is not just a place of business, but it is a hub for creators, music lovers, coffee drinkers, and more. It’s a place that people in Astoria can call home, and a place where people can discover new music and make new friends. Upon entering the beautiful vinyl house, it’s apparent that this is a labor of love. With custom built storage racks, handmade turntables on display, and positive vibes all around, it seems impossible for a place like this to exist, but it does.
Kicking off the event was DJ Jay Kinard, who set the mode with funky tracks and retro beats. After successfully establishing the tone for the day, friendly patrons made way for Astoria native Americana rockers The Gantry to perform a stripped down version of songs new and old. Their flawless blend of voices made for a chilling session which will be presented on our sessions page very soon.
Following the Gantry was the sweet hearted Bria Monet. If you’re familiar with our sessions, then you know that Bria is a sophisticated songwriter whose experience in R&B and gospel provide a silky smooth undertone for her honest storytelling.
Closing the night, was Negative Death, a politically charged, conscious pop oriented hip-hop duo fronted by Paul Payabyab and featuring guest guitarist Chris Pizzolo. They delivered an interactive performance that had folks, smiling, laughing, and bopping their heads.
Big props to the folks at We Heart Astoria for helping curate this amazing day. To learn more about Hi-Fi records check out their facebook page here, and be sure to stay tuned for the video sessions coming soon!
Photos by: Paul Payabyab-Cruz, and Stephanie Cruz