Rebecca Vasmant – The Interview

9 September 2020

First up, thank you Rebecca for agreeing to do this Interview and for your support and Membership of the Forty Five Kings. I’m also pretty excited about this interview and your efforts to gather the female members of the group together and develop an article based around Interviews with female collectors.

Now to the questions…

1. Tell us about yourself and your history as a collector of 45s?

Well, music and the way it makes life amazing has always been the reason for collecting records. Irrelevant of how rare or common the are, I just love the excitement and pleasure from discovering new music. Some records I have bought have changed my life forever, and I am so grateful for that.

When I first started getting into buying records, it was always a musical discovery thing for me. I always used to go into record shops and just pick up random things and wish I knew what they were or knew any of the musicians on them, and it gave me a hunger to learn about music, in the hope that one day I would be able to walk into a record shop and know some of the records in there. Musical discovery and musical knowledge I guess you could say.

I took a job in a record shop in Edinburgh when I was in my early 20s, and I remember George the owner, who I still love going in to visit to this day. He was like an encyclopedia of music, and whenever people would come into the shop asking for things, he would assess their tastes, go and pick up some records, give them to them and always seem to get it right every time. I was fascinated and in awe of how he could do that. I see my time working in the shop as pivotal in my journey in collecting records; it furthered my hunger for collecting and discovering music, and to this day I am grateful for that.

I remember George saying to me, “you will have a great collection one day because you have the hunger” and I never really understood what he meant until 10 years down the line, with decreasing space in my flat, constantly telling myself I will buy less records this month (and it never actually working out like that), now

I realise. It’s a hunger, like what you feel for food, only for people like us, it makes you buy records.

I feel like time only makes it worse. Each year that passes I think that the hunger gets stronger. It’s almost like, the more amazing records you discover, it creates this thought in my mind that “if I have found these records then what else have I missed”, so it just makes me look more and more. I get this thought sometimes where I think, there might not be enough time each day to discover all of the music you might potentially love, you might blink and miss something and that thought sometimes is overwhelming. Sad almost! It makes me so grateful for all of the time I am able to spend each day to try and make sure that this doesn’t happen. I realise that even if we spent every waking minute of every day searching for music, we would not have enough time to discover it all… and yeah, that thought kind of scares me!

2. Do you play strictly 45s Dj sets or do your radio show based around them and/or specials using them?

I play a mixture of 45s and 12s, and some digital too. It’s around 90% records and the other 10% will be promos I have been sent that I love, that I haven’t been able to get a hold of on a record yet. I just really love music, whatever the format really.

A massive advantage of 45’s is when travelling for gigs, I have so many times had injuries on my shoulder and back because of carting around bags of 12’s, so this is a real little bonus with 45’s, a little luxury if you like.

3. As a Dj and collector, what drives you to continue digging, networking, playing and sharing your love of this incredible format? What do you love about the format?

The reason I do everything I do really is because of how much I love music. I find myself constantly feeling grateful for having the ability to be able to discover new music, and to be able to own the amazing pieces of history that the artists were involved in, and put all of their hard work into. I feel like buying records is in some small way, paying respect to the musicians who put their heart and soul into bringing us such amazing music.

The drive, is really the absolute delight and pleasure that comes with music discovery. And being able to share that with others, and connect with others over our shared love, that really is an amazing thing, and a huge privilege.

4. You are heavily involved in promoting the Glasgow scene and run your own events, can you tell us about the events and why you started them?

I run and promote events at both Sub Club and Glasgow’s Jazz specific venue – The Blue Arrow.

Running a jazz event is something that I had always dreamed of doing, and when the Sub Club approached me to see if I would like to do it, it was a no-brainer and an absolute dream come true. Era Suite is all about allowing local talent to come and play in a club/dancefloor environment, hopefully bringing people from both the jazz scene and the electronic scene together.

Sub Club has an amazing history with jazz. Before Sub Club was booking the likes of Bonobo and Gilles Peterson, it was previously called Lucifers. Before that, the club operated as the Jamaica Inn, serving chicken in a basket to patrons – a cheeky little way to allow it to stay open longer than other bars! But back in the 1950s and 60s, Sub Club was Le Cavé – a ‘speakeasy’ after-hours jazz venue which hosted jazz luminaries including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. With the Era Suite nights, we want to bring back a bit of that old spirit, and create a party that combines both the history of the club and the fact that there is an amazing wealth of local jazz talent in Glasgow.

Glasgow has a very young jazz scene and things are still growing here. Places like London or Manchester seem to have a lot of young musicians all working and playing together, and Glasgow is now starting to catch up. With the newly-openedBlue Arrow on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street being an ‘exclusively jazz’ club, it’s become an amazing place for people to play regularly, and things seem to be growing all the time. I would previously never have been able to drop a jazz record in the Sub Club at 2.30am on a weekend, and I did that a few weekends ago when I was lucky enough to have played after Gilles Peterson. The reaction was so amazing. I played this one particular track that was just saxophone and hand claps and people were shouting and banging on the roof. It was a moment to remember forever.

So my events at both venues are really an extension of my passions, and bringing bands I love from out of town for people to enjoy and potentially discover.

I have run record fairs also at the Sub Club, and for the years that I did those, it was a wholeheartedly amazing experience, that brought together a lot of people who are still friends to this day, which I am super grateful for.

6. Tell us about your Radio Show, how long has it been on, where and when is it broadcast and what is the ethos behind it?

I have been doing my radio show on Worldwide FM for just under two years now, and the ethos is to let the Scottish Jazz scene get a bit of a spotlight, since we have such an amazing and vibrant scene here, but often a lot of the press focuses on what’s happening in London, I wanted to do a little towards hopefully giving a bit of a spotlight to Glasgow artists. Im super grateful for having the platform and restrictions, we would do live sessions filmed from my living room with two bands per show, and it was my favourite day of the month, so much fun and so many lovely people all together in one place, really special memories that I will cherish forever. The live session videos are all available to watch back via mine and WWFM facebook pages.

7. What does the future hold for you with the release of your album, your events and your touring schedule, especially with Covid 19? What has been its impact on you and how have you adapted?

I am super excited to be able to one day play out some of the records that I have been buying during lockdown, that will be a really special time once that is able to happen again. Of course, all gigs and events are temporarily on hold for now due to Covid 19, and Scotland having more heavy restrictions than England and a lot of the rest of the world. I can only keep hoping and staying positive, and creating and being productive in the meantime.

So yeah, I made an album with 22 local Jazz musicians which is my own take on Spiritual Jazz and should hopefully be coming out on 12″ at some point. That is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and thanks to the amazing friends around me here in Glasgow, who are super talented musicians, it was able to happen. It was due for release pre Covid but due to the whole thing, it has been put on hold via the label that originally was planned to release it.

Super excitingly though – and you heard this here first, I am starting my own label, thanks to the help of my awesome friend Fryer having persuaded me to just do it, so I will be releasing a 45 of two tracks very soon as an intro to the album coming later! That is super exciting!

In regards to how it has affected me, its been really tough in many ways. It has really been a constant up and down of feeling positive and hopeful, and then feeling despair once again. I had the best year yet in regards to gigs and touring last year, and this was the year that I thought would be the year for me potentially, and it was kind of sad that it’s all happened at such bad timing, but we are all in this together, and I am SO grateful to have everyone unharmed and healthy, and after all, our loved ones and our health are the most important things in life.

8. I see that you will be part of the Upcoming ‘Forty Five Queens’ Live Stream which we are so pleased to present. How do you see this event as an opportunity to demonstrate what female djs and collectors do?

I think it will be an amazing opportunity for all of the females in the group to shine and that is great and a really positive thing. I do also think though that we should all be able to work alongside each other, and do streams moving forward from this that are both men and women included. Since we are all equal, and since we all are here for the same reason – because we love music.

Well done though and nice work for organising that, it’s a great chance for thefemales to shine and have our spotlight.

9. Would you like to add anything else and also share links to your radio shows and crew?

Just to say thank you so much for welcoming me, and to send lots of love out to allof the awesome people in the group and beyond, who are as crazy as me withmusic collecting.

Also that : Music really is a privilege and I can honestly say that I am totallygrateful for every piece of amazing music that I have been lucky enough to havebeen able to hear. And I realise that even if we spent every waking minute of everyday searching for music, we would not have enough time to discover it all.. andthis thought is overwhelming.

I’m so grateful to every musician, composer and Producer for every piece of music they have given us, and wake up every day happy to be able to just take the time to just listen and appreciate music.

Thanks for your time Rebecca, that was fantastic.

Regards,

Mr Lob

The Forty Five Kings

Some links to check out my show over at :

https://worldwidefm.net/?s=rebecca%20vasmant%20

Links to watch back the live sessions :

Amara Music :

soundcloud.com/rebecca_vasmant

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