Step Inside is a series of short films and interviews that tell the story of some of our talented members at Pop Brixton. Behind the food stalls and bars, there’s a thriving community of start-ups and independent businesses. ‘Step Inside’ is an exclusive peek behind the scenes to meet the people that make Pop Brixton and to take a look inside their units. We sat down with Jack of Container Records to find out how the shop came to be.
Conversation with Jack, founder of Container Records, a record shop that releases records and hosts music events, opened in December 2015.
What were you doing before Container Records?
I was the events manager of a nightclub in Camden. I decided to leave that side of things and while I was figuring out what I wanted to do a friend told me the ice rink was getting ripped down and they were going to build Pop Brixton to help launch Lambeth resident business startups. I was buying and selling vinyl as a stopgap. My friend wanted to open a shop where he would sell donuts and I would sell vinyl. So it started as one unit split into a donut shop, a skate shop and a record shop all in one shipping container.
How has being in Pop Brixton benefitted you?
It’s given us a leg up for sure, it’s helping us develop from grassroots. It’s been essential, to be able to start from a 12 x 7 boutique. I grew up in Wandsworth, but I’ve been coming to Brixton since the 90s for gigs and clubs. Back then you had Mass, The Fridge, The Telegraph, George the Fourth and the Hobgoblin which is now Hootenanny’s. Brixton was a catchall place where you could see live music, a drum & bass night, hard house, you could start at 7AM and continue throughout the day. It’s been a big part of my life, for a long time.
Do you have any tips for someone starting their own business or record shop?
You need to be persistent and seek out help from people who are passionate about your plan and then stick with it. You need to have passion yourself, (records) are not a lucrative market really so passion will get you through. Keep on trucking, you will you experience setbacks, pick yourself up and keep going.
What are your plans for the future?
To keep developing Container Records and organising more exciting events. We’re going to be developing the media side, podcasts and video content. We put on gigs with the windmill, bands and punk bands but we also do club nights with DJ’s in the shop as well as other venues.
Any finally, why vinyl?
Similar reasons that everyone gives. The actual sound is really nice and as a DJ, I get more of a kick from playing vinyl. A lot of the records I collect – there’s a lot of releases on there that haven’t ever seen a digital release so it’s essential to collect vinyl for those. Rather than looking at a Jpeg of an album cover on Spotify you’ve got a 12 inch sized print of your favorite bands album artwork. If I’m listening to an album on digital, I skip through bits, whereas if I put a record on the turntable I just move away from the turntable and listen to it how it was supposed to be presented. It’s a complete piece of work that you let play. But I don’t put vinyl on a pedestal. Streaming and digital music definitely has pride of place in today’s world. But I think vinyl also holds an important place, I like them both.