How Has Streaming Affected our Identities as Music Collectors?
Cherie Hu

Cherie Hu, great writing and thinking. I am of the age when collecting albums was a hobby, because that’s what we did here in Trinidad in the 1970s when we had our own little “industry”, as well as having a connection to the developing funk music genre growth in the wider world. We would buy records, American and UK records of all genres, and played the life out of them. Pop, funk, R&B, soul, and blaxploitation soundtracks,the beginnings of world fusion and world music (Osibisa, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, etc.), and our own calypso and soca and island pop music. As I got older, university called, and work and life and family, collecting took a back-burner. Now, in the 2010s, I am able to go back to those beginning, with digital collecting and completist collecting; everything by Earth, Wind & Fire, including rare Japanese productions, Prince, Michael Jackson, etc. The idea of diving “deep into an artist’s background and life story” after death, as you suggested, was made real with the passing of Prince, George Michael, Maurice White of EWF. The streaming phenomenon hasn’t hit hard here in the Caribbean: mainly Deezer is available, Spotify is not legally available, (hello VPN!) As such, the collection becomes a pathway to reminisce more so than to constantly update my listening. I guess with age, comes a kind of identity shift. There may be a blessing in stunted technology acquisition. I may not be the market demographic of Spotify. Collecting music won’t be a fad for me.