All The Wax: Brazilian Record Collector Zero Freitas Is Out For The Vinyl--All Of It
So you call yourself a record collector. If so, I’d like for you to take a moment to sit down and reflect, to re-evaluate your collection and identity as a collector relative to Zero Freitas—the Brazilian collector who is apparently attempting to warehouse the world's remaining vinyl. All of it. After high school, Freitas owned roughly 3000 records. By age 30, his library had grown to over 30,000 records. After 30 and a divorce, his collection expanded into the six figures. Freitas is now 62, and his collection is at an estimated several million. He’s buying up the world’s vinyl to preserve it—out of genuine concern and an inexplicable and undiagnosed obsession—and to give it back to the people by turning his archive into public library.
Freitas’ collection spans several dozen genres and regions—sometimes he picks up records without inspecting them or caring to know the genre—and in turn he’s developed an impressive and extensive knowledge about all sorts of music that forces us to reconsider how to and what it means to be a collector.
Many of the records come from a team of international scouts Freitas employs to negotiate his deals. They’re scattered across the globe — New York, Mexico City, South Africa, Nigeria, Cairo. The brassy jazz the interns were listening to on the office turntable was from his man in Havana, who so far has shipped him about 100,000 Cuban albums — close to everything ever recorded there, Freitas estimated. He and the interns joke that the island is rising in the Caribbean because of all the weight Freitas has hauled away.
He bought his first ever LP in 1964, a Robert Carlos record—Grammy award winning Brazilian singer and composer. Freitas currently owns an additional 1,793 copies of the record. In addition to his warehouse, Zero Freitas has recreated the micro-library that was destroyed in his parents’ home, and keeps a private library in the basement of his home that contains a few thousand records. Freitas reports having an intimate attachment to each record, as well as a story about each body of wax. His collection is testament to his sincerity, and also to the importance of record preservation and the practice of record acquisition.
“Zero isn’t taking too many of the records to his house, is he?” Bastos had asked a woman who helps Freitas manage his cataloging operation.
No... But almost every time Freitas picked up a record at the archive, he’d tell a whole story about it. Often, she said, he’d become overwhelmed with emotion. “It’s like he almost cries with every record he sees,” she told him.
I lost my iPod a couple of months ago and have been really upset about the loss of old One Chance singles, Beam Me Up Scotty, and Keri Hilson’s first record, but this man has given me hope. If he can recreate a vinyl library piece-by-piece and find records three generations old, I can certainly get all of my eighth grade memories back, I just have to be dedicated. So I need to wipe these tears and pull it together. Hit the link below to find out how you too may collect like a god.