They say all good things come to an end. And thankfully, Sweat Records isn't ending anytime soon!
Check out all the details below, including who actually knows about Sweat Records and how owner Lolo Reskin decides how she buys her vinyls.
Miami is a city that’s not known for the longevity of its businesses. How does it feel to be around since 2005?
Time flies! It doesn’t feel like that long ago but after 15 years we do feel like we’ve put in the work to be part of the foundation of Miami’s current cultural scene.
As an independent record store during COVID-19, how has it been to stay afloat during quarantine?
We’re most grateful that we spent a lot of 2019 setting up and building out an online shop. Originally it was because, being from a city as transitive as Miami, we had lots of friends who live in other cities but still wanted to support us with their record purchases. With the pandemic, it’s now our main source of income after being closed for nearly three months and with understandably reduced foot traffic now that we’re back open with limited hours.
If you had to describe Sweat Records to someone who didn’t know about you already, what would you say?
We’re a world class vinyl shop, an all ages event space, and a colorful reflection of our city and the people in it.
Why do you think it’s important to keep vinyl alive?
We think it’s the physical format for music that stands the test of time, parallel to how so many literature buffs still primarily enjoy paper books.
What are your top 5 favorite records that you currently have in store? (I figured asking for your favorite might be too hard). This could be by best cover or just because you love the music.
All-time is hard so here are five of my top records from 2020 so far:
Nicolas Godin - Concrete & Glass
Run The Jewels - RTJ4
Bab L’Bluz - Nayda!
Destroyer - Have We Met
Sven Wunder - Wabi Sabi
What has been the coolest experience you’ve had so far with Sweat Records? I saw Iggy recorded his music video there and you were on The TODAY Show - that’s so cool!
Those were up there! Our past Sweatstock festivals were all amazing, interviewing Iggy at the Miami premiere of his “American Valhalla” documentary was unforgettable, and yes appearing on The TODAY Show in front of a fake Sweat storefront erected in Rockefeller Center was one of the most surreal things I’ve ever done.
What has been the biggest challenge of owning Sweat Records in today’s day and age?
The competition we face just from folks who default to Amazon is one of the hardest things. We really hope that anyone who reads this thinks twice when shopping for music, books, etc and shops from a local entity who puts money back into their community and packs their boxes with love instead of from an online, tax-dodging behemoth.
If you could relive a year of music, which would it be and why?
Would have loved to have been a teenager in London in the early ‘90s!
Do you think apps like Spotify and Apple Music are “killing” the music industry?
I think their payment structures are awful, but that it’s necessary for society to be able to access the music from throughout time via the internet. If artists were compensated more fairly I’d have no issues as they are incredible tools for discovery. I use Spotify all the time and the albums I become obsessed with, I buy on vinyl.
What is your favorite part about owning a record store?
One of the joys of owning an independent business is that you can adapt on a dime and create new policies and new initiatives that start that day if needed, without having to go through months of corporate bureaucracy.
Is there an artist (or artists) that you wish would come by Sweat Records?
MISSY ELLIOTT. We know she spends time in South Florida and she actually knows we exist (we begged a producer friend to let her know) and thought it was dope that SoFla has a woman-run shop. Just knowing that makes us happy.
If you could meet a musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
Björk. She’s been an inspiration to me for most of my life. I endlessly respect her artistry and attitude.
What does the future hold for Sweat Records, post-quarantine?
We’ve always been event-driven and cannot wait to throw events again! Once it’s safe we’ll host the return of our Sweatstock festival which we had to postpone, and launching a new series of all-ages in-store events including live music, workshops, activism, and more.
Tell me a bit more about your fundraising.
We’re slinging records online via our web shop and Discogs page, and we also have a cool membership program via this wonderful platform called Withfriends which is basically a Patreon for alternative events spaces. We’ve had to pay our full rent this entire time so even people signing up at the $3.05/month level helps Sweat a lot. We’d love to serve Miami for another 15 years.
5505 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137