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Cleveland record store owner discusses importance of music to Northeast Ohio's culture

“Music is my life,” said Augustus Payne, owner of A Separate Reality Records in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — It’s a big week for Cleveland as the city welcomes back the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction. The celebration has put a spotlight on the rich history of music in the city and how it continues to thrive on the streets of Cleveland.

“Music is my life,” said Augustus Payne, owner of A Separate Reality Records in Cleveland. “It seems like the music scene here keeps getting better and better.”

Payne spends his days surrounded by boxes and rows filled with history in the form of vinyl records. Visitors come in looking for a physical piece of an artist’s work. Over the past few years, Payne said he’s noticed a growing interest for music on vinyl records. 

“When I first started, it was not like this at all. But it has gone through the roof," said Payne.

It’s something that Gotta Groove Records agrees with. They make records here in Cleveland for local, national, and international artists -- and note that they continue to expand their business as demand grows.

They all agree that there’s something special about how a record feels…holding a piece of the music in your hands.  

For Payne, the sound and feel of a record provides a unique experience and an escape. 

“It’s just a complete sense of freedom," says Payne. 

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