When I was a kid CD Warehouse was my jam. Too young to remember what that is? Well, CD Warehouse was a chain of music stores, like Musica, and my favourite one was at the Waterfront (where the V&A Food Market is now) and let me tell you, that place was a double story mecca for any and all music lovers.
I’d spend hours sandwiched between my headphones listening to whatever my trusty expert in the rock section thought I’d dig that week. His knowledge was palpable, his enthusiasm infectious, and all that time I spent in that shop ultimately laid the foundation for TATC to flourish.
M-PIRE MUSIC in Woodstock, Cape Town is the new generation’s CD Warehouse, but better because its fully independent and has a fundamental love and support of local music at its core.
Situated on the same floor as STFD Studios, where we partially recorded our first season of Texx Talks, M-PIRE MUSIC is part of a genuine hub of creativity within the Mother City’s musical landscape and is headed up by Shaun Oliver, former SDO bassist and all round lekker guy.
“I could not have done this without Jon [Shaban] and Kevin [Ramage] and the Just Music team,” Shaun told at me. “Their vision, dedication and hard work ethic is more than a manager could ever dream of. The foundations of the record store were already expertly in place, thanks to STFD, and even though there has been a lot more literal blood, sweat and tears, since I joined M-PIRE, the easiest part was adding on to what was already here!”
“My ultimate vision is for M-PIRE Music to eventually become a household name,” Shaun states matter-of-factly and I reckon it’s an achievable feat, especially when they already boast an epic catalogue of new CDs and vinyl from Beggars, Ninjatune, Sony and Universal.
“M-Pire is kind of like the last piece of the puzzle for STFD,” studio owner Jon Shaban explained to me. “We’ve always had the vision of creating a space to breed and cultivate creativity where people can come and hang out, browse local music and connect with musicians or other creatives. With Musica closing, we all saw an opportunity to execute our vision. Just because Musica closed its doors, doesn’t mean people don’t want to buy music.”
“We’re trying to bring the soul back to buying music and provide a rad space where people can come and have an awesome retail experience. At the same time, we’re trying to provide a space for local bands and artists to put their music and merch into a physical store where people can either come to find what they want, or discover new artists at M-Pire.”
M-PIRE MUSIC is also equipped with a stage and fully-functioning PA, and hopefully when lockdown restrictions ease up soon, the plan is host a bunch of events – from workshops to evening shows to record store takeovers – the opportunities are endless.
If you’re reading this and you want your merch stocked at M-Pire you can hit them up on firstname.lastname@example.org.