“The Record Shop is where I learned about the world beyond the one I had lived in. People like Curtis Mayfield, Lou Reed, Burning Spear and Fela Kuti showed me their worlds, its joys and struggles. I had never even heard the word “ecology” before Marvin Gaye introduced me to it !” — Kosmo Vinyl, New York City, 2015.
Celebrated internationally by over 3,000 independent record stores and countless music fans, the 8th annual Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 18th. The countdown officially began with a press conference at Rough Trade Records in Brooklyn on March 10, boasting a star-studded group of panelists including Annie Clark of St. Vincent, B-52s Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider, and English punk-legend turned visual-artist Kosmo Vinyl.
Kosmo was commissioned by Record Store Day co-founders Eric Levin and Michael Kurtz, to create a commemorative piece of artwork for this year’s event. 5,000 numbered, limited-edition art prints and 10,000 postcards will be given away at select record stores on April 18 – courtesy of Red Bull Sound Select.
Perhaps best-known for his work with The Clash and Ian Dury & the Blockheads, Kosmo Vinyl has been creating his own blend of ‘pop-art with a punk aesthetic’ at his kitchen table in New York City for some time. He started out making postcards to send to friends when he could no longer find any interesting ones in the shops. This was followed by larger collages, one for each match played by West Ham United, an
English Premier League football club he’s supported his entire life. They can be viewed on Kosmo’s blog:
Kosmo’s first solo art exhibition was in 2013, at a London gallery. Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and both Clash drummers, Topper Headon and Terry Chimes, attended the opening night in support. Kosmo returned to England during the summer of 2014 for an exhibition during the FIFA World Cup, displaying a body of work in homage to the England national team. He made his US debut a few months later, with a one-man-show in Atlanta produced by VINSONart, a contemporary British art dealer and artist agent. Kosmo has enjoyed what many would consider a dream career, working with some of the most beloved names in music. He’s quick to point out that it all started for him in a record shop, buying records. He shares his rich knowledge of music history and diverse taste by way of ‘Kosmo’s Vinyl of the Week’, posted every Friday on his Facebook fan page.
Who better than to ‘represent’ on behalf of record stores than the one and only Kosmo VINYL!