Vinyl days continue at Far East Plaza

Vinyl days continue at Far East Plaza
Mr Bobby Yeo with his sister Belinda at his Far East Plaza store.

SINGAPORE - For 35 years, he has kept going as the music industry changed around him.

As the owner of record store The Attic, Mr Bobby Yeo has seen the popularity of vinyl records give way to cassette tapes, CDs and finally - much to his chagrin - MP3s. But his store has weathered all these changes.

Mr Yeo tells The New Paper on Sunday: "We remain one of the last few independent record stores still standing strong."

He sounds quietly confident, even as he adds: "I've seen big record stores like Gramophone and HMV slowly close one store after another over the years."

But now a question mark hangs over the future of the store.

Mr Yeo was recently diagnosed with arthritis and his doctor told him that the air-conditioning in the store will aggravate the condition.

He is now looking for a new owner so that the well-known local institution can stay open.

There are only a few options open to Mr Yeo, one of which is to close the store for good -

The Attic is one of a handful record stores left in Singapore still selling vinyl records.

To survive in an increasingly digital industry, The Attic has had to change with the times.

The store, which moved to Far East Plaza last year, occupies a cosy 323 sq ft unit on the second storey.

It now sells mostly CDs, of almost all genres.

Vinyl records - which have recently seen an upswing in interest - take up one corner while pop-culture posters adorn the walls.

Dare to say the words "download" or "iTunes", and he groans.

"The quality is not good at all," says Mr Yeo. "It's so much better to own a physical copy."

He started The Attic back in 1978.

Mr Yeo was already a music lover, having been a member of local band The Survivor.

Knowing that he wouldn't want to be involved in anything other than music, his mother gave him $60,000 to set up his own record store.

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