Our storefront is now open, at 2017 S. King Street in Honolulu. We're located in the Mōʻiliʻili neighborhood, centered between Waikīkī and the University of Hawai‘i.
We got the keys on April 1st, 2021 and spent the next 9 weeks putting lots of hard work and late nights, and not without the generosity of many friends who pitched in. On June 12th, we finally opened the doors for a "soft opening".
There were certainly snags along the way, and countless moments where we were ready to pack up and go home. (We still hits snags now, even though we're officially open.) We knew it’s be worth it to keep going. Some nights were longer than others, others filled with more frustration than laughter, but in the end, every single step mattered, from celebrating the little wins to leaping past giant hurdles with whatever ounce of motivation we still had left. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it!
We appreciate everyone who has walked through our doors with open ears and open hearts. Many friends have come by to hang, listen to music, and share stories. Many fresh ideas and inspirations have arisen out of simple conversations. It's been a blessing. We've also met many new faces, people who wandered in for whatever reason and discovered our place resonates with them. Thank you.
And to the many more people who will walk through our doors in the future, we'll be here ready to share music and stories. It's the best way to celebrate the sounds of our islands — to celebrate homegrown local music.
“Celebrating homegrown local music”
Our slogan was initially "celebrating sound and vision" prior to opening day. It was a lofty phrase, and one I would've dug into with enthusiasm if asked — the sound being the stories shared within these walls and the word-of-mouth marketing that would inevitably spread across the globe (Scottish composer/musician Andrew Wasylyk recently commented on a SF-based customer who passed through our doors: thank you @ags.honolulu for stocking the LP in Honolulu!? 🤯"), the vision being both the progressive and design-forward curation of our shop, from the cabinetry made by The Albizia Project to publications like Record Magazine and soft goods from friends near and far.
In our street-facing window, however, our slogan reads "celebrating homegrown local music." We stock vinyl releases from Hawaii: Aloha Got Soul releases, but also new and recently released records from local artists. We're also stocking used music from the islands, categorized by genre. There's Hawaiian, classics, folk/rock, jazz, soul/funk, and more. Even comedy.
Beyond the islands, however, we're celebrating the homegrown music that artists are making in their respective regions. Take Andrew Wasylyk again as an example: a Scottish writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Wasylyk has created music inspired by the historic buildings and landscapes of Scotland. Both The Paralian and Fugitive Light and Themes of Consolation are reminiscent of the "low light on winter fields, empty suburban streets at dawn, the deep clear waters of the quarry excavated to build the city." Not that we're familiar firsthand with these sensations, but it shines through the music. We love that.
Grand opening coming soon...
We're still catching up on tons of little (and big) things, both in the shop and with the label, which led to our decision to hold off on a "grand opening" event for now. Initially, we wanted to do something mid-July, approximately a month from the soft opening date in June. But time moved swiftly, and for now it's just myself and Lei running the shop (we're looking for staff as I type this). So, when the timing is better, we'll host a grand opening party. I do recognize that "the best is the enemy of good", and we can't have everything perfectly perfect before we decide to do something. But we'd at least like to have our heads on straight before hosting a great big party! Stay tuned :)