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Zero Freitas, 62 – a wealthy Brazilian businessman who’s spent his life collecting several million vinyl records – recently shared his story with The New York Times. Freitas has bought records from some of the world’s biggest collectors such as former music store owner Paul Mawhinney and renowned West Coast collector Murray Gershenz.
“I’ve gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself,” said Freitas who suggests his obsession is tied to childhood memories of his father playing records. Freitas bought his first record as an adolescent in 1964, and by the time he finished high school he owned around 3,000 records. After he graduated from studying music composition in college, Freitas took over the family business — a private bus line that serves the Sao Paulo suburbs — and at age 30 had about 30,000 records. Ten years later, the bus company prospered and made him rich. Around that time, Freitas split up with his wife and that’s when his buying habits escalated, soon adding six figures to his collection. “Maybe it’s because I was alone,” Freitas said.
Freitas now has a team of international scouts in South Africa, Nigeria, Cairo, New York and Mexico City, all of whom represent his mainstay, negotiating deals and shipping records back to Brazil every month. Alongside a dedicated team of interns who help catalog his ample collection, Freitas has began to set up the Emporium Musical — a non-profit organization and music library that digitizes as much of the collection as possible. Head to The New York Times to read the full article.