An excerpt from a scholarship Essay

When I first moved to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2015, I spent the weeks leading up to school exploring the city with my father. We tried to see everything in the city, from the historic parts of Georgetown, to the sprawling and developing parts of Columbia Heights. Through our adventures together, we got to learn more about the city where I would be living. However, there’s one store in the city that we found, which has become my favorite place to pass hours at a time.

Joint Custody Records is a music store, tucked away below a two-story building at the corner of 14th and U St. When I first entered the store, I was amazed at the number of vinyl records, but when I started exploring the stacks, I was taken on a journey into the past, with old vinyl records and a record player as my guide.

During my multiple visits to joint custody, I’ve found a vinyl of Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear, the complete works of Bruce Springsteen, and rare copies of the Beatles Abbey Road. I even found a copy of Drake’s most recent album Views.

I’ve come to love Joint Custody because whenever I enter the store, the owners welcome me with big grins, and we discuss their newest acquisitions, as well as happenings in the world of music. At Joint Custody, I’m able to explore the world of music, while learning more about myself.

Growing up, music was always a source of comfort for me. The pangs and throngs of sadness and anxiety were soothed when I would put my headphones on, kick my feet up, and listen to the haunting falsetto of Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, or the worlds within the rhymes of Drake, and Jay-Z.

At Joint Custody, the world of music is displayed in spectacular juxtaposition. As I peel back the dusty vinyl covers, I can explore the counter culture reggae music that inspired Bob Marley, or the rock and roll that came to dominate the 80’s. When studying becomes too intense, or the school year seems to be dragging on, the vinyl records and the free record player at my favorite store offer me solace, and a safe escape.

I think that every person should explore Joint Custody Records. At college, the population of students is made up of millions of intricacies and experiences. No two students are the same in what they’ve seen or what they want to do. However, music is a common ground. Regardless of political conviction or life experiences, music brings people together. Music tells a story.

We live in one of the most important cities in the world, yet Joint Custody allows me to break past the microcosm of George Washington University and Foggy Bottom, and see what the world has to offer in the form of rhythms, poetry, and beats. Music offers us the opportunity to become more involved in the world, whether we make it, or just consume it. I believe that each student looking to branch out and experience life on a more vivid spectrum should visit the record store, tucked away on 14th and U St.

Culture writer featured in Noteworthy, The Writing Cooperative, USA Today & Olustories. Comedian & Musician. Thinker. ramanmcreates@gmail.com linktr.ee/airraman

Culture writer featured in Noteworthy, The Writing Cooperative, USA Today & Olustories. Comedian & Musician. Thinker. ramanmcreates@gmail.com linktr.ee/airraman