NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA–The Crescent City has it’s fare share of gems. Few are as precious as Peaches Records, which is located on Magazine street, inside a historic Woolworth’s diner from the 1940’s.
Peaches is a wonderland of pop culture and New Orleans serendipity. It is also a slice of much needed soulful nostalgia in a world of digital music.
Shirani Rea is the owner and says, “music is scientifically proven to heal mind body and soul and I also feel like it’s the food of the gods. It’s helped me be who I am.”
Shirani and Peaches Records have been a staple in the community since 1975 and have moved around the city in various locations. Their location in Gentilly was where they gained a reputation as an incubator of New Orleans artists. Shirani and the family would hold record release parties, concerts and fundraisers to cultivate the next generations of music.
Everyone from Lil Wayne, Mia X, Juvenile, Birdman, Master P, and Mystikal would come to know Shirani. But over the years she would have a hand at helping the then budding labels of Cash Money Records and No Limit Records. She was simply known as “Mamma Peaches.”
Today Peaches Records is at the heart of many of New Orleans’ musicians including PJ Morton, the Marsalis family and Tank and the Bangas. Shirani feels that everyone should “share the love,” meditate on positivity and spin a record to change the world.
“Most of the these people in our community have something to say through their work. This is why I love New Orleans so much. I helped record some of their music through the years and produced some of the stuff. My first record to produce was a reggae record, believe it or not, at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studio. Most of New Orleans is my family, especially in the world of music,” says Shirani Rea.
Peaches Records, like much of New Orleans is a refuge of a changing society. Outside of New Orleans, there are around 25 hundred record stores left in the country; and every time one closes, a peace of the community is lost. Peaches Records occupies a magical space as the perfect place to pick up the best souvenirs New Orleans has to offer, the sounds of music and merriment in New Orleans.
To walk into Peaches is to walk into a lighted path of rhythm and pulse. There is simply no space like it and Shirani says, “we built our business in New Orleans on love and trust. Our store is more than just a record store, it’s home.”