HomeCD JunkiesCD Junkies: Collector Karen Fernández

CD Junkies: Collector Karen Fernández

For over a year, 360°Sound has been bringing our readers exclusive interviews with CD collectors from around the world. CD Junkies has been one of our most popular series, and we thank you for your continued support. We’re going to keep it going, especially with all the recent discussion about a “CD revival.”

Our latest CD junkie is One Direction “stan” Karen Fernández. The 23-year-old, who lives in Tucumán, Argentina, has been collecting CDs since 2007. She currently has about 200 discs. “I like the sound quality, size, price, and the visuals,” Fernández said of her favorite format.

360°Sound: How were you exposed to CDs and what attracted you to them?

Karen Fernández: I got my first CD in 2007 when streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music didn’t even exist. CD was the only way I could listen to music whenever I wanted. I started to slowly build a collection because my parents would give me the soundtracks of my favorite Disney shows as gifts.

The experience of listening to music with the CD booklet in my hand, reading the lyrics and enjoying the visuals, is unique. I learned songs that way. I’m not a native English speaker, so I needed the lyrics to learn the songs I liked. I always listen to English songs. I don’t know why I can’t connect to Spanish music. I listen to some artists, but I’m not a fan.

There’s been talk about a CD revival. Teens and young adults have been posting their CDs on TikTok. Do you find that kids who grew up in the streaming era are gravitating to CDs?

I think we’re living in a CD revival. However, some people never left the format. I grew up collecting CDs as a teen and now I still do as a young adult. I feel like any fan wants to collect physical music of their favorite artists. The CD is the cheapest and easiest format to find.

I think TikTok is a motivational platform for those who always wanted to collect. Now, they’ve been inspired by those who show their collection online. In the middle of the pandemic, I started to see in my ‘For You’ page, people who uploaded their collection. I started to do the same. Most people show their vinyl collection, but there are quite a lot of people who also collect CDs or cassettes.

I think it’s cool that in TikTok or other social media people are getting famous because of their physical music collection or reviews. Music reviewers have always existed, but now they’re getting recognition.

Who are some of your all-time favorite artists?

I’m a pop fan. Over the last 12 years, I’ve been listening to and stan-ing artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Little Mix, Miley Cyrus. Now, I’m also listening to Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Anne Marie, Ashe, and more.

What are some of your most prized discs in your collection?

In 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, I lost my job. I had too much time to spend online and listen to music. That’s when I discovered that some artists sell signed CDs when they announce a new album release. I always bought all my CDs at the local record store, and because I’m from Latin America, I had to wait a while for the albums to be available here. When I started my collection, I didn’t even have a credit card or any knowledge of how to shop online.

During the pandemic, I started a signed CD collection. I bought some from the artists’ official websites. I also got some signed albums [offered] in stores. I can’t believe I managed to get over 40 signed CDs in two years! This is something nearly impossible for a South American fan because we have so many restrictions on shopping internationally, but I managed to get them.

I can’t believe I have something my favorite artists touched. I didn’t have the chance to see them live because I don’t live in Buenos Aires. When they first came here, I was a teen, and I couldn’t afford the ticket and the trip. My parents don’t like the idea of spending so much money on that.

I was supposed to see some of my idols in 2020, but their shows were canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. I was sad because I worked so hard to earn the money. Getting something signed by them was the only way to feel closer to them.

What CDs are at the top of your want list?

At first, I just wanted to collect the studio albums of my favorite artists, then I started to buy some EPs, singles, and deluxe editions. Currently at the top of my list is the “More Than This” CD single by One Direction. That’s the only one I’m missing. The alternative deluxe editions of Taylor Swift albums Lover and Folklore. I have over 30 albums on my wishlist [laughs].

What do you think about the future of the CD? Do you think it could see a resurgence like vinyl has?

I think there will always be music fans, and I don’t think any of the formats will die. I know so many people who support their favorite artists by buying all the formats available, and that’s great. I’m glad people are still choosing CDs. Vinyl and cassettes have had a resurgence, but CDs never left.

You can follow Karen Fernández on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

And you can read the true confessions of other avowed CD Junkies

CD Junkies: Collector Sal Rocha

CD Junkies: Collector Mike Hipple

CD Junkies: Collector Melina Richart


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