Meet Zero Freitas, a 62-year-old wealthy Brazilian businessman who has spent most of life amassing a collection of "several million" vinyl records. For years Freitas has been scouring the world, buying up records from some of the world's most prominent collectors, including former music-store owner Paul Mawhinney, who sold his collection of over 3 million back in 2008. He now has a team of international scouts scattered across New York, Mexico City, South Africa, Nigeria, and Cairo, all of whom negotiate deals on his behalf and ship thousands of records to back to Brazil every month.
"I’ve gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself," he said when speaking to the NYTimes. "Maybe it's because I was alone… I don’t know." According to the NYTimes article, his obsession is tied up with his childhood memories of his father playing records. When he finished high school, he had already built up a collection of over 3,000 records. He now stores them in a 25,000 square-foot warehouse in Sao Paulo.
Aware that the collection is largely useless if people aren't able to access it, Freitas has now begun preparing the Emporium Musical - a non-profit organisation which will act as a music library, with listening stations set up amongst the shelves. He's also on a mission to digitalise as much of the collection as possible, as up to 80% of Brazilian music recorded in the 20th-century is yet to be transferred. "It’s very important to save this," he said. "Very important."