The world has effectively left behind the more sacred forms of audio, like cassettes, compact discs, and vinyl. But deep on the tail end of Brooklyn, under the bridge, there’s still pockets of unique music heads preserving not only the physical records but the stories of artists long since past. Victorious De Costa, as a record shop owner and filmmaker, is that person.
De Costa chose his current name at 19 years old. “I was at Morehouse [College]. I was all over the place as far as what I wanted to do and had everybody asking me what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be,” said De Costa. “I just wanted to be successful in whatever it is I wanted to do. I just wanted to be victorious.” He declined to provide his real name for personal reasons.
Born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, De Costa co-founded the ’70s-themed vinyl boutique, LEGACY, in the neighborhood Dumbo just last year.
He said he was essentially born into a family of music lovers. “Music was a way for me to express myself and temper my feelings. So a lifelong thing,” said De Costa.
De Costa was making films when he gravitated toward the opportunity to open a record store with his friends and business partners. He said he had an extensive record collection as a former DJ. The record shop functions as a lounge with live performances and game nights as well as selling music.
De Costa has produced a few feature and short films, a love that he also cultivated from childhood. He directed and produced “Digging for Weldon Irvine,” a music documentary that focused on the joint paradigms of artist identity and mental wellness. He made “Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn,” a documentary about a Black teenager from East New York who was murdered in 1989 after being beaten and shot to death by a mob of white teens from Bensonhurst. The film was spotlighted at the 20th annual Tribeca Film Festival.
“For me it really was about making money, at that point I didn’t know how I was going to make money for the rest of my life,” said De Costa. “It really just became I told certain stories because I felt compelled.”
He continues to make films that move him. As a mental health advocate and trained hypnotist, he’s directing “Ring the Alarm,” a documentary about the disparity in suicide rates among Black and brown children. And is currently honoring his love of baseball and the legendary Jackie Robinson in his latest work.
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w