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How a records shop in Delhi has been building an online community

Diggin In India with its first physical store is trying to reach a wider audience and connecting groovers with a strong online presence.
Digging In India

Delhi has a new records shop but what works in favour of this shop and its popularity is the owner’s active social media community and following. Digging In India, an Instagram page with over 13,000 followers is enables buying, selling, and listening to music on vinyl—an otherwise offline activity—thanks to its social media presence.

Twenty-nine-year-old Nishant Mittal is the man behind Digging In India. Mittal, who besides being the owner of the newest records shop in the capital, is also a music archivist, DJ, and writer. His introduction to the world of vinyl started roughly nine years ago through a friend and, “I have been booked onto them ever since,” he shares via an email interview. What started as a hobby, has eventually turned into a business and an archiving blog for Mittal.

Finding the missing puzzle

The Delhi-based music connoisseur has been selling records online for six years through his online community: Digging In India. “But,” he states, “I always felt something was missing in the process. I find the act of buying records in person at a store much more charming—it allows you to discover new music. Sure, you browse the catalogue online or buy through a website but nothing beats being in a room full of records and finding something you like, or something that you’ve never heard of before and taking it home with you,” he explains. “There’s always a story behind finding a record in a physical store!” Thus, Digging In India was born in Delhi’s Shahpur Jat as a physical records store.

Digging In India

Photos: Nishant Mittal

All about vinyl…and more!

The store is an intimate space stocked with records, posters, comics, and other collectibles. The store has a recurring theme of nostalgia from various knick-knacks such as Pokemon cards, collectible matches, stamps, vintage tin posters, advertisements, pre-loved vinyl, and much more. “The record store is stocked with an eclectic collection of records I have assembled in these past nine years—there’s something for everyone,” says Mittal. “There’s desi disco, Tamil funk, Bengali baul sangeet, qawwali, ghazal, Hindustani classical, Carnatic, Telugu soundtracks, Marathi koli geet, and much much more.” He also shared how he is stocking uncommon records like spoken words, and political poetry for samplers, beat makers, and collectors of strange records. “We also gave rare grooves from around the world—Japanese city pop, Afro-Funk, Middle Easter pop, and more.”

Creating an online community

Mittal owes his credibility to being honest in what he does. Just like most communities, Digging In India grew organically, says Mittal. “I post stuff on my social media channels that I find to be super interesting, and I am glad people are finding it interesting too,” he says.

Nishant Mittal of Digging In India

Photos: Nishant Mittal

Mittal started archiving his record finds on his Instagram channel, followed by starting a radio show called The Home & The World on Just like most communities, he also started a YouTube Channel where he focuses on posting digitised files of his record collection. “On YouTube, I try and upload songs that are not available to stream anywhere else,” he explains. “Apart from posting content online, I also do DJ sets on vinyl, I write about music, and do music consultation for brands and artists.”

He admits that he never had a set plan for strategically using social media. “I post what I like,” he states. Posting what he likes, has resulted in the community building itself over time.

Engaging the online community in an offline setting

“I always try to keep things fresh.” “For example,” he says, “I’ve started selling vintage posters, now that I have a physical store. I am also stocking and displaying stuff by brands and artists I like—comic books by Anand Shenoy, cassettes by Onno collective, vintage Indian matchboxes from the extensive collection of MaachisMan.” The Diggin In India shop will also have desserts at the store, courtesy of Bobo Cakery. “I’m also planning on doing small-scale, yet intimate events at the store very soon,” adds the music enthusiast.

Besides his DJ sets where he plays rare grooves from across the world, Mittal also runs an IP called South Asia on Wax along with Akhil Hemdev, founder of On The Jungle Floor, a record store. Through this IP, they host themed intimate listening sessions and talks where they deep dive into the world of music and records.