Meet the Owner Behind This Michigan City’s First Black-Owned Record Store


by Veracity Savant

November 30, 2023

She’s bringing a new community hub to Grand Rapids!

Della Marie Levi can remember falling in love with music as a little girl, WOOD TV reports. Inspired by her late father, that passion stayed with her through adulthood, driving Levi to eventually become a DJ

“I’ve always loved music. My father was a record collector growing up. He loved vinyl records. He was in the special zone whenever he listened to his vinyl records,” Levi told reporters. 


As DJ Della Soul, Levi started learning on vinyl first, a feat of enormous proportion for any music professional. She then opened up a pop-up shop, selling the vinyl records she had collected with the goal of eventually opening up her own store. 

“I started collecting vinyl and I thought, ‘What is my next [endeavor] going to be?’ And I said, I’m going to own a record store,” said Levi. Now that dream has finally come true, with Levi opening the Della Soul Records shop on November 4th in Grand Rapids, Michigan

“I chased after and caught this dream of owning a quirky, quaint, eccentric, and colorful record store at age 48!  My record store is a community hub, a place to buy vinyl and unique gifts, and a space to enjoy intimate listening sessions with local artists. I am bringing the community a place to celebrate music, culture, Blackness, vinyl, light, love, and energy,” Levi said in a statement on the website.


A labor of love, Levi wants to build a community around music in Grand Rapids and is proud to be making history as the first. Boasting an array of affordable and diverse vinyl music offerings, Della Soul Records is a dream come true that Levi said she knows her father would be proud of. 

“I know if he were still alive, he would be in this store today listening to music, sitting on my sofa, and beaming from ear to ear with joy,” said Levi. 


Della Soul Records is currently open Thursdays through Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm at 1220 Kalamazoo Ave. SE Grand Rapids, Michigan

Cover photo: Meet the Owner Behind This Michigan City’s First Black-Owned Record Store/Photo by Della Soul Records/Instagram


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