Zach Newcastle

Zach Newcastle

Zach Newcastle is a senior who can often be found browsing through records at Papa Jazz Record Shoppe in Five Points.

Hometown: Cary, N.C.
Minor: English
Hobby: Reading
Biggest movie disappointment: American Psycho

On any given day, you can expect to find Zach Newcastle browsing through stories on music sites like Stereogum or jamming out to the “boom-bappy” tunes of Kanye West in his headphones. Zach reads music publications and listens to music “like it’s my job,” and his love for music inspired his desire to be a pop culture reporter.

After his junior year of college, Zach attended Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. With over  80,000 people in attendance, the event rivals festivals like Coachella in California. It only took one trip to The Farm for Zach to know he would go to the festival for many years to come.

“Bonnaroo feels like a whole different world because of the people,” Zach said. “There are so many people from all walks of life just having fun. It really takes your breath away.”

When he was 9 years old, his family moved from New York to his current home in North Carolina.

It was a drastic switch for Zach, but he quickly adjusted to life in the South.

“I had to slow everything down when I moved to North Carolina,” Zach said. “I literally had to make a conscious effort to speak slower.”

Kids in North Carolina were into different activities like football, and Zach threw a football for the first time when he moved.

“I wanted to befriend the guys, so I had to learn quickly,” he said.

Newcastle interned for Merge Records in Durham, North Carolina, after his junior year in college, and he loved the opportunity to fully immerse himself in music. 

Merge had always been one of his favorite labels, and he appreciated the work Merge did for the music scene in his area.

“I really enjoyed learning just what it took to run a prominent, independent music label,” he said. The internship confirmed what Zach already knew – he needed be involved with music.

Zach hopes to eventually live in San Francisco, California. He fell in love with the laid-back vibe of the West coast after taking a summer trip there several years ago. He loves the diversity of the city and the way a short walk from one neighborhood to the next can often feel a trip to a completely different city.

“In San Francisco, there’s more of a culture of self-fulfillment than spending your life doing something that society deems important,” Zach said.

– By  Deborah Swearingen