You may not know it, but the guy serving you drinks from behind the counter at The Fountainhead Bar can also serve up slices of fascinating musical history. David Ma runs The Fountainhead Bar by night and works by day as a freelance journalist with a long background in music, writing for such publications as The Guardian, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and SPIN. Whether he’s spinning records at Cafe Stritch or hunting down the likes of Chuck D for an interview, Ma is always absorbed in music. His newest project is developing a record label—in conjunction with San Jose vinyl records and albums shop Needle to the Groove—to emphasize emerging, overlooked, and local artists.
“Out of high school, my friend started a magazine. I started writing for it and it really grabbed my interest. It coincided with me getting heavily into music during the rise of the indie rap movement, at a time when you could just hit up big names in the industry and they would get back to you. I started writing for free, over time got my name out there, and have been lucky enough to work with writers and editors that I really look up to. It’s a passion project and always has been.”