DEQ Magazine caught up with Shinya Hirakawa aka Crate Digga ahead of our weekly Wednesday 2 DJs showcase at Ima in Corktown (he is our feature this Weds 9/1/21.) He is a staple supporter of the music scene between DJing and attending cool events all around the city. He is a constant in record stores digging for vinyl to play out and sample in tracks! Not only that he is an amazing sushi chef working often at Noble Fish in Clawson, but also doing his own pop ups (Mobile Fish)!! By way of Hiroshima, Japan he made his way to us in Detroit and we are very grateful!!
DEQ: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions! Why did you leave Hiroshima to come to Detroit? What made you choose the Motor City?
CD: I had to leave Hiroshima because of my father’s work. My dad was working for Panasonic for years selling electric products for the automotive industry and he got transferred to Detroit. That’s how I got here.
DEQ: How big of a culture shock was it? How long did it take for you to get comfortable?
CD: I came when I was 14 years old. Culture shock wasn’t too bad since American living standards and cultures are pretty common in Japan. Language barriers and not being able to go anywhere on your own were really tough things though. I would say it took four years to be somewhat comfortable being here.
DEQ: Were you making beats & DJing there before you came here?
DEQ: How many records do you think you have?
CD: Probably 3000-5000? I don’t really count how many I have.
DEQ: What are your favorite styles of music? How do you go about selecting music for a gig?
CD: Hip hop, jazz, r&b, and house. I pick DJ gigs based on who refers me, how much I get paid or will this gig worth it for me in future.
DEQ: Do you have favorite places to play?
CD: I had an opportunity to DJ at Motorcity Wine. I was happy to use that Bozak rotary mixer. Also I was huge fan of Three Floors of Fun at St Andrew’s, so it has a special feeling when I got to DJ there couple of times.
DEQ: As far as production goes, I see you use an MPC a lot. Is that your main piece in your studio? Do you use more hardware or software?
CD: Yes, I mainly use MPC2000xl to chop samples and program the beats. I use Reaper for DAW through SSL+. Sometimes I use Micromoog or Microkorg to get basslines.
DEQ: When are your new tracks coming out?
CD: I’ve been participating in a rap project from A7MC along with Eddie Logix on the board. We should be coming out with an album soon.
DEQ: How do food and music intersect for you? How do you think they go together?
CD: My friend Sheefy Mcfly was talking about how food and music can curate and dominate the 5 senses by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting. Also recipes are like mixing multiple tracks. Chopping food and samples are sometimes similar. I cut 1 roll into 8 pieces like chopping 2 bar drum loops into 8 pieces.
DEQ: What kinds of music will you bring on Wednesday?
CD: Probably recent Detroit deep house releases. I think that’s one of the best crate digging experiences right now. I can just go Threads, Peoples or Spot Lite record stores.
DEQ: How do we follow you and find out more about your events?
CD: Follow me IG on @cratedeezy1995