The Collector Series: Aka Suga’s vinyl records collection

The Collector Series: Aka Suga’s vinyl records collection

The Collector Series: Aka Suga’s vinyl records collection

The Collector Series is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl records collectors in their most natural and intimate environment.

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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Size of collection: Approx 1800 LP / 400 45’s

Tell us a bit more about yourself

I’m a recording artist, producer, DJ and music curator.

I was born and raised in Kyoto Japan and moved to NYC when I was 19 to pursue my music career. I graduated from the New School and ended up playing in a rock soul band that toured the U.S. Whilst all this was going on I was teaching myself to DJ and eventually became a founding member and resident DJ at the Lesson which became a popular weekly hip hop event in NYC. After 3 years I moved on to focus on making my own music and in 2016 released my first full length album “No Label”. I’m the face of London based clothing brand The Fashion Tribe and intermittently DJ at the Ace Hotel NYC.

vinyl records

What started your interest in music?

When I was very little my dad had a huge vintage stereo console which is a cabinet style wooden record player with speakers attached on both sides. He would play soul, funk and disco and I wasn’t allowed to touch any of it, so all I could do was dance around imitating singers with a toy mic. I was fascinated by the sounds that poured out of that console and I’ve been hooked on music ever since.

How long have you been collecting?

I started buying records on my own when I was in high school in Japan, but only started collecting seriously after I arrived in NY.

The first vinyl record I bought was a Studio One (reggae) Compilation and a Jackie Mclean album entitled McLean’s Scene.

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What does your collection mean to you?

My collection is my teleportation guide. It allows me to travel the world, go back in time and transports me to other places.

What’s your philosophy behind collecting records and how has that evolved since you started collecting up until the present day?

I usually seek out the new arrivals then head to the International and Soundtrack sections at record stores. I love digging for albums from around the globe especially Middle Eastern, Bollywood and Brasillian recordings and of course whenever I go back to Japan I grab my fair share of old school Japanese vinyl to bring back to NY.

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If you could only take three records from your collection to listen for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

Mmm. Tough one. Not even five records?!

If I have to choose three, then I’d take….

– Magician’s Hat by Bo Hansson

because I hear something different every time. The changing tempos and different moods that he can articulate within one track is so masterful.The whole album is so adventurous and tight as are all his recordings.

-Fly with the wind by McCoy Tyner

because this album takes me somewhere. So powerful. Hands down one of my favorites. My cousin gave me this record about 10 years ago and I remember thinking what a boring cover and put it aside for a few months. Mmm mmm mmm I was wrong!

-Contact by Silver Apples

I love Silver Apples, I almost fainted when I experienced their music for the first time. HAHA

I have a prized first pressing on Kapp Records which makes me happy, but what makes me happier is that I had the wonderful opportunity to get to meet and hang with my idol Simeon Coxe. I paid homage by recording a track entitled Silver Apples which ended up on my album. He sent an email saying he loved it! Surreal.

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Do you have any regrets about not buying any particular records?

I once saw an original first pressing of Showbiz and A.G’s classic hip hop album Runaway Slave on a record store wall in NYC. I should have bought it there and then but I was already committed to my own stack of records and left it behind. I don’t remember what i bought that day but I do remember not buying that record when I saw it.

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Any tips for other record collectors out there?

Don’t judge a record by the cover a lot of times the most boring covers hide great music inside the sleeves.

Find out more about Aka Suga via these links:






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