Digging With…DJ Castro

Are you from Raleigh? If not, how long have you lived here and what are your thoughts on the direction in which the city’s going?

I was born In Washington D.C. but I have been in Raleigh forever! There are too many high price apartments being built and not enough being built for low income people. Change isn’t always for the better.

How long have you been a DJ? How’d you get into it, did you learn from anyone or were you self taught?

I have been a DJ since 1996 so 25 years! I’ve always been a fan of music and in the early 80’s, the DJ scene locally was fabulous. Listening to Mix Master Meatball and others on the radio and going to middle school with DJ Sound Machine (who is one of the most influential DJ’s in my life made me want to be a DJ. I started buying records long before I bought turntables because I knew I would DJ someday. I met DJ Kraze Rock (another influential DJ to me who was killing it here in the 80’s) at my buddy Chico’s house and we talked and I told him I had records. He’s the DJ who showed me how to really mix songs together.

What style of music would you say you collect mostly? How big of a collection do you think you have?

I collect all types of music but my favorites are Disco 12″ singles. I have a love affair with the 12″ single period though. I’m pushing close to 8500 LP’s/12″s/45’s.

Hunky Dorey in Raleigh has tagged us both a couple of times on IG when they get a new delivery of 45’s.  I just recently started my love affair with that format, what is it about the 45 records that you like?

Growing up 45’s were $1-$2 so usually you could beg your parents or family members to buy them! It was a quick way to have a collection on the cheap. I love non-album B-Sides or edits that are exclusively on 45’s. I keep 2 bags of 45’s (around 250) ready at all times.

What are some of your favorite places to dig right now? Online or local shops?

My favorite place to dig is 1000% Hunky Dory Raleigh. Their used selection and the reissues they stock are fabulous. Online it would be Dustygroove.com and Turntablelab.com

What have been some of your favorite spots or parties to DJ here in Raleigh?

The old Kings location on McDowell St. next to Poole’s is one of my favorite spots ever along with the old Five Star location and the old Alibi/current Neptune’s spot. I have done some of my best work at those places! When it come to parties of course it would be Neu Romance. My DJ buddy Chico started it 2001 at the old Kings location and we had a great crew of DJ’s. (Chico Scott, myself, Keith Ward, Mark Toney, Drew Davidson, Mike Williams, Nick Pfirman, Jerry Thompson) I loved being apart of the Mosaic festivals they used to have as well.

A ton of DJs have been looking for alternative outlets since the pandemic started. Do you have a twitch account or some other platform where you perform live sets? Any thoughts about the social media piece, is it something you feel is important to keep up with?

I don’t perform online. I support people who do for sure but I haven’t had the need or want to do it.

What would be your ideal venue to DJ at? What would the sound system look like?

Probably The Ministry Of Sound in London. They have a crazy sound system.

What does your setup look like? Do you use any software? What type of mixer and speakers do you use?

I have two 1200’s and I do use Serato with Pioneer Mixers and JBL, EON speakers.

What are your thoughts on playing requests from people?

I usually don’t like playing requests.

How are you feeling about the future of Raleigh? What would you like to see happen here in the next handful of years?

I don’t know what the future holds post pandemic here in Raleigh. I just want people to treat each other with respect.