Music lover, DJ, cratedigger and host of a podcast about record collecting called Crateism. Fatima Chantel is known to have an extensive record collection which she is a seller, picks for clients, and shares consistently on Instagram. Wearing many hats, Fatima is a California native living in Los Angeles.
You can catch Fatima around Los Angeles spinning and if you’re lucky enough in local records shops up and down the California coast. Read more about Fatima Chantel’s influences in music growing up and collecting records to become a DJ below.
Social Media: @fatimachantel and @crateism
Top 5 Favorite Records and songs:
Depends on the day but at the moment…
Top 5 Records:
1. Minnie Riperton – Perfect Angel
2. Beyoncé – Lemonade
3. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
4. Solange – A Seat at the Table
5. Donald Fagen - Nightfly
Top 5 favorite songs:
1. Daniel Caesar – Neu Roses (Transgressor’s Song)
2. Vince Staples – Get Paid
3. Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking
4. Average White Band – A Love of Your Own
5. Rico Nasty – Poppin
Soul and hip-hop but no discrimination!
Favorite Record Shop(s):
The Last Bookstore (L.A.)
Fat Beats (L.A.)
Record Surplus (Santa Monica)
What made you start collecting records?
I became fascinated with records as a child. I grew up on the good shit. Luther, Chaka, Patti, Prince, Gap Band…my family had their albums on wax and played them all the time, especially at gatherings. Aside from the music, I was always fascinated by the artwork. When I got old enough, I started working in record stores and I also started collecting to become a DJ.
What is the first record you’ve bought?
I bought Too $hort’s – “Born to Mack” and Eazy-E’s “Eazy Duz It” at the same time!
What are the most recent records you’ve added to your record collection?
Black Panther soundtrack and Jay Rock’s “Redemption.”
What records are you looking to add next?
Daniel Caesar’s “Freudian” is at the top, Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” and I already have 3, but always looking to add more of The Police’s “Synchronicity” since there are supposedly 36 different album covers.
How many records do you think you have in total without counting?
Best guess, 800. I used to have a lot more, but I’ve downsized over the years.
How do you organize your record collection?
What is a day of crate digging like?
I’m fortunate enough to live in L. A. where there are lots of record stores. I still have many to discover and explore since I’m a northern California transplant, but I usually pick one and hit ‘em up when they first open or before they close. I like empty record stores! These days I’m digging more for my customers than myself, since my company, Crateism, is getting ready to do a few vinyl pop ups. I’m mostly looking for soul, funk and hip-hop these days.
How does music make you feel?
Emotions. Good ones. Bad ones. Sad ones. Happy ones. A few days ago, it was a sunny day in LA and me and my homegirl were driving around with the sunroof open blasting “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson, singing every word from the top of our lungs. It was a moment!
How important is music and having records apart of your life?
In the words of Rakim, “I’m just an addict addicted to music.” I can’t really function without it. Work, driving, gym, in the shower...it’s with me 24/7. It’s what gets me through the day. There’s a song to match every moment in life. It’s also how I bond with people. My friend circle is filled with music lovers!
Having records in my life is very important! The vinyl I own holds lots of memories. I remember where I was in my life when I got them. I also love the thrill of record shopping. Like when I stumble across an album I’ve been searching for, it feels so good!
Why does female music taste matter?
Music is powerful. It has the ability to do many things, such as educate and influence society. It matters now more than ever in this current climate that we’re in. Our voice matters. When it’s hard to tell our stories, music is there to do it for us.
As a DJ, do you feel it’s important to have a record collection even if you don’t use them for sets?
I feel it’s important, just because you’re really forced to think about what you’re going to play. There’s a lot of time invested when you DJ with wax. You have to really know your music…where there’s vocals, breaks, etc. And you don’t have thousands of songs at your fingertips digitally. That said, I don’t feel like it’s mandatory. I’m not that much of a snob. Yes, you totally bypass this with technology, but at the end of the day, it’s really about moving the crowd.