When Zach Saginaw plays electronic music, he goes by the name Shigeto. He was born and raised in Ann Arbor and has performed across the globe.
Saginaw is a drummer and studied jazz at the New School university in New York City. He later moved to London to play jazz gigs. While working a side job in London that required a lot of manual labor, he developed tendonitis in his arms and had to stop drumming. Performing and making music couldn’t be a part of his life, that is, until his brother suggested he make electronic music.
“And so I did because I had no creative outlet and was immediately like, wow, I don’t depend on anyone and I can make something and render it immediately,” Saginaw says.
Saginaw is able to drum again. Now, when Saginaw plays live shows, he improvises on drums on top of his electronic tracks.
“I try to incorporate drums as much as I can to the live shows to show that someone is working or show that I’m sweating,” Saginaw says.
Saginaw started playing jazz again, but instead of playing drums, he plays electronic sounds to accompany a New York based jazz quartet.
Saginaw now lives in the Detroit enclave of Hamtramck. He’s building a music studio in a vintage auto garage there that will also include an art studio and gallery for the public. Saginaw says he moved back to southeast Michigan because he wanted something more than touring six months out of the year. He wants to give back to a place that he cares about.
“I just wanted to come home and build something, start looking at the next step in the big picture,” Saginaw says.
Saginaw's latest EP, called Intermission, will be released Friday.