For most of the year DJ Santa Claus is better known for his infamous day job, but in his off time he plays secret gigs under fake names to the delight of many club and festival goers. The popularity of his mixes influences people's listening habits every winter. Although he has been a tastemaker for years, he only started mixing over the past decade. He boasts one of the largest collections of Christmas vinyl in the world. From playing under fake names at Berghain in Berlin and Fabric in London he has made the rounds of the best clubs in the world, but is still most proud of the yearly soundtrack of cheerful music he inspires every December. For this week's mixtape Q&A DJ Santa Claus reveals how he came to be a DJ and how that impacts his day job.
How did you get started DJ'ing? Over the years I noticed more and more little boys and girls wanting turntables and DJ controllers. I only work my day job one day out of the year and I needed something to kill time with. Now I make my own mixes to listen for my big annual workday. I travel a lot for work so now I have a better soundtrack while I'm on the go.
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How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection? This mix was made on a special Pioneer controller made out of candy canes using serato. I have a lot of vinyl, but I wanted to play some tracks in this mix that I do not own on vinyl. The ability to record the mix inside the software is also really handy. Where do you dig for tracks for your sets? I visit a lot of people for work every year. I tend to browse through their record collections while I am visiting. I get turned on to a lot of music that I otherwise would never hear. Aside from that I check out various records stores across the world on my off time. Secrets of the Universe in the UK, Hard Wax in Berlin, Amoeba in Los Angeles, People's records in Detroit, Gramophone in Chicago and my favorite Zion's Gate in Seattle. I also often get mix tapes along with letters from boys and girls all over the world. This keeps me in touch with music trends world wide. Who have been some of your favorite DJ's to share a bill with? I occasionally play secret gigs in disguise and under a fake name with Burial and King of Denmark. Jandek used to sit in with us playing guitar, but he became an extrovert so we ha to kick him out of our little clan.
What other types of music are you into outside of Christmas music? Although the biggest part of my collection is Christams music. I also love Detroit Techno, Old school Funk, Black Metal, old school hip hop and 50s/60s Jazz. That being said I think Bing Crosby's whole discography kills it.
Who are some of you favorite DJ's? Dasher,Donner,Vixen, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Dancer & Blitzen are all very huge influences on my style as a DJ. They have all been hardworking DJ's in their off time and always turning me on to great new music. Rudolph is my fave. He has mad turntable skills and that trick he does with his nose gives him his own personal light show when he spins.
Tracklist: The Poets of Rhythm - Santa's Got a Bag of Sou l Solomon Burke - Presents for Christmas Steve Gray - Snowmans Stomp Martin Mull with Sandra - Santafly J.D. McDonald - Boogaloo Santa Claus Part 1 Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa James Brown - Sanata Claus goes straight to the Ghetto Ella Fitzgerald - Sleigh Ride Otis Redding - White Christmas Jimmy Smith - Baby, It's Cold Outside Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Jingle Bells The Pogues - Fairytale of New York