It’s time to refreshen your palette, mind, and life before completing another journey around the sun. If you're experiencing a longing desire in your gut for a brand new "born again" feeling (similar to chopping your hair off), we’re here to fulfill. Redefine yourself with the tunes that Brooklyn DJ, Claire Marie, spins for well prominent labels like Chanel and Playboy. She’s on the rise and her curated “vintage” sounds will broaden your horizons, while making you feel bold and sexy. Claire, will expand your mind with hypnotizing “one of a kind” tracks, that you would never discover otherwise. Her sensational taste in music, highlights the energy of New York when legends like Andy Warhol, and Debbie Harrison danced the night away, in New York’s finest night clubs. Take a glimpse into Claires’ universe, and humble beginnings through our conversation with her below. If you’re never fortunate enough to experience one of her club performances, we've included a link to to her playlist on Spotify (also posted below for your pleasure). Beware: Hypnotic state may occur.
Tell us a bit about yourself - Where do you live and what’s your main occupation there? I moved to NYC from Paris almost five years ago and live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I am a Music Curator, Dj and Creative Producer.
How does your childhood play in the decision to emerge into the scene of DJing? My dad is a pianist and I grew up going to bed listening to him practicing
while he thought everyone was as sleep. I remember closing my eyes and listening to him playing Les Nocturnes by Chopin. He had a ton of records, K7, Cds with a really good sound system. Music was always playing non stop in the house, from morning to night. I truly believe this is how I developed my ears and passion for music. Then my big brother Matthieu started to DJ - records only - in clubs and underground parties in Paris. He would mostly play house & techno music. I started to go out around the age of 17 with him and it gave me the opportunity to discover the night life scene.
What are some of your early musical influences? How do they inspire your work? Classical music is at the core of my musical influences with childhood memories listening to Debussy to Tchaikovsky as well as the 70’ & 80' scenes. And of course, iconic French artists like Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel or France Gall. Those influences played a big impact on my style and “art-de-vivre”. My French culture influences me today when I have to curate music and play for brands such as Chanel.
What is your main objective in your journey as a DJ? Sharing with people my passion for music and the tracks I love and discover everyday. Educating people to listen to good music and introduce them to new artists and genres is one of my biggest objectives, and it also makes me really happy
Name a favorite performance so far? Why? The Blind Man’s Ball produced by MATTE Projects. It was during Halloween weekend two years ago, MATTE produced this crazy party in a mansion one hour north of Manhattan. People dressed up so well, the energy was crazy, guests couldn’t stop dancing. I was playing in the “Pompon room” which was in collaboration with the Parisian’s club and my set got extended.
Do you always feel in creative control? If not, how do you make the best of it? It really depends. When I play for brands at private events, I always make sure to play what I think is right for the brand identity. To me, a good Dj is a person who knows how to adapt her / his set based on guests vibe. This rule is the same for brands. You can not play for yourself - you have to tell a story. Playing at events or in clubs is a totally different experience. I always feel more creative playing in clubs as I am able to share more curated and unknown tracks. People come to see you play to dance in clubs. At private events, there is always more self-control. My secret to stay creative when it comes to private events is to balance between famous tracks - but never commercial - and unknown ones but knowing they’ll make everyone boogie! It’s always a compliment when someone comes to you saying “Hey! What’s the track you just played? It’s so good!”
What was the moment like when you realized you would act out on your passions? I was working full time as a Creative Producer and was getting too many offers to play at events & clubs. I could not do both anymore so I made the decision to leave my job and focus on music. My agent, Bec Adams from Les Filles, also pushed me to take this amazing opportunity.
What advantage do you think you have as a woman emerging in the DJ world? I truly believe in equality between men and women, so I wouldn’t say that being a woman in the DJ world is an advantage. I think it’s also a question of personality more than gender. No matter what, you just have to work hard and make things happen for yourself!
Give us one piece of advice you would you give to girls experiencing setback? Self confidence and be ready to work hard.
Future dream destination to play in? Berlin
What is your favorite era? Does that influence your work or direction? Watching the movie Paris is Burning by Jennie Livingston opened up my curiosity about the ball culture of New York City, the gay and transgender community involved in it. As I play a lot of disco, the era of Studio 54 is one of my biggest influence.
Name a few favorite vinyl records you currently own? Why? Kraftwerk, Trans - Europe Express which is a pretty dark trans music that will fit at an underground party. More fun, disco and up beat is Hold on to what you’ve got by Evelyn Champagne. I found recently in an old record shop Upstate NY the famous record called Rumors by Fleetwoodmac, love playing the track “Dreams” when I wake up!
How do you know when you’ve had a successful night on set? When I leave the dj booth and have people come to me saying “I LOVED your set” or when my set gets extended with the crowd dancing all night long.
Do you currently have any favorite vintage pieces you own in your closet? Have you ever worn them on set? Yes! A sparkling crochet dress. Found it in a really good vintage store in Williamsburg called Chickee’s vintage few hours before to Dj at a fashion week party. It was a hit!
Claire Maa IG https://www.instagram.com/clairemaa/