Typically, strategically-placed bass drops are not what one would associate with Christmas music – until now. Producer and DJ, AJ Afterparty, teamed up with Megatrax to create EDM XMAS (MX349), which sounds everything and nothing like what you are imagining. We took some time to learn more about Afterparty and the process behind this attention-getting album.
Megatrax: What drew you to the art of being a DJ?
AJA: I think I consider myself more of an artist and producer now more than a DJ. But it started out by the desire to party and being able to play all my favorite hard-hitting house tracks at parties/events and just rock out. Who doesn’t want to party, right?
MX: How did you get involved in the making of EDM XMAS?
AJA: This was really random, because I got the call during the summer. I was on the way to get a smoothie at this place called, “Juice Crafters.” I was like, “Christmas EDM? That sounds interesting!” I’d never done anything like this, so I was up for the challenge.
AJA: This album is so different. It’s combining two polar opposite styles. There really is no common thread. At least with some genres there are similarities, like Dubstep and Metal or Pop and Country. Even though they are different styles, the chords and grooves share common traits. But with Christmas music and EDM, they share nothing.
MX: The concept of this album isn’t very traditional in the holiday music sense. Where did you get your inspiration from when making this album?
AJA: I got the inspiration by studying Christmas musical composition, which is essentially classical music. Unlike most modern music, it’s not loop- based. The groove and the chords change very often. When I started on the first song, I asked myself “what the hell did I get myself into?!” I was trying to strategize my attack. I started off by finding Christmas songs that I liked, that had darker, more minor chords and melodies and then tried to loop melodies or sections creatively to fit in a Dance groove. Then, I tied the whole thing together by using a lot of orchestral Christmas percussion – like sleigh bells. In all honesty, looking back I have no idea how I pulled it off!
MX: Is there any track in particular that stands out to you?
AJA: The big room House version of the Nutcracker, “Room Cracker.” That Nutcracker melody is such a club banger!
MX: Are there any current projects that we can look forward to hearing you on in the future?
AJA: I’m releasing more new music of my own very soon. You can find me on Spotify and ITunes. I have also started making short tutorial and music vlog videos on YouTube for anyone wanting to learn some of my tips and tricks.