One of New York’s favorite DJ’s, Xavier Mazara makes the musical magic happen for dance floors and drag shows alike. And after six long, hard, inactive months, he’s finally ready to launch a whole new era of nightlife… in the bar where it all began for him!
Thotyssey: Hello again, Xavier! Thanks for chatting with us today! OMG, did you watch even one dreadful minute of that Presidential debate last night?
Xavier Mazara: Lol! I did start to watch it, but had to change it because the anxiety started to kick in.
Oh, I don’t blame you at all. It was like have a psychopath scream in your face on the train! Actually, it was a sad evening all around–we learned that both The West End and Boxers Washington Heights will not be reopening. Thus, they are added to a grim list that includes one of your longtime home bases, Vodka Soda Bottoms Up.
I mean honestly, when I was hearing about any of the staple queer bars closing, it was very shocking and sobering. Tons of businesses are having to close down due to this situation. It’s so sad to see any queer bar go–not only for the employees who now don’t have work to go back to, but for the community as a whole. But I’m sure we will come back even stronger… we always have and always will!
On the positive note, some bars are just now starting to reopen indoors. We’ll get to that a minute, but first… a little background on you! You’re a Bronx native, I believe.
I am. I was born there, but didn’t stay there long. I moved upstate with my family, but came back to the city for schooling.
Were you always musical?
I’ve always been. Every musical extracurricular activity–you name it, I was in it: band, show choir, chorus, men’s choir, musicals. I also was on a few national tours. Music and dance have always been my life, and I love being able to make people dance and feel on the dance floor!
Where did you start DJing?
My first gig ever was about 8 or 9 years ago at a happy hour on the second floor of the Ritz. It was for like two hours every Friday. Then I had my first full nighty gig at Phoenix Bar with Holly Dae, Chris Ryan, and Nicky Boom Box. Some of my favorite people!
If it were entirely in your creative control, what would the perfect Xavier Mazara dance party sound like?
Good question! I’m influenced by so many eclectic styles of music. Like literally, my taste is all over the map. But I think a perfect Xavier Mazara party would be very dance and house influenced, with songs that everyone knew sprinkled in. I want to give the people listening a feeling or a memory they can think back on when they heard a certain song, or a certain beat.
Aw now I wanna go out and dance! Audience song requests: Yay, Nah, or Pay Up Sis?
I mean, a tip is always nice–especially how times are now. But with me, it’s usually just how you ask. You keep it nice, short, and sweet, I’ll most likely play your song when I feel it best fits.
Incidentally, when you joined the Ritz rotation, you were one of two DJ Xaviers there. Was that ever confusing for anyone?
DJ Xavier [Auza] was working there way before me. He’s been a staple in the LGBTQ+ DJ community; he was one I was looking up to before I even started DJing. As a rule, I’ve always used my full name “Xavier Mazara” on any poster or advertisements, just so people wouldn’t get confused.
Besides dance parties, you’re also a sought after drag show DJ for queens like Holly and so many more. That’s a whole different skill set aside from managing the music. Is that still totally fun for you, and is it harder work than people realize?
That really is another skill set on its own, as you said. To make an amazing drag show, the DJ and drag queen should really have fun working with each other and should play off of each other. Timing is always everything in a drag show. Some of the best moments I’ve had in a drag show are when I surprise the drag queen at the right moment. The reaction and moment are so pure and honest that the audience can see that, and it really gets them involved. Also, yes… it is totally still fun for me!
Drag Suicide / Roulette / Whatevs: fun to DJ, or mad stress?
I find it a lot of fun! Only thing is, sometimes it can get a little long. The thing is to know is when to end it, lol!
That’s the key! You’ve also DJes the Spunk parties, which of course feature gorgeous, nearly nude male specimens. Is that, um, distracting?
YES, it’s very distracting! I mean, just ask Holly Dae… she would always catching me in a daze with some of these boys! It’s a little embarrassing…
Today starts NYC’s return to indoor dining. Capacity will be at 25%, social distance will be enforced, reservations must be made, guests must be seated, and food must be served… but The Ritz is up for the change and the challenge! You’re going to be there DJing for Friday’s trivia night with Holly and Inita D, as well as Andora Tetee’s Saturday night show. What are your hopes and expectations?
My hopes are to give everyone an amazing show and a good time, and get back to somewhat of a “normalcy.” My expectations are that everyone respects all the rules and guidelines that have been put in place for the guests’ health and safety, as well as the employees’. If that can be held up, then I guarantee everyone will have a fun and safe time.
We can’t wait to get back to the Ritz and see you there! Okay, finally: what’s a song dropped during these past six months of lockdown that you’re dying to add to your live playlist, starting this weekend?
Wow, what a question… there so so many! But if I had to pick something, I would say I’m excited to play a lot of Inna’s new material. She’s been getting a lot of traction, and a lot of her new material is fire. So definitely a lot of her stuff.
Thank you, Xavier!
See also — nySEE: DJ Xavier Mazara (11.2.2016)