Playlist: Gillian Sagansky

Gillian Sagansky is a DJ, writes for the W Magazine, and loves to travel. Here is the playlist she made for us

Downtime is not an option! Gillian is the most active person I know – she loves travelling, most of all to places that previously looked dangerous or remote. Gillian is also a friend of a friend and lived in New York until recently. One night she wrote me a message: “I’m moving to Berlin! I want to see you.” Always impressed by her boldness, her drive, and her individuality, it remains to be said that on top of her lively globetrotting life, she writes for W Magazine and is a really good DJ. That’s also the reason we’re handing our playlist category over to a woman for the very first time and giving her the chance to say a little about herself:

Julia Knolle

I studied German critical theory at New York University, and actually did a semester abroad in Berlin – a lot of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Adorno, and Benjamin. During my senior year of college, I wrote a few stories for Purple, Art in America, and Oyster, which is when I realized that I could be a journalist and essentially write papers for a living. That was a dream for me, because I never wanted to graduate. But I didn’t speak German, so I couldn’t work for a German publication. After graduating I was hired by US Vogue, so I decided to ride that wave. Two years later it led me to W, and then to Berlin, where I always wanted to be!

My interest in music started when I went to boarding school in Switzerland for a semester when I was 12, and I would hang out with the Italian boys who would blast Italo-techno in their dorm rooms. As a 12-year-old American girl, that was astoundingly cool and exotic for me. So that’s my first musical memory.

As for DJ’ing, I started six years ago during college when I begged an ex-boyfriend to teach me. A month later I booked my first gig at an East Village dive bar, where I got paid $50 under the table. There were still very few girl DJs back then, and I wanted to be as good as the guys I would open for, so I went to a DJ studio, practiced non-stop, and started getting booked!

I mostly play fashion events and runway shows. The most magical location was a party I DJ’ed for Peter Dundas when he was still at Roberto Cavalli. The party was held at this exquisite art foundation during Art Basel Miami. And I just recently DJ’ed the launch for Jeff Koons’ collaboration with Louis Vuitton and it was a ton of fun – I played a lot of nu disco and kept the vibe dancey. That’s the biggest misconception, that you have to play low key music at cocktail events. Even at 6pm, people want to boogie!

My club dream is to DJ at Bassiani, a techno club in Tbilisi. It’s located in a basement that was formerly a Soviet swimming pool. It is truly another level. I haven’t seen anything like it, not even in Berlin.

The playlist below is a mix of everything!! Instead of focusing on a specific genre, I wanted to give a taste of 10 tracks that are on rotation for me right now. From songs I listen to when I walk down the street, to what I blast before heading out for the night! A gesamtkunstwerk, if you will.

Follow Gillian on Instagram here. You can read her articles here. And be sure to book her for your next event – if you need a good DJ.

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.