At age three, Claude Challe arrived in France. Growing up with a potent fascination with Asian mysticism and a deep respect for ancient cultures, Challe attended Rabbinical school and studied Judaism as a young man.
Challe's manual dexterity as a DJ was foreshadowed in his youth, when at the age of 19, he opened a forward-thinking hair salon in Paris, for which he quickly became known as "the man with the golden scissors." As Parisian jet-setters flocked to his door, Challe abandoned the salon and lived-out a hippy dream as part of a tribe in Sardinia, Italy. Soon thereafter, Challe travelled to India, Nepal and Indonesia. He reportedly tries to combine Occidental elements with spiritual elements in his music. Challe returned home to France and was introduced to the sounds of New Age musicians Andreas Vollenweider and Ennio Morricone. He soon became addicted to the country's burgeoning nightlife.
Challe managed a series of France's most famed hotspots, including Le Prive in 1974; Le Centre Ville in fashionable Les Halles (1979); Les Bains-Douches (1984); El Divino in Ibiza (1992); and - perhaps most notably - Buddha Bar in 1996. The chic restaurant / club became a popular destination for Europe's most glamorous people and it was subsequently the inspiration for Challe's immensely successful Buddha Bar mix compilations.
By 1996, Challe launched the record label Chall'o Music. Challe has been quoted as saying, "I consider the art of DJ-ing to be the passion of life. When I'm DJ-ing, I give myself to the people. When I play, I'm in the music."
Today, Claude Challe's DJ booth comprises three Technics SL-1200 series turntables; four Denon dual-drive CD players or two Pioneer CDJ-1000 digital decks; and either a Rane or an Allen & Heath mixer.
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