Oscar G: From the (305) to the (212)
The beat-slamming, 305 legend, Oscar G, helped lay the foundations for the Miami underground dance scene, while brining Miami’s party culture and unique flavors to cities around the world.
Over the course of his 25+ year career, Oscar G, has achieved notable success, but has never forgotten his Miami roots. Through his Murk label and bombastic sets he has shown fans around the world what makes Miami so special beyond the glitz and glamour of South Beach megaclubs and lavish high-rises. Ahead of his return to Space Ibiza New York for his residency launch and birthday bash, we sat down with him to chat.
Space Ibiza NY: You are widely known for having the Made in Miami label. What defines the Miami sound?
Oscar G: The Made in Miami concept is more about showcasing local Miami talent and developing a local artist community in a city where, most of the time, locals are overlooked and treated as second class citizens by the powers that be. Miami has many different sounds coming from very unique artists that are all valid and original. I think a lot of times it is my particular style that has been coined “the Miami sound.”
S: When, in your view, did Miami develop its own sound that distinguished it from the music coming out of Chicago and New York? And what about Miami, do you think, inspired its own sound and scene?
O: I think probably early on in the development of House Music in general. When Ralph Falcon and I started our Murk label almost 25 years ago, it was all about Chicago and New York. Miami had a very small scene at the time. There were no major clubs playing House music — other than gay clubs. We became ambassadors for a Miami scene that for the most part didn’t really exist. We were never really trying to do any of that, we just wanted to make music and get it out to people. It’s hard to picture that scenario now when Miami has become such a dance music mecca. We would take trips to NYC just for inspiration because there just wasn’t much going on in Miami at the time.
S: As a key player in developing and sustaining the underground Miami dance scene, do you feel the need, or rather desire, to bring that sound and culture with you as an ambassador of Miami? Or do you try to cater a bit more towards local tastes and blend that in with your own flavor?
O: Miami is a big part of who I am, so I will always take that with me anywhere I go. But, I am about reading a room. I like to share a vibe with the audience I’m playing for. I never try to come in and dictate an agenda to people. The artists I learned from taught me to read a crowd, to take them on a ride, create peaks and valleys, make records talk to each other and give the dance floor moments to remember. My style is always in tact, but within that I try to have an exchange with the audience. I never plan sets and never play the same one twice.
S: How does the Miami sound continue to distinguish itself in a city that is dominated by European flavors and commercial mega clubs?
O: It’s a constant battle. It takes stubborn dudes like my friends and I to keep it alive and kicking. Hopefully, local Miami artists continue to be inspired by our efforts and in turn make their own contributions to keep it going. Right now, there is plenty going on outside of the mega-club bullshit in Miami. The real shit is alive and well. Artists like Lazaro Casanova, Jesse Perez, Cocodrills, Robbie Rivera, Patrick M, Stryke, Alx, Dude Skywalker, El Chino Dreadlion, Lou Flores, DJ Abel, Hugo Bianco, Slap & Tickle, and many others, all represent very different sounds yet all contribute to keeping the Miami movement healthy and growing,
S: We are really excited about your residency here at Space Ibiza New York. Do you have anything special in store for us for the launch?
O: I am really excited about having a new home in NYC. For the launch, I am happy to have my 305 homies Cocodrills setting things up for me. I’ve been lucky to have a few long standing residencies in some amazing clubs over the years. I feel a residency is the best way for a DJ to truly do his thing. The launch is the first chapter, it’s an introduction to what is in store. I play from the gut so all I can promise is that you will be getting my all.
S: It’s your birthday too! Doing anything special in NYC for it, other than playing Space Ibiza NY of course?
O: I’m kind of weird about gigs and what I do before them. I tend to just hunt for music and organize my music before sets. I don’t really like to even go out before hand. I just go into hermit mode in a hotel room all day. Room Service! For me, playing in an amazing room on a dope sound system, for a great audience, is more than enough of a birthday celebration.
S: You’re a NYC favorite and have been playing here for a long time, any advice for new DJs learning to spin for New York crowd?
O: I always dreamed of playing in NYC clubs. Most of the people I was inspired by were NYC DJs/producers. Guys like Louie Vega, David Morales, Junior Vasquez, Jellybean, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, Danny Tenaglia, Francois K etc… I really appreciate every opportunity I get to do this in such an amazing place. I never take one second of it for granted. I’m not big on advice, especially in this crazy game, so all I would say is be original and stay humble. That applies to any city.
Oscar G begins his residency at Space Ibiza New York this Saturday, November 14 with Cocodrills for a massive birthday blowout.
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