Oscar G is no rookie and no commercial sell out. The man stays true to his tribal influenced roots. We caught up with the drum heavy DJ before his show at Pacha NYC on 9/10 and he held nothing back. Expressing his Cuban roots, Oscar G brings us into a multi-culture, extremely musical, Miami. His career is approaching it’s 20th anniversary that he shares with his original crew, Murk. The veteran gives us a feel for the DJ scene almost 20 years ago, when some of your favorite producers were still in diapers. He has mixed emotions on the recent explosion of EDM, and reveals a fondness for Adele and Jay-Z. If you are into the dark beats and some heavy drum club bangers, Oscar G should be all over your play lists. I’m addicted to drums and a slave to the Dark Beat…
BD: I’m here in New York City, with Oscar G, before his set at Pacha tonight. So you’ve played Pacha plenty of times. Do you have anything special planned for tonight?
Oscar G: I’m actually working on a new album, so I have a lot of new material I am going to try out. Some of its finished, some of its not, I always feel like Pacha is a great place to try new things out. I also a couple new edits I’ve been working on.
BD: Do you get any different kind of vibes from the crowd at pacha and how would you prepare differently for that?
Oscar G: The crowd at Pacha is always great man. I feel like New York has a long history of house music, and you can really feel it here, and people are hungry for it. I always get a lot of love here and really appreciate it.
BD: A lot of people would say your beats are dirty and tribal. How would you say your sound is?
Oscar G: Its always drum heavy. Since I was a kid percussion and drums have always been my favorite part of music. I think that is always a prominent part of what I do. I guess that’s why people describe it that way.
BD: What was your culture like growing up in Miami and how did that introduce you to DJing
Oscar G: Miami is very diverse as far as music goes because there are a lot of different influences there, a lot of different people. Me myself, I’m Cuban, so my parents having that music around was a big influence. The afro-cuban stuff that a really like was always a big influence. In general Miami is great with all the different cultures, I think you get an open minded approach to music in general.
BD: How would you say the club scene was different during the earliest stages of your career, compared to today?
Oscar G: As far as the DJ thing specifically, the big difference to me is how the DJ is a visible part now, on stages and lit up. Before, I remember the DJ being more heard then seen, the DJ booths were always out of the way. The DJ wasn’t the focal point, the music was the focal point.
BD: So you mentioned the album coming out. Talk to me a bit about what we can expect.
Oscar G: I’ve been working on a bunch of new material for months now. What I think this album will turn out to be is like everything that I do. I think were going to have a CD with all original stuff like an artist album, and then were gonna do a CD with all remixes I’ve been doing recently, and a 3rd CD that will be an full on DJ set. Its basically what I do as a musician all around in one project.
BD: As far as your personal experience DJing, how would you describe performing in a club vs big festival?
Oscar G: Festivals are a totally differently kind of thing. Usually play a shorter kind of set 1-2 hours. Everyone is kind of “on”, you want to give them loud and fast, the energy is always up. Whereas in a club, you can go on a journey and represent different moods, I kind of prefer that. I like the festival thing just because you keep the energy up and its fun.
BD: You have a ton of great nights and play epic sets. Do you ever have a bad night?
Oscar G: I don’t know man. I guess that’s up to the audience to decide. Im always in tune with what I’m doing, focused on them and trying to give them a good time. I’m always on my technical thing; Im a real sticker about that. It just depends on how the audience reacts. A bad night, I don’t know. I always enjoy it on my end.
BD: I hear a lot about friendships between DJs, and getting together to party in every city. Are there any friendships you’ve made on the road?
Oscar G: I would say more so I’ve made friendships through music. Eventually you end up seeing guys on the road, and those things happen. But its more the music that creates those friendships. Also, when I used to play at Space, Miami every week for many years, a lot of guests would come through, that’s a way also I got to know a lot of these guys.
BD: You DJ, you produce. If you had to pick one, and only one, what would it be?
Oscar G: I don’t know man… I think I’d DJ. That’s what came first for me, the first love that I had. I’d rather not make that choice.
BD: As a fan of music, is there anything going on right now that you’re excited about?
Oscar G: I think its cool that dance music has broken into mainstream in the US. I think its annoying at the same time, but it’s a good thing overall. Years ago, younger kids coming into the scene had hip-hop or Britney Spears pop music. Now there’s an in-between world, where their ears are more used to the dance thing, and eventually that will get them to graduate into more serious house music. In general there’s always something new and cool going on. There are pop artists now I really like. I really like Adele, I think she has a great voice and her album is great. Jay-Z’s new album, I love everything he’s ever done. Stuff like that I’m into too.
BD: Do you have anything big coming up for your fans?
Oscar G: Well my new album, the single will be coming out in a month or so. That’s called “Fallin”, and I have some good remixes coming with that. I’ve been in the studio with Ralph Falcon, doing a Murk project. We have a single out called “Amame!” which is on vinyl only. Were working on a new project also, its going to be the 20 year anniversary of Murk, so were going a bunch of stuff to commemorate that.
Oscar G Dark Beat Club Mixes