An award-winning songwriter, producer, and DJ, Oscar is one of dance music’s brightest and most enduring stars. As part of seminal production teams Liberty City, Murk, and Funky Green Dogs, he boasts hits – Billboard chart-toppers as well as underground smashes – in every decade, every trend, and every market. “Some Lovin’,” “Fired Up,” and “Dark Beat.” With new tracks available on Murk Records’ Beatport page, Oscar G: Beats Vol. 2 release out now and a new mix of “Dark Beat” coming out after WMC with remixes from Danny Daze, Climbers and Saso Recyd – this is one busy musician…
Q) Oscar, First off, thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me…I’ve found you inspirational in many ways but mainly for your reason to stay relevant in a fickle industry, how do you do it? How does the Oscar G brand stay relevant?
A) Thanks for the kind words Danny. I wish there was some well thought out game plan I could give you, but I basically just operate on instinct. I love making and playing music. I began spinning at parties as a twelve year old kid. This is just what I do and for many people defines who I am. The rest is just luck.
Q) Can you talk about your partnership with Lazaro Casanova? How did it happen and what does FUTRO mean/signify?
A) Laz and I have been friends for a few years and have collaborated on several songs and parties. FUTRO is basically a vehicle for the stuff we work on, be it music or events. FUTRO is a word I made up for a song title combining Future/Retro. Laz liked the idea and felt it sort of described a lot of the stuff we collab on. We have a monthly FUTRO party at Bardot in Miami where we play a back to back set which has been really cool. We also do a live two hour radio show on klangbox.fm every Monday from 4-6 pm.
Q) It’s definitely a great show to listen to when you are stuck in Miami rush hour…Can you talk a little bit about your Oscar G: Beats Vol. 2 release? What makes this release stand out? You’ve described this album as a return to the “deeper side of things” can you explain?
A) This album is best described as the unfinished second half of my last album “Beats”. When I started working on that album I’d been working on this idea of approaching an album as a DJ set. I created original songs that I feel fit within that DJ set, eventually mixing and arranging all the songs as I would a DJ set. These days, I found this process more challenging than doing a straight up DJ mix compilation using various artists’ music. I ended up with ‘almost two albums’ worth’ of music. “Beats Vol. 2” was the completion of that ‘almost second albums’ worth’ of stuff. That being said, I change my mind about things like this pretty often (laughs) so next project may be totally different!
Q) The creative mind at work is always interesting like that…I see you have a diverse list of musical influences spanning from Celia Cruz to 2 Live Crew, who influences you the most?
A) This is a tough one to answer…and there is no one good answer…I am constantly being influenced and inspired by music and art in general, new and old. So I guess the best way to answer is by listing all of them: Benny More, Depeche Mode, Celia Cruz, Joy Division, Mantronik, Blaze, Munequitos De Matanzas, Ten City, Todd Terry, Ciro Llerena, Junior Vasquez, Yaz, Kraftwerk, Larry Levan, Patrick Cowley, Lime, Francois K, Danny Tenaglia, 2 Live Crew, Man Parrish, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, David Morales, Arthur Baker, John Robie, Bobby Konders.
Q) That’s a hefty and diverse list! You work a lot in New York City, how does the scene differ there then Miami? Why do you think New Yorkers respond so well to your music?
A) New York is like a second home and one of my favorite places to be. It has a long history of music and House music in particular. It has been a huge influence on my music since I can remember. I feel very lucky and grateful that I get to play to such great audiences in New York. It is a childhood dream come true for me to play in these amazing venues there. There is a lot of love for this music there and I think they can tell that my love for it is sincere. NYC recognizes real.
Q) With the commercialization of dance music, where do you see house music going? And its future?
A) The whole “EDM” thing seems like an entirely different animal to me than House Music, so I’m not sure their paths are even connected. I think anything that brings more awareness to House and Techno music is a good thing. I’m just thankful for whoever came up with the “EDM” term. If and when that bubble explodes, it won’t take House/Techno with it.
Q) Awesome, I love that…In your career what was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
A) Most of my mistakes probably start with taking advice from suits. Therefore, I no longer take advice from suits. The rest of them are things I did for money. Therefore, I no longer do things for money… unless I really need money.
Q) Ok now for a fun question…If you were deserted on an Island and could only play one record what would that be?
A) That would be horrible…and the record playing would be: Quadrant Six “Body Mechanic”
Q) A question from @MiamiBeachBiz twitter follower @victoriamuniz: What/ Where what was your first gig in Europe? Also, how has the Miami music scene changed from when you started producing?
A) Thanks for the question Victoria! My first European gig was with my MURK partner Ralph Falcon at Club Echoes in Rimini, Italy somewhere around 1993. We were two kids from the same hood in Miami and could not believe the way people responded to our weird music all the way across the Atlantic. The biggest change from when we started producing is the fact there even is a scene in Miami. It has been amazing to watch Miami grow to the point it has. This was a city where House/Techno music was played only in small underground and gay clubs. Now, it is a booming corporate run business with big conglomerates and hotels involved. Bottle service, VIPs, private jets and giant EDM festivals (laughs) No one could have predicted this.
You can catch Oscar G. during WMC at the MADE in MIAMI (presented by Nervous Records) pool party on Saturday, March 22 at the National Hotel. Tickets available on www.wanttickets.com.