Cedric Gervais Interview

Cedric Gervais Interview

by Marcos Colón
03.28.2008

DJing isn't as easy as many peg it to be.  On any given night, if a resident doesn’t make it happen, there’s always someone there waiting to take over. But being an afterhours DJ at a club like Space Miami is a challenge on a whole other level—not only does the party kick off at 4am, but the loyal crowd that chooses clubbing over praying Sunday Morning expects your A game. Enter: Cedric Gervais and his Sunday Morning Sleaze Show. 

Many may think that Gervais was handed his residency, but this came after some hard work climbing the nightlife ladder. After taking some big risks at a young age, Gervais was well on his way to working with acclaimed artists and producers, as well as branding himself as the next big thing. The man does admit that he is a product, but he still backs it up with the music.

Photo Credit: ChipiClubplanet recently sat down with Gervais in his downtown music studio for a one-on-one session with the ringleader of the Sleaze show.

Clubplanet: So how did it all start for you?

Cedric Gervais: My stepfather is a musician and owns a club, and he’s the one who got me into the guitar and drums. I was playing at his club in St. Tropez and at the time, the people from Queen in Paris came down and did their summer party there. I opened for the DJ and the general manager of Queen said, “Man, this guy’s rockin’—we have to bring him to Paris.” I was 15 years old and they essentially gave me a residency. But as soon as I got it, all the clubs in Paris shut down because of drugs. So I had no more work. A friend of mine said I should come with him to Miami since he had a place here, and when I got here, I fell in love with the city.  I decided no more Paris, no more France, I’m staying in Miami.

CP: What was going through your head at the time? You were only 15.

Cedric Gervais: I remember I was at the Grand in Downtown Miami when I made my decision to stay. I was looking at a view of the whole city and it was the first time I felt homesick. I didn’t speak a word of English and I only knew one other French guy here. But, I remember looking at the view thinking, “I’m not scared and I’m going to make it in this city.” Now here I am, 13 years later.

CP: What was the next big thing for you after you landed in Miami?

Cedric Gervais: I started playing house parties for friends of a friend who had a lot of money. The Living Room was the hot club at the time, but it was always empty because everyone was going to the house parties I was spinning at. So Frances Milon wanted me to start playing for him at the Living Room. From the Living Room, I went to Chaos, and from there to Bar Room, and then Crobar followed. That was my big break.  Nikki Beach also had a big party on Sundays, and I was doing both Nikki Beach and Crobar at the same time.

CP: Would you say that Miami made you who you are?

Cedric Gervais: Yes it did. Everywhere I go, I feel like I’m representing Miami. Although I can’t control this, every single flyer says something like “The King of Miami,” but at the end of the day, it is what it is. I’m from Miami, I represent Miami and I’m proud of it.

CP: How did you start getting involved with Space?

Cedric Gervais: Crobar started changing management and I didn’t agree with the direction they were heading. So, I sat down with Louis Puig [from Space] and decided to make the move to the main room with Oscar G. Meeting with Louis was intimidating. More importantly, the first record I ever bought was the Murk’s, “Reach for Me.” To share the main room with Oscar G was major.

CP: How did you grow into becoming comfortable at Space?

Cedric Gervais: I was playing in the main floor but I understood it was more of Oscar G’s room. I wanted to find my niche at Space. That’s when I told Louis that I didn’t want to do the main room and I wanted to do the Terrace. He finally gave me a chance and I rocked it. Then a lot of things happened: Roland left, Ivano had his thing and then I found my home on the Terrace.

Photo Credit: ChipiCP: You already have some history as a producer. When did you start making music?

Cedric Gervais: The first record we did was called ‘Burning.’ Steve Lawler was the one that put that record on the map.  He got it and it started charting in every single magazine, so the record blew up. That’s the first record I did for Ultra. After that, they gave me an album deal.

CP: Wait, off of one record you were offered an album deal?

Cedric Gervais: Yeah. It was funny because I gave the first track I ever made to David Waxman when I was at Crobar. The next day he calls me and says, “I want this record, I’m signing it and I’m signing you on the label as an artist.” I was freaking out—to be honest with you, it took me two years to do that album.

CP: When was your first “Oh shit!” moment?

Cedric Gervais: Playing in front of 50,000 people in Dublin. It was this past summer playing the Oxygen Festival.

CP: When did you start your label?

Cedric Gervais: Four years ago, I started to get things going. Then it went a little down, so I dropped the label for a year. Then I signed with 24 Management in the UK and they started putting everything together and that’s when I started Sleaze again. I have two labels: Sleaze, which is house, and Sleaze tech, which is more minimal and techno.

CP: What’s your sound today and what should people expect out of a Cedric Gervais set?

Cedric Gervais: I go through phases. Right now, I’m more into the tech house sound. I play what I feel at the moment. I like everything and I like to listen to everything. I learned a lot by working with Deep Dish.

CP: Do you consider yourself a product?

Cedric Gervais: I do. I think that I’m marketable, but at the same time I back it up. There’s a lot of work behind it. Image is so important—it’s part of the job. At the end of the day, you’re selling CDs. (laughs) I have a great chance to get girls to like me.

Photo Credit: Chipi

 

 

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