There isn’t one fan of electronic music in Miami, or around the world at that, who’s not familiar with the name Oscar G. The man has honed his skills into legendary status, from his start as one half of Murk, right up until today, he’s regarded as one of the country’s most successful DJ-producers. He’s Club Space’s most prominent resident DJ, a force behind his Three-O-Five Digital music label, and most recently a restaurant owner. If that doesn’t say anything about the man’s work ethic, we won’t go into the endless other achievements that flood his resume. With Winter Music Conference around the corner, and his recently opened Mambo Café receiving a lot of attention, the man’s been busy, but not busy enough to save a little time for Clubplanet.
We recently caught up with Oscar G. and chatted about his weekly party at Hoy Como Ayer with local DJ-producer Lazaro Casanova, what he has lined up for Winter Music Conference, and his Three-O-Five Digital music label.
Clubplanet: How’d did things end up for you in 2009?
Oscar G.: It ended on a pretty good note. It was cool because I released this project that was a three-disc release that included an artist album, a live mix recorded at Space, and a DVD of that live mix. I basically just toured a lot promoting that.
Clubplanet: What’s been keeping you busy lately?
Oscar G.: I actually opened up a restaurant today. (laughs) We’re having a little soft opening today.
Clubplanet: How did you get into the restaurant business?
Oscar G.: My dad and my brother have been in that business for a while now. That’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but I haven’t had the time. This opportunity came up with my dad and I just decided to jump on it. It’s kept me really busy for the past eight months. It’s Cuban cuisine.
Clubplanet: How do you want to set yourself apart from other Cuban restaurants in the city?
Oscar G.: I think that the location we have is pretty unique. We have a full liquor bar and a stage where we’ll have a little live music at night. We also have this third area which is like a wine cave. There’ll be a special menu for that. Overall, I think we’re putting together a few elements that you normally wouldn’t find in town right now.
Clubplanet: Right now you’re doing a weekly party with Miami’s Lazaro Casanova at Hoy Como Ayer. How’d you guys get together for that?
Oscar G.: I had been doing stuff with Laz for some time now, like putting out some of his music on my label. Also just hanging out and working on music and swapping music. Just from that I felt like he was the perfect fit for the party. The Cuban thing also helps since it’s a link between us. (laughs) Hoy Como Ayer is kind of like a landmark for Latin music, so I wanted to bring the party there. I thought it would be interesting to bring this whole world of what we do into a place like that and the owners there actually accept the DJ as an artist. I wanted to bring Laz along because I like what he’s doing musically, and I see him as the guy in town who’s the up and comer.
Clubplanet: Can you talk a little bit about your Three-O-Five Digital label?
Oscar G.: I started that label with my friend Stryke. What we wanted to do is make it an outlet for more experimental stuff that we do. Maybe some sounds that we’ll be toying or messing around with, so that’s how it started. We had been talking about for a couple of years, but it’s hard to get to that stuff when you’re touring around so much. But we finally locked it down and did it. We actually just got a little distribution deal so that’ll help push it to other people. Laz has also been a big part of that as well.
Clubplanet: How do you feel about the progression of electronic dance music in the U.S. as of right now?
Oscar G.: Honestly, I’ve been doing the U.S. and Canada and South America for a long time, not even by choice really, it’s just that between my Space residency and my other bookings, I started doing dates that are closer to Miami. Before Space I was in Europe all the time, but when I began the residency there I had to limit my trips. But as far as the progression goes, I’ve started to see it for a while now. A lot of the guys from over seas are starting to come over here and realize that this market is valid. But it’s funny to me because this is where the origins of the music are, so it’s only fitting that it happens.
Clubplanet: Winter Music Conference is around the corner. What are some shows you’ll be playing that week?
Oscar G.: I’m really looking forward to the Nervous Party with Pacha New York, which is one of my favorite rooms to play. I’ll be doing a party with them on Thursday at Parkwest. Then there’s obviously my Made in Miami party that Sunday which is at Space, that’s been growing every year. I’ll also be playing Juicy Beach with Robbie, so that should be very cool too.
Clubplanet: What are some parties that you’d like to check out?
Oscar G.: I definitely want to check out Luciano and Dice at The Shelborne Pool. That’ll be a good one. I’d like to go everywhere really.
Clubplanet: What do you like least about Conference?
Oscar G.: (laughs) That’s a tough question. Conference is like this weird nightmare that happens for a week, then you just can’t catch up to anything that’s going on. One thing I can’t stand is how clubs turn into snobs for a week because they have so many people available to them. A week before they’re begging you to come into the club, but then during Conference they kind of treat you like crap and doormen act like idiots.
Clubplanet: What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Oscar G.: A lot of touring. I’m actually also working on an artist album right now and I’m also going to shoot a new DVD in the summer which we’ll release at the end of the year. I can’t really say where yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be in Miami this time.