Oscar G made music history by becoming the first Cuban decedent DJ to play live in one of the best spot in Cuba.
Oscar G, aka Oscar Gaetan, at the DJ booth at Miami’s Club Space. The DJ-producer many consider a forefather of the “Miami Sound” will debut his new album this month.
Miami DJ-producer Oscar G is heading to the top of the techno industry by spinning to his own beat.
Slaves to the “Dark Beat” (a Billboard chart topper) from Miami to New York to even Cuba can thank global underground DJ-producer Oscar Gaetan (better known as Oscar G) for making the song that got the world chanting, “I’m addicted to drums.” Yet the Miami native and family man with Cuban roots remains as modest as ever.
“My friend Ralph and I wrote that song [“Dark Beat”] in 15 minutes,” says Gaetan, the founder of Murk Records, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Often regarded as a forefather of what many refer to as the Miami Sound—“Drumheavy, some Latin flair in there... I love that people give me some kind of credit for that”—Gaetan will be debuting his new album, Beep My Boom, during Winter Music Conference at his Made in Miami events.
“In past years at [Winter Music] Conference and Ultra, locals have been the outcasts,” says Gaetan, who also owns Mambo’s Café in Bayside in addition to “moonlighting” as a DJ 200-plus nights a year. “I’ve been able to create this huge event and feature strictly Miami talent. I’m happy to have planted those seeds.”
Just last November, Gaetan made music history by becoming the first DJ to play live on the ones and twos in Cuba, after his friend, the owner of Vedado Social Club, told him that Havana hot spot Fábrica De Arte was interested in booking him, and after “some reservations” even sent him a formalized invitation. “I cried like a bitch out there. People telling me about records they love and taking pictures with me—I wasn’t expecting that,” he says. “My parents are Cuban, and I went in thinking this is going to be amazing for me, but doing what I love made it a dream come true.”
From La Pequena, Havana, to his inaugural appearance at the industry-driven ninth annual BPM Festival (considered to be the apex of techno) in Playa Del Carmen, deejaying isn’t all fun and parties. “The hardest thing about what I do is time away from my family,” says Gaetan, who has two teenage kids with his wife of 20 years. “You don’t sleep for days at a time sometimes. I try to get my sleep in, but I’ve gone two and a half days where I’ve played a set, then gone straight to the airport to the next place to do another long set.”
It’s the 305, however, where he finds the best crowds and clubs. “We’re spoiled; we have a lot of great venues,” says Oscar G, who started his residency at local late-night hot spot Space in 2000, and has played 12-hour sets on the infamous terrace virtually every Saturday for eight years. Adding to that, he’ll jump-start your week with some untz-untz at his Coyo’s Murk Mondays. “I love playing for Miami. Cool crowds are all over the place. I look out on the dance floor and see generations of people I’ve seen for years. Lately it’s new young people just discovering it, and it’s incredible,” he says. “I just want people to walk away from my shows with moments.”