It's fitting that Oscar Gaetan's initials are O.G. After all, he gained fame in the '90s as half of the house-music production team Murk and has been a leader in Miami's DJ scene ever since. He is, in the words of Tropic Thunder's Kirk Lazarus, head-to-toe legitimate.
But it's not like Oscar G is some legacy artist. He's always pushing forward with new ideas and technologies while embedding a little South Florida into his sound. The Caribbean influence is plain to hear in the polyrhythms and auxiliary percussion he favors in his dance music.
"That's part of my DNA from growing up here," he says. "My parents were both Cuban, so it was just from being around that culture. And Miami is such a melting pot of different cultures. Whether you realize it or not, you grow up with some many different flavors of music and art in general. I still listen to a lot of traditional Cuban music; it's always been my favorite."
So Gaetan is a uniquely Miami DJ/producer who has been making dope music going on three decades. Hence the props: Last year, New Times readers named him best DJ in Miami, and this year, the paper's editorial team did the same.
"Any hometown love is always appreciated," he says of the recognition.
Oscar G will headline this year's Made in Miami Pool Party, hosted by Revolution Radio 93.5 FM this Saturday, June 30, at the National Hotel. The lineup includes a host of big-name local DJ/producers, such as his longtime partner in crime and Murk cofounder, Ralph Falcon. Then there will be Jesse Perez, Lazaro Casanova, and others.
"Ralph is like family," he says. "We've known each other since grade school, so sharing the booth is just a bonus. This whole lineup, they are guys I respect as artists, guys who I would leave the house to listen to, but they're also friends of mine — people I hold in a certain esteem outside of just music."
Gaetan has never been shy about supporting talented local artists. Case in point: Rather than bemoan the lack of attention given to South Florida DJs, he launched Made in Miami, a record label and something of a local brand.
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"It just kind of grew into these big events we do now and the record label," he says. "The initial idea was as simple as shining a light on Miami talent." In fact, Gaetan maintains that record producers and DJs from Miami are still getting slept on, at least relative to artists in New York and Los Angeles.
This is the first time the Made in Miami Pool Party has been held in the summertime, when the city tends to slow down and become, as Gaetan puts it, "more local-intensive."
"I've always liked the summers in Miami," he says. "In the winter, there are a lot of tourists, but in the summer, it stays local. It's when a lot of college kids come home and a lot of other people are already home... Now we're doing one of these big events in the summertime, and it's actually made in Miami all the way around."
Made in Miami Pool Party. Presented by Revolution Radio 93.5 FM. With Oscar G, Jesse Perez, Ralph Falcon, Lazaro Casanova, Stryke, Carabetta & Doons, Roland, and El Chino Dreadlion. Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave., Miami; 305-532-2311. Tickets cost $20 to $30 via revolution935.com.