Behind The Beat: Cedric Gervais
When the Ambassador of Miami, Cedric Gervais, visits the nation’s capital any faithful fan of house music must flock to the lyrical sanctuary of Soundcheck DC to hear the latest tracks of the Grammy award-winning artist. Fortunately, we caught up with the French DJ and producer for a pre-show interview. Gervais visited Washington, D.C. as part of his North America tour, which he has been on since September while maintaining his residencies in both Las Vegas and Miami. Needless to say, the producer has had a busy in 2015 traveling Thursday-Sunday most weeks and working diligently in the studio producing new tracks. Gervais is currently working on 9 new tracks and has the focus and drive of an aspiring DJ/producer even though his record is of an accomplished veteran. “I am working in the studio like I have not made it or if I am about to lose it” says Gervais.
I asked about the pinnacle of his career winning the Grammy Award in 2014 for the remix of the hit “Summertime Sadness”. He recalls the feeling of being honored by the nomination and feeling extremely nervous for the whole month leading up to the awards ceremony. “I did not expect to win the Grammy and had no speech prepared. I remember constantly looking at the program waiting and waiting anxiously for the category to come up.” Cedric Gervais is widely known for some of the best remixes even outside of “Summertime Sadness” such as “Wide Awake”, “Decisions”, “Adore You”, and most recently “Say My Name”.
Gervais talked about the process of making a remix and noted that artists approach him about a project and he decides whether or not to take on the task. “I have turned down a lot of request from really popular artists and a lot of money over the years. A remix takes a song to a whole new level and becomes my track with the artists vocal element.” Cedric Gervais takes pride in his tracks and wants to ensure that all the elements will sync and work well before taking on a project. This quality control is what separates him from many other producers and DJs. Cedric Gervais tells aspiring producers and DJs to constantly pick up vinyls and listen to a lot of music before creating sets. Listening to old tracks is important to understand where house music started and where it is now. Just making music without knowing the history and development of the industry is something that he cautions young producers against.
Gervais is more than just a DJ and producer, but a passionate supporter of the Miami community and charities at home and abroad. He’s certainly known for his style, which is says is defined by his sunglasses that are essential in the Miami heat. Outside of music, he is faithful supporter of Miami sports teams and is frequently seen courtside at Heat games. Gervais also boxes and follows soccer, which has carried over to his charity work by building community centers where children can play soccer and learn how to box in Miami. Abroad he is working on building a school in Columbia. In 2014, he also launched a charity bracelet with Electric Family.
CGervais likes working in the studio and likes playing sets at both festivals and nightclubs. He noted that he especially likes playing longer sets in small intimate nightclubs like Soundcheck because he can really connect with the crowd. For the rest of 2015 and 2016 the Grammy Award winner plans on continuing to tour and “make a lot of f*ucking music”. We can’t wait to hear it.