Oscar G Who can forget “You Got me fired up! Fired up!”? Miami’s legendary DJ Oscar G has packed many venues with his house sounds. Now dropping a new album, Oscar G stops through WHO?MAG to talk about his deal with Nervous Records, house music, and Funky Green Dogs.
interview by William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: Talk about your new album Innov8? OSCAR G: I’ve been experimenting with some new sounds and ideas for a bit. I’ve also completely changed my studio set-up and method of working. This album is really the first batch of ideas that have come from that. I tried to think as a DJ as well as producer/writer. It was important to me that it feel like a DJ set which allowed me to try different things creatively.
WHO?MAG: Why did you do the CD transitions as a mix CD oppossed to track by track? OSCAR G: I feel like House music is better represented when served up by a DJ.
WHO?MAG: How was it working with a legend like Byron Stingly and how is he in the studio? OSCAR G: Byron is an incredible talent and I had been a fan of his (and Ten City) for years. He is truly a House music legend. He and I spent time touring in Italy and became friends. I was honored that he asked me to write a song with him. He was a pleasure to work with a pro.
WHO?MAG: How did you get the deal with Nervous records? OSCAR G: I had known Michael Weiss for years and had worked with Nervous on a few mixes in the past. More recently, I was playing a song my friend Ralph Falcon had done and Nervous signed it. We began to discuss an idea for a live cd/dvd I had, which became the first project I did on Nervous “Space Miami”. It’s been all good since!
WHO?MAG: What other projects do you have in works with the label? OSCAR G: We are releasing a tune titled “Ibiza Sunset” that my friend DMS12 did and I reconstructed. We are also working on my next Live CD/DVD which should be available early next year.
WHO?MAG: Do you plan to do any special projects as far as looking through the archives of Nervous and doing some remix on some of the labels classic work? OSCAR G: That’s a great idea! Sign me up!
WHO?MAG: How did you get into DJing and who are some of your influences? OSCAR G: I got into DJing at a very young age. I was heavily influenced by the whole early b-boy movement. I was doing big school dances and neighborhood parties in Miami when I was 12. DJs like Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrikka Bambatta were my heroes then. A few years later, I discovered House music and fell in love. DJs like Danny Tenaglia, Junior Vasquez, Tony Humphries, David Morales, and Louie Vega pretty much shaped the DJ I am now.
WHO?MAG: What equipment do you use as far as DJing and producing respectively? OSCAR G: DJing: Pioneer CDJs- Pioneer DJM-1000 – Pioneer EFX-1000
Producing: Mac Pro – Logic Pro
WHO?MAG: How did Funky Green Dogs come together? OSCAR G: Funky Green Dogs began as just one of the many aliases that myself and Ralph Falcon would use for our Murk Records label. Eventually it became a three-prong group which included vocalist Tamara Wallace. It was basically a different concept and sound for us. It allowed us to flex our song writing muscles a bit more.
WHO?MAG: How did the song “Fired Up” come about and did you think it was going to be as popular as it was? OSCAR G: You never think they’re going to be popular. You are just thankful when they are! I knew the first time I played it in a club that it would work in that world, but I never imagined hearing it in NBA arenas or on the Sopranos!
WHO?MAG: Why did the group break up and will there ever be a reunion? OSCAR G: I wouldn’t say we broke up. I would say we got chewed up and spit out by a major record label, but who wants to hear that old story? I would say it is dormant for now. We loved working with Tamara and have done other projects with her since. You never know?
WHO?MAG: Talk about your Murk productions with Ralph Falcon? OSCAR G: I think at this point, anything we do, we consider a Murk Production. He and I came up together and have seen this little thing called House music grow into this global movement. We are friends first and we still enjoy collaborating on music. We plan on launching MURK DIGITAL this year.
WHO?MAG: How was the House scene in Miami during the early to late 90’s from what you remember? OSCAR G: It was non-existent for the most part.
WHO?MAG: Where do you see House music going? OSCAR G: House music I think is cycling. We have reached this peak in recent years and I think now it is cleansing itself. Sometimes you can get too big for our own britches. I think you will see quality and substance return to the front and hype will take a back seat for a bit.
WHO?MAG: . Any other projects you’re working on? OSCAR G: Ralph and I are doing a weekly show, Fridays at Midnight, on Sirius Satellite Radio: MURK: MADE IN MIAMI on Area 38