Undeniably there's a few artists out there who have produced music that will stand the test of time. As a culture, we tend to reminisce on those deemed favorites as our sort of "go to" for special occasions and hallmark traditions. Cedric Gervais is one of those producers who has provided for the catalog of classics. Last week we sat down with the man behind our "Summer Time Sadness" to discuss his approach and mindset to making such music. Delving deeper into the interview, we get into the fruits of his labor. His Grammy win in 2014, personal phone calls from Miley Cyrus, the formation of his own record label and much, much more. Clearly all derivatives of this Cedric's love and dedication to scene he pays into daily. He discusses further on what it takes to make it as a committed artist. Pushing through the late hours, touring the World and keeping to his strict regiment in eating healthy and staying fit. If there was a Survivors Guide to being a great touring DJ, this Miami native surely would've written the book already.
Hello Cedric. First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. We all know you have a very busy guy. It’s kind of hard to even wrap my head around the fact that I’m sitting here interviewing a Grammy Winner who produced one of the biggest anthems of all time. Jumping right into it…
Q: Understandably, there’s a degree of momentum to a productions release and there are certain variables that can have an effect on that momentum. Market trends, the life and longevity of your fan interests to name a few. I personally listen to a song on repeat till my interest is worn and battered. However, your Grammy win in 2014 of Lana Del Rey’s “Summer Sadness” remix just seems to have a certain nostalgia to it that revives that momentum every year. Would you say you agree?
Cedric: Personally I feel that song was pretty much a phenomenon, not only for me but in the world of dance singles. I specifically wrote it to play in my sets as a DJ, and to be honest that’s the only thing I think about when I go into the studio, whether that’s my own productions or a remix. You never think “this could go to radio” or “this could go to top 40”, you always hope but it’s not something that you consider when writing. That record struck a cord with so many people inside dance music and nightclubs, but also on a much wider scale and it was an incredible journey to be a part of.
Q: When I hear the anthem I tend to think about the close to Summer nearing, but really it can commemorate an array of things. I’d like to know what Cedric Gervais hears when he listens to his own work of “Summertime Sadness”? Do you think it conveys a certain message that’ll live on for infinity?
Cedric: It’s a big part of my life and it’s always something that’s going to be special to me. If it resonates with anyone who bought the record or listened to it then I’m happy.
Q: To some this next question may seem like an anomaly because fans tend to focus mainly on the parties and lifestyle a touring artist must undergo. However I’d be willing to bet there’s some shades of sadness that shine through with every Summer. So I wonder if it’s even possible for a Grammy winning DJ to get those “Summer Time Sadness” vibes? And if so are there any stories or comparisons you’d like to share?
Cedric: Everyone always thinks the DJ life is so glamorous, but actually being on the road for any artist is a really difficult thing to take on. Traveling all the time, performing every night, not being at home, missing family events, sometimes the road can be a very lonely place. That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for the lifestyle I have and the work that I get to do, but people have to recognize it’s not just about nightclubs and parties all the time.
Q: You’re one of the very few DJ/producers that I’ve seen Forbes magazine do a piece on. Zack Greenburg of Forbes mentioned that you received a call from Miley Cyrus, shortly after your Grammy win in and she personally asked you to remix her single “Adore You”. I also noted that you, Miley and sea of celebs were all hanging out together for a function down at Miami’s Liv on December 21st in 2013. Did that function kind of set the stage for the phone call? What’s the timeline and friendship history between you two?
Cedric: She was a big fan of the Summertime Sadness remix. I was in Miami where I live, and she was at LIV where I’m a resident, we share some common friends, and that particular night we discussed the remix and what I was going to do. Since then we’ve been back and forth a little about the music. She’s a super talented and super busy young lady.
Q: I’d like to jump subjects and bring up your most recent release. Philly just played host to ODESZA for a double header with Union Transfer and we noticed Spinnin’ Records recently released your remix of ODESZA’s “Say My Name”. What inspired you to go after that particular sound & production?
When I take on a piece of work that isn’t an original, I need to have a vision for the track and it needs to be with a vocal that I fall in love with, it’s really as simple as that.
Are there any future collaborations or special projects you’d like our readers to know about at this time? Two things I heard were your working with Luciana on something and you’re launching a new label come 2016.
We’re launching a new label in January, details of which will be coming soon, hopefully the beginning of December. I have 6 of my own singles ready to go as well as a compilation album due out in June. I recently did a track with Luciana and I’m currently writing with a variety of artists but I’ve learned over the past year not to say too much about who those artists might be until the ink has dried on the contract.
Do you have any juicy gossip you’d like to drop on any celebrities at this time. No pressure, but seriously… whatcha got?
Q: Okay, so you’re flying into to the city of Philadelphia for your November 20th show at Coda. Your plane lands. You hop in your car and unpack at your hotel room. What’s the first thing Cedric Gervais plans to either do or go eat when he reaches “The City of Brotherly Love”? Does he Cheesesteak? Taco? What’s on the menu for the evening?
Cedric: The first thing I always do is check my inbox for new promos, and if I find anything I like I take it with me to road test it that night. With regards to eating out, if I know the sushi is incredible in the city I generally try to check it out, otherwise I’ll stick to my usual routine. I eat a very strict diet which is super important when you’re traveling a lot, it’s too easy to fall into the routine of eating badly while touring. I generally have steak or fish, with a side of steamed vegetables.
Written by Kiel Sterling
Photo Source: kengoallnight.com