It may take years for one to finally be at the top of the Electronic Music food chain. Heck, it could take decades or might not even happen at all. Yet no matter how bumpy the road or how swift the rise, each success story has its ups and downs that should be told and learned from. Marking the second chapter of this series, we dive into the world of a certain French-born, Miami-based, and Grammy award-winning DJ, producer, and label owner. This is the Road To Glory of Cedric Gervais…
Seeing as his grandfather was a multi-instrumentalist and into Jazz and Rock, it was no wonder early Rock music (Hendrix, The Doors, etc.) played a major part of Cedric Gervais’ musical youth. But as the Frenchman stumbled across a nightclub and saw his first DJ, something changed. The music turned his whole world upside down and he knew he wanted to be involved somehow.
Right there and then was the moment when Cedric and the world of Electronic Music began to entwine. The music fascinated him to no end and Cedric soon became a steady fixture in the French club scene. While rocking a show at a local club in the South of France, he caught the eye of the guys from Paris’ Le Queen club. They asked him to become a resident DJ in the club and Cedric gladly accepted. But life took an unexpected turn for the then 19-year-old Frenchman.
“When I arrived in Paris the very week I was supposed to play, the government shut down every single bar and nightclub in Paris and the surrounding areas due to a clamp down on drug laws. Rather than go home, a friend of mine from Miami suggested I join him.”
“Shortly after arriving in Miami, I realized there were so many different cultures throughout the same city, which meant there was a really lively nightlife scene which included all types of music. Especially in the U.S., it was THE place to listen to and find new Electronic Dance Music, from a nightclub perspective. I guess in a way, the situation in Paris led me to realizing my dreams in music.”
As so many had done before him, Cedric had to start at the bottom of the food chain. Trying to gain a foothold in the industry and music scene he loved so much, he had to cut his teeth for a very long time in the Miami club scene.
“I think I’ve paid my dues as a DJ. I opened up across the city, warmed up for international artists, and played for hours and hours on the terrace at Space, which I loved. In the early days, I also toured around the world and I owe a lot to my friends Deep Dish, who helped introduce me on an international level. But when you dedicate yourself like I and many other DJs do, it’s difficult to lead a normal life because of the hours you put in. I’d probably say that and being away from home on the road are the real hardships in this world of music.”
But the hours put in weren’t in vain. In 2006, Cedric dropped debut album ‘The Experiment’, rising as a sterling example of Cedric’s unwavering dedication for music and his in-studio diligence.
“I wanted to experiment with a bunch of new sounds and just have a lot of fun with it, which all came together in the album. It means a lot to me obviously, since it was my first album to officially release. I love the process of making a full album; I learned so much from putting ‘The Experiment’ together and it shaped me into the producer I am today.”
Though Cedric’s career as a DJ was already thriving, the first forms of international recognition for his productions only began rolling in by 2009. ‘Mauri’s Dream’, later one of the singles on his second album ‘Miamication’, became Pete Tong’s Essential Tune Of The Week three times in a row.
“Getting an Essential Tune Of The Week with Pete Tong is such a blessing and a very big deal. It felt so amazing to know that he was supporting the track so much. I never hope for anything when I produce a track; I just make it for the dance floor to be played in sets, so it’s incredible when my tracks connect.”
By then, it was clear that Cedric had become a force to be reckoned with. He increased his already solid output of records and made an impact in both the Miami music scene and the rest of the world. Remixes for the likes of BT, Borgore, Katy Perry, and Dido emerged in quick succession, and it was only a matter of time before he would make another musical slam dunk. But it turned out to be even better: a game-changing three-pointer.
In 2013, Cedric was drafted in to remix Lana Del Rey’s ‘Summertime Sadness’. Undoubtedly one of the Frenchman’s major career highlights, his remix went on to win over a very large and diverse crowd and landed him the ultimate accolade: a Grammy® award for ‘Best Remix’.
“To begin with, it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to remix an artist who I admired and loved very much. To be honest, I couldn’t have been given a better song or better vocal to work with. I think the fact that she’s thought of as very cool and very artistic really helped this record grow to a larger audience.”
“I also like to think that my version was able to take the song to a larger mainstream audience. It struck a chord not only with dance fans but with a much wider audience as well, not to mention radio listeners. I guess it’s considered – and is – probably a dance-pop crossover. It was of a moment and a time and we were lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time.”
And now, we’ve arrived at the wonders of the present-day Electronic Music landscape again. Cedric launched his fresh Delecta Records imprint together with Armada Music in early 2016, promising the world a steady output of masterpieces untouched by outside influences, uncompromising third parties, and any ulterior motives that may or may not exist.
“I’ve been writing so much music recently that I wanted to have a platform on which I could release the music I wanted to release. I wanted to be able to A&R it the way I want, and I wanted to be able to sign new artists to my label that didn’t have an opportunity to release their music otherwise. That’s where Delecta Records comes in. Who knows, the future might take me elsewhere someday. But for now, I’m just going to continue doing what I love.”