Twenty years ago, Cedric DePasquale's friend convinced him to visit Miami. The Frenchman came for vacation and never left. He is now internationally recognized as DJ and producer Cedric Gervais. The 36-year-old Grammy Award winner regularly travels from Miami, which he considers his hometown, to Las Vegas to play shows at Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub.
With big, upbeat sounds, Gervais can cause an entire crowd to bounce. He's played everywhere from Panama to Malaysia, but always makes sure to throw down in Miami when he's home.
This April, Story nightclub in Miami Beach is bringing some of the biggest acts in electronic dance music to South Beach, including Skrillex, Tiesto and David Guetta. Cedric Gervais will play the club on Friday, April 15.
You recently played at Ultra Music Festival on the Saturday night [March 19] on the Worldwide Stage. How was that for you?
It was incredible. It's always incredible to play Ultra. It's an amazing festival, and it's very special for me 'cause it's in my hometown, so I get extra nervous every time I play because of the high expectation.
How do you combat those nerves?
Oh, no, I'm not that nervous [chuckles]. No, I just want to make sure everything is set, that the visuals are right. We do a special visual show at the festival where everything is in sync with the music, so it's a lot of work before the show. I just want to make sure everything is right.
On Facebook, you posted a video about Miami Music Week. Can you go into that for anyone who didn't see the video?
Miami is a magical place with people who live from around the world. It's like a very famous place that people want to go. Every year, it's a great gathering of friends and promoters. I get to see all the promoters that I play all over the world, my friends, people that I meet around the world. And then, they come here, and it's home to me, so I feel like I'm hosting everybody, and I make sure I see everyone. So it's very special.
What are some of your favorite local restaurants?
In Miami? Nobu is definitely one of my favorites. Komodo that just opened in Brickell, that's one of my favorites, as well. And completely out of the thing is a little hot-dog place called Los Perros. [It serves] Colombian hot dogs.
What about bars and clubs?
Clubs, there's no doubt to me there are three of them: LIV, Story and Space. Those are the three major clubs I like here. There's other clubs, but those are the upper clubs here. [As far as] bars, I just went to a very cool bar in Wynwood called Coyo. [My friends] were playing there on Monday. It was incredible. It's a taco place in the entrance and you go in the back, you can't even see it, and there's a lounge in the back with a proper sound system. Everyone's just jamming.
During Miami Music Week, you threw a party for your new record label, Delecta. Tell us about Delecta and the party.
The party was incredible. The launch was at one of the premier nightclubs, LIV, which is very important for our label during Miami Music Week. There's only big artists playing in the major clubs here, and the fact that I had the Wednesday night launch for my label, that was a big statement. We had Nervo playing. Afrojack showed up back-to-back with me. The night was successful. We sold out. … Delecta is a name that we came up with together, "delightful." I like the sounding of the name.
What kind of sound are you looking for on Delecta Records?
I look for good music. I don't have any sound. If it's good music and I feel it, I'll sign it. I don't put a genre of music on the label. It can be tech-house, house music, trancey, whatever I feel like is good.
Any artists we should be looking out for right now?
Yeah, there's a little kid from Colombia. [He's] 19 years old [and] called Raffi. He's making incredible music, and I'm guiding him through the process right now. He's not ready yet but … he's produced a lot of records. He just recently remixed my song "With You." He actually did three versions of it, that's how excited he is. And I'm just getting him ready.
Speaking of partnerships, let's talk about your collaboration with Electric Family, a company that makes bracelets to benefit charities. How'd you get involved with that?
They approached me. It's just one of the charities that I want to do. I think it's a great thing what they're doing. Everyone picks their charity and promotes it on their channel. All the proceeds go to the charity. [Mine is] the Miami Children's Hospital. It's something special for my home city that I wanted to do. I'm also working on a charity that I'm going to do once a year, a big charity event on the beach with the city of Miami Beach. I haven't figured out what charity yet, we're putting the whole thing together, but I want to do an event where I throw a big event once a year and all the money will proceed to that charity.
You're also involved with Mark Wahlberg's "Deepwater Horizon" movie.
Yeah, not only that, I actually act in the movie. I acted in a previous movie of Michael Bay's, "Pain & Gain " with [Dwayne Johnson] and Mark Wahlberg, but this time I have a longer role. … The movie is about the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico with BP. [The scene] is basically the beginning of the movie when they realize something is going to go wrong.
And you're doing music for it, too?
Yeah. I've been working on the music, as well [though] that's not a definite thing. The next movie I'm doing is the "Boston Marathon," which is shooting right now, and I'll have a role in it, as well.
Any other new projects or releases we should be on the lookout for?
Yeah, there's a lot of them. There's a new one called "Make Me Feel" that's coming out next month. [It's a] very housey record on Delecta. It's going to be a record … [with] club music [and] big vocal tracks.
Cedric Gervais will play 11 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Story nightclub, 136 Collins Ave., in Miami Beach. Tickets cost $34.01. Call 305-479-4426 or go to StoryMiami.com.