Name: Gervais Martin
THE SPOKEN WORD
The man behind the music in the most unexpected ways. An innovator among the masses and a leader of his peers. The almighty Chef had his finger on the pulse of the Cape Town music industry since social media has taken the driver’s seat and is involved in the evolution of party-going made easy with the inception of Howler. An individual who has inspired many by his character alone, we welcome his dynamism and work-ethic at every event. Find him at an event and send him our regards… We are confident he has a few stories to share and you never know… You may form your own with him.
1) Chef in 3 words?
Gervais: Explaining myself in three words, that’s a tough one I must admit but off the top of my head, the three words that would summarize me best would be Graft, Laugh & Heart.
2) The significance of Chef? What does it mean?
Gervais: Basically it’s my nickname from back in my high school days haha, my place used to be what we called, “The Halfway House”. You know, the place where all the mates met up before going out, stopped by on their way home from school or simply crashed at as they were too wasted to face their own parents… so long story short, that was my place and someone (aka, me) had to make the tea & food man? — my one mate had a dream with me in it, said he walked into my kitchen and there I was, fat as hell and making spaghetti and tea for the boys, since that day he called me Chef and jah, the rest is history, I now recognize my nickname being shouted out in the club more than my name, it’s quite ridiculous?
3) Where do you feel you have the most impact in the entertainment industry? What makes you stand out?
Gervais: That’s a really tough question to nail without sounding full of oneself haha, we all play our individual parts in keeping this machine well oiled and rolling & I guess to us, the individual roles we play are all important to keeping this beautiful industry not only maintained but keep it growing as well as pushing innovation within the industry itself.
Gervais: But with regards to me, if I had to put my finger on it & simplify it, I play a role in the growth of the market itself by helping the potential market become the current market through helping the cities population adopt the idea of festivals, parties, entertainment, nightlife being part of their city culture & identity… which at the end of the day revolves around one of the aspects around the very core of human existence itself & that’s music, but… good music.
Gervais: The role I play is ultimately the middleman between the organizers & the experiences they create & the consumer, the attendee or potential attendees per say, from concept creation to project management, execution & marketing, I try and assist the organizers I work with where I can or better put where they need me most, over the six years of me being involved in the industry I like to see myself as a one stop, do it all shop, however, the niche skill set I hold is being able to inject events marketing campaigns directly into the market allowing these events to reach directly into their desired target audiences, combining old school word of mouth marketing campaigns with new school social media marketing strategies through what I like to call the “O-T-G (On-The-Ground) Sales Channel”… Basically, it’s a community of promotional models, online ambassadors, ticket sellers, influencers and event attendees that I have had the pleasure of building and growing through my years of involvement, I guess in a way I try and bring the consumer into our community to ultimately allow them to be participate and be part of the truly beautiful part of what we do, which is mostly hidden from the public eye and that’s making these events come to life.
Gervais: In a way, we can say that I’m trying to directly inject this sense of community into the market and allowing the public to participate in the industry above and beyond just buying their ticket and attending the production.
4) Advice for anybody trying to break into the scene? Words for the dreamers?
Gervais: I don’t know the extent or limitations on the professionalism you would like me to portray through this interview but if I had to sum it up and address the audience directly, this is what I’d like to say: Dreams are not planned, they just happen… however, what doesn’t just happen is, actions, better said, applying action. When I say dreams just happen, I do not mean that a dream simply becomes a reality, what I mean by a dream happening is that a idea is born, the very beginning of an idea, a goal, a milestone or even a purpose, whatever tickles your toes, you get the point…. an idea that’s going to make you want more, do more & ultimately make this life mean more… mean more than the likes on your Instagram posts, mean more than getting the kiss that you’ve been longing for from your ultimate crush or even mean more than what you’re going to wear tomorrow. As soon as this dream has happened or this idea has sprouted, it will never disappear from your subconscious, ever.
Gervais: But what makes these types of dreams into reality is simple really, and that’s actions. Not actions tomorrow, not next week but action, action right now, at this very moment. Every day, every moment you get, you need to be doing something, regardless of how small these actions are, you need to be doing them, every day and slowly you will be chipping towards this dream, this vision of yours will be more complete after every action you do.
Gervais: Don’t get me wrong though, most times, absolutely no one will ever see this vision to the scale that you see it, they will never see the complexity of this dream to the specifications that you see it… they will laugh, they will do their very best to dispute the possibility of this ever becoming something tangible, deny the possibility of this being undertaking being a success, HOWEVER, this should not get you down… No, this is the pivotal moment in you reaching for the stars, you should see this outlook on your dream as even more reason to work even harder, work even smarter, and care even less about their blind sided opinions… you need to remember that they do not mean to put you down, they just do not understand you, understand your vision or how you are even going to achieve it, but then again, don’t forget, neither do you.
Gervais: As long as you are putting in the work, every day, consistently, you will at the very least be moving in the right direction. So let me close with this, for you, the dreamer, that has read up until this point. Never stop dreaming. Work your ass off. What you do today, you don’t have to do tomorrow HOWEVER most importantly, bite off more than what you can chew and deal with whatever crap comes your way as it comes BUT don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labor AND most importantly, I cannot stress this enough…share your wealth of knowledge and experience with other, don’t be stingy with these assets, the entire human race is here today due to the fact that knowledge has been freely passed down, moenie stingie wees nie and at the very least give people the opportunity to prove themselves.
5) What can we expect from you and your team in the weeks/months to come?
Gervais: Well from the Howler side of things we have now officially launched our own ticketing platform which we are already seeing taking the South African ticketing market by storm, on top of this we are making huge leaps in technological innovation in our other products like our cashless service as well as access control and our rep application (all is very much confidential information so you will just have to keep your eyes peeled for these launches and updates!)
Gervais: From my OTG Sales Channel side of things I am once again gunning for more innovation in how events and festivals utilize promotional models, online ambassadors, ticket sellers, outlets and our Howler technology is used in their operations for this up & coming 2019 to 2020 season but mainly I also want to eradicate ticket scammers both posing as buyers and sellers by making my teams an official and trustworthy source for not only tickets to these events but also the flow of information regarding these events, both what is publicly available and not.
Gervais: Last but not least I expect to see tons of growth and innovation in the scene this season, I also hope to see a lot more collaborations this year as I think due to my involvement with so many competing projects, I hope everyone is beginning to see that working together as one community is the only logical way forward in terms of innovation… some forward thinking brand collaborations have already seen this, some great examples are Bazique Festival // Kinky Summer // Alcazar // Small Town Beat & of coarse the iconic, world famous event, close to everyone’s heart in this industry, Africa Burn… I wish I could speak about this all night but there is just too much to blah on about, but what I can say is this… the South African event industry is a very exciting thing to observe, especially at this current time, no one here really knows this but although we are very small in the grander scheme of things in the global events industry, the shit we are doing here in South Africa is cool as hell, “innovational” as F and most importantly, constantly experimental.
Gervais: So I’ll end off this interview with what I would consider my personal brands slogan, “Innovation through collaboration.”
A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT FROM CHEF AND MCBN TO THE FOLLOWING BRANDS
Alcazar, Bazique Festival, Beats&Such, Corona Sunsets Festival, CTEMF, Dash Productions, DCR, Disconnekt, Diskotopia, Equilibrium Festival, Fashion Clubbers, Fluxxx Productions, Future Frequency Festival, Get Real Festival, Kinky Summer Festival, Light House Festival, Litchi Festival, Madison Avenue, Magnifique, Missing Link, MixedFeelings, No Filter, Plett Summer, Reset, Retreat Yourself, RogueWave, Sexy Groovy Love, Small Town Beat, SpiltMilk, The Eden Experience, The Side Show, Toybox Festival, St Yves, Ultra Festival South Africa, Unyaka NYE, Up The Creek Festival, We Love Summer, With You Festival, Winterfix, YNU & more tbc <3