He traded in soccer stardom to be a DJ. Turns out it was a good call.

From soccer star to superstar DJ, Guy Gerber heads to his second favorite spot (after Ibiza, obviously), Miami. Silvana Fazzalari

Guy Gerber is an interesting guy.

He was talented enough at soccer to make the Israeli National team, and was ticketed for professional stardom, but the mesmerizing siren’s call of dance beats proved too much to resist.

Leaving the game was a difficult, but ultimately good call – Gerber has carved out a niche in the underground techno and progressive house worlds, has teamed up with hip-hop mogul P. Diddy on an album, and is famous for his wild Rumors parties in Ibiza.

Want a DJ who will take the time to draw you in slowly, so you can truly lose yourself and embark on a deep musical journey? Gerber is your man – he’s well-known for giving hypnotic, emotional live shows.

He talked to Miami.com about his MMW gigs (Rumors at the Delano Hotel, Get Lost, SLS Hotel), why he’s not at the Ultra Music Festival this year, what it’s like to live in Ibiza, and whether he regrets giving up soccer.

Will your Rumors party at the Delano be similar to the one in Ibiza?

Yes, we’re trying to take the party around the world, and obviously not everywhere is like Ibiza. But I would say that if there’s one place in the USA that has a similar vibe as Ibiza, it’s Miami. I just played there recently and decided that it’s probably my favorite place to play in the U.S.  We’re gonna bring the same kind of lineup as we have in Ibiza, and it’s my favorite time to play music, which is from daytime into the night.

So you like that twilight vibe?

Yes, because I think as an artist, I like to be able to play whatever I feel, and I feel like at night, the rules are a bit more strict and you have to play a bit stronger. And the people o out and as they drink, they get more tired, so you have to keep them awake – you have to be very persistent with the beat. In the afternoon, you can just play whatever you want, be more eclectic. And one think that I like about Rumors is that it’s a party but it’s also like a meeting point, where people can come and hang, and then later go and do other stuff. But it’s not so forced, and it’s a place that I would very easily want to go into. Rumors is more like a party than a rave.

You’re also playing at Get Lost – that event would be a little more rave-y, right?

Yes, it’s a more intense situation – it’s bigger and stronger. I like it as well, but I like things that are a bit more bohemian rather than just a pure rave.

Will you be doing an extended set at Get Lost? I know you’re famous for that.

It’s funny: In general, anything less than three hours – especially the way I play, I don’t play “banger,” I have a more atmospheric build-up – so unless it’s longer, I can’t really transfer my message to the crowd. Extended would be like 10 hours, but I don’t have 10 hours – I’ll have about three to four hours.

You’re not at Ultra this year – why?

No Ultra this year, because when you’re playing a place like Ultra, you have to bang it. And with the crowd, it’s hard to really enjoy the music like that, and it’s not my main vibe. I do it every once in a while because it’s cool and I know the guys [in charge], but personally I’d be happy not to go until I can enjoy Miami a little more.

When did you move to Ibiza, and how do you like it?

I started going to Ibiza about 10 or 12 years ago, and it definitely changed my life. I was exposed to scenarios that I didn’t think could exist, where music would be kept playing for three days in a row, and beautiful girls were dancing, and everybody felt free and wild. Ibiza has slightly changed since the moment I got there, but it still feels very, very special. I’ve been living there in the summer for the past five years, and I’m really looking forward to another season. I’m really happy to be able to hold a residency in Ibiza, because I’m trying to preserve the Ibiza that I met when I got there for the first time.

Was it a tough choice to pick music over soccer?

It was a very tough choice when I took it, because I broke the heart of my dad and a lot of people who really believed in me becoming a professional soccer player. A lot of people were disappointed, and it was kind of strange to do something at such a young age. But I think I came into this world to make people happy with my music, and not with my soccer. It’s something that I’ve been feeling all this time, and I’m grateful to go around the world and see all the smiling faces.

Are you still in game shape?

A: [Laughs] Ummm, I’m OK. We’ve actually been playing lately in L.A. in the house of Rod Stewart, and I’ve been quite good, but definitely not the same. I remember when I was younger, whatever I wanted to do with the ball, I could, and that was part of me enjoying it so much. Today, I have to think before I make the action. It’s still fun, but not the same.

What has been your wildest moment during the Conference?

I’ve been coming to Miami since 2006, and one of my top moments of all time was definitely playing the Sunday School for Degenerates party at this place called the Pawn Shop. This was one moment I will cherish forever – I played for about 800 people, and it was like we were all falling in love with each other. I was a young producer, and very nervous before my show, and it ended up being amazing, and afterward, I said to myself, “I achieved something.”


What: Guy Gerber

Where: Noon Weds. at Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach – $65; 2 p.m. Fri. at the Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach – $45-$60; Saturday at Get Lost (Venue TBD).

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Michael Hamersly Michael Hamersly is a freelance music and entertainment writer in Miami. He is a former rock star, professional chef and center fielder for the Red Sox. OK, he made that part up.