When it comes to a career the magnitude of Paul Oakenfold’s, it’s hard to encompass one of the true legends of electronic music into just words. For over 3 decades, he has elevated and shaped an entire genre and remains one of the leading forces in the global music scene today.
From the DJ booth of the world’s hottest dancefloors and festivals to the studio producing groundbreaking remixes or soundtracks for Hollywood blockbuster movies, his diversity as an artist and ability as a performer have earned him accolades from critics and fans the world over. Gathering not 2 but 3 Grammy Nominations along the way – this journey has been an epic one to say the least.
But let’s take a step back…
The son of a musician, Paul Oakenfold always knew music would play a major role in his life. He was drawn to DJing in the late ’70s – spinning Funk in the cool hangouts of London’s Covent Garden.
In the ’80s, two life-changing trips took place – trips that each played their role in defining a generation.
In 1984 Paul spent several months living in New York City working in A&R for the famed Champion Records – where he signed DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, as well as Salt-n-Pepa. He also became promoter and British agent for the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C.
The second trip was in 1987 – this time taking Paul to the White Isle of Ibiza. Here he discovered the Balearic sound that filled the Ibiza air at clubs such as Amnesia. Inspired, he took the music and experiences back to the UK and became its ambassador – starting an underground scene in London, which soon spread virally across the entire country and beyond.
Paul returned to Ibiza again and again – often holding residencies at the Island’s two main clubbing institutions Amnesia and Pacha. Around the same time, Ministry Of Sound in London opened its doors for the first time with Paul Oakenfold as their resident. However it was his famed residency at UK super-club Cream in Liverpool during the late ’90s that brought Paul global respect as a true master of his art.
This residency was celebrated through the Grammy-nominated 2004 compilation ‘Creamfields’ (Paul went on to receive a second Grammy nomination in 2007 with his artist album, ‘A Lively Mind’ and then again in 2009 for his production work with Madonna).
Paul Oakenfold’s stature as a DJ and entertainer has taken him beyond the normal club and festival circuit, playing landmark gigs that have changed the face of electronic music. Highlights include three worldwide tours warming up for Madonna and U2 (with both artists insisting on a DJ set from Paul instead of a support band), and performing on the Great Wall of China and two sold-out dates playing to 30,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl in California. In 2011 Paul took a thousand people and a huge sound system down to the southern most tip of South America – on the Tiera Del Fuego peninsula to DJ all night under the stars at his ‘Party at The End of The World’ – the southernmost party ever held.
A year after his visit to Ibiza, Perfecto Records was born. Founded in 1988, Paul Oakenfold’s groundbreaking Perfecto label played an integral role in the birth of melodic trance and epic progressive house, with Paul at the helm producing massive international hits such as ‘Not Over Yet’, ‘Bullet In The Gun’ and ‘Southern Sun’. With countless high-profile releases and remixes in its path, Perfecto Records is still the benchmark by which so many labels measure themselves. 20+ years later, Perfecto remains as cutting edge and popular as ever, even resurrecting its Perfecto Fluoro sublabel in 2011. Probably Perfecto’s most notable release was the recent double album ‘Perfecto Las Vegas’ which held the #1 spot on the US iTunes dance chart for several weeks. This release solidified Paul’s stronghold as an International DJ power player, achieving the highest-selling DJ compilation ever released in US history – with over half a million sales.
Paul has produced pop sensations U2, Madonna, and The Happy Mondays as well as three acclaimed artist albums of his own. He has remixed Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars…
He has released over 30 DJ mix compilations and recorded 36 Essential Mixes for BBC Radio 1, including the first ever one in 1993.
In recent years, Paul has also been responsible for creating breathtaking film scores and cues for a long list of Hollywood blockbusters – including The Bourne Identity, Matrix Reloaded, Shrek 2, Swordfish and Collateral. But his most anticipated release is yet to come.
Paul Oakenfold’s forthcoming album ‘Pop Killer’ will feature collaborations with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gnarls Barkley, OneRepublic and B.O.B.
Astonishingly, despite all his success in the worlds of chart music and film, Paul Oakenfold has continued to tour relentlessly – playing over 200 shows in 2012 on his We Are Planet Perfecto in the US and Four Seasons worldwide tours.
His weekly residency at legendary Vegas club Rain at Palms Casino Resort gave birth to a scene which many now credit as being at the epicenter of the US dance explosion.
Paul Oakenfold’s weekly Planet Perfecto radio show is syndicated worldwide to 64 stations in 52 countries. 16 million people tune in every week to hear the hottest records in the world according to Paul Oakenfold.
Paul’s 2011 album ‘Nevermind The Bollocks… here’s Paul Oakenfold’ saw a return to Europe with his refreshed underground Full on Fluoro sound. His 2012 Four Seasons live shows and box set compilation album reaffirmed his position as a pioneer and ambassador of quality underground trance.
Paul’s We Are Planet Perfecto album series which now nears its third release, celebrates all sides of Paul’s versatile and non genre confirming sound, as well as the equally ambidextrous sounds of his Perfecto and Perfecto Fluoro record labels.
Whether you are listening online, to a CD, watching a commercial or movie, in a club, at a festival, tuned into the radio or playing a videogame; Paul’s omnimedia presence is felt everywhere.
Paul Oakenfold is the original pioneer of DJ culture and is its most recognizable icon.