Paul Oakenfold





8/30/1963 , London, UK

Birth Name

Paul Oakenfold




It's a wednesday night in Chicago, and the sound system at the world-famous Metro is alive with pounding progressive sounds. Paul Oakenfold is mixing to a crowd of about 300 faithful fans. Any other dj who has played to packed stadiums of 95,000 people (as if there were any other djs who could say that) might be disappointed, might mail in their performance. Not Oakey. The guy is juiced, dancing behind the decks with an ear-to-ear grin, for the energy flowing through the stacks is returned in full force from the adoring crowd... they get it. And so does Oakenfold. "Three hundred or 3,000, people will leave those parties having a good time. That's what's exciting about it, because if you're one of those 300 people that were there, you go off and tell your mates 'you can't believe what you missed last night' and then the next time you go it gets bigger and then you come back and you build on it. So it's a solid foundation of fans that will go out and buy your record, that understand what you're doing. It was the same in England when we started, when I brought back that sound from Ibiza. Even when I was playing the house clubs, people didn't get it. But the people who did, next week they came back and it got bigger and bigger, because it was new, it was fresh, and it was exciting. If you've got something like that and you share it with people, they get off on it; they're gonna come back." So now that he has converted most of the rest of the world, Oakenfold has his sights set on America. But first, a little history about the man. Came to New York from London to experience what was "the heart of the dance world at the time." Returned to England fourteen months later, consulting, working A+R and generally exposing American hip hop to the UK (working labels like Profile and Def Jam, and signing artists like Salt 'n Pepa and The Fresh Prince, a.k.a. Will Smith). Started playing huge parties before an 18 month residency at Heaven. Has remixed everybody from the Rolling Stones to Snoop Dogg to his most recent work with the Smashing Pumpkins. Has toured with the industry's biggest names, from Happy Mondays to Grace Jones to Bjork to the massive year and a half jaunt as U2's opening act on their Zoo TV tour. Runs his own label, Perfecto, releasing music from Grace and Man With No Name, among others. Has a residency at Cream. Has award-winning mixes running on Radio One. Was nominated twice for a Brit award. Named Dj of the Year three times. Became the first dj to be featured on the main stage at Glastonbury (alongside artists such as Peter Gabriel and Van Morrison), pioneering the dj-as-entertainer ethic and spawning the dance tents featured at every festival since. Turned England and most of the rest of the world upside down with the sounds he brought back from Ibiza (with a little help from some early Chicago house records), sparking the acid-house movement during England's Summer of Love in '88. Clearly, Paul Oakenfold has the experience to back up his legendary status. His uplifting blend of trance and progressive house has placed him at the forefront of the English and European dance scene for years. For an explanation of his musical vision, he says, "The style of trance that we play is not just instrumental progressive music- it's melodic, there are vocal hooks in there - some of them are full songs. It's not dark progressive. It's very uplifting, it's feel good music, and that's what I think people want, they wanna feel good. In America's underground clubs it's just been instrumental, all at one level, all at one pace, and hopefully what we're bringing is melodic, uplifting trance, that you feel really good about, that makes you want to dance". Oakenfold productions have sold in excess of a half million units in Perfecto releases alone, as well as inspiring some of the biggest bands to reach new levels of success and creativity (Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, etc.). Paul's remixes are sought after by everybody in the business these days, spurred by his uncanny ability to not only rework pop material while retaining the original feel (U2's "Even Better Than the Real Thing", Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy") but also by his dead-on sense of timing within a remix. His works stand out singularly in a sea of sameness, appealing to the underground crowd while still conquering the charts. So with a foundation firmly built in his homeland and abroad, Paul Oakenfold is now turning to America to complete his vision of a global dance community. The vision comes with a philosophy and a commitment to the long term. Oakey explains: "We've done the ten years here in the UK, and obviously I've done well, but I'm looking for a new challenge. I think the challenge is there with America- and I'm up for it. "You know, you go to America and there's so much racial tension, it's such a downer. What's great about nightclubs and what we play is, all kinds of people, whatever they're doing, will have a real stressful week, and the weekend is 'leave your attitude at the door and go and just have a great time, get on the journey, and just have a party and forget about everything else.' I've found that America now seems to be a lot more open-minded to this philosophy. We're trying to bring a positive attitude from the music to the people, and it's all about the people. And it's a formula that's worked for me throughout Europe and the UK and that's where I am now, because of this formula, so I don't really see America in any different way. I just feel the timing is what it's about, and I think they're ready for it now". To introduce this founding father of the UK scene to the uneducated Yanks, Tranceport is the first full domestic release for Oakenfold through Kinetic in America. This non-stop mix CD brilliantly showcases Paul's turntable skill and dynamic programming ability, taking the listener on a trip of epic proportions and mind blinding destinations. Creatively, Paul has introduced the sound of Tranceport in 1998 by touring in March, June and September, (and another in November!) including stops in Dallas, Mexico City, San Diego, Los Angeles (twice), San Francisco, Las Vegas, Gainesville, Boston, Chicago and New York. Manning the decks alongside Oakey is the incredible Dave Ralph, making for one of the strongest and most anticipated line-ups to hit the clubs this year. Paul Oakenfold's credibility, production, and remix skills are unquestionable. The strength of Perfecto's stable of artists, coupled with Paul's relationship with Kinetic (a Warner affiliate) and their distribution arm have him poised to be the breakthrough in the American dance community. The next step is taking it out on the road, and we'll let Paul take it from there... Bio from Kinetic Records