INTERVIEW: Paul Oakenfold (2013)
With a career spanning thirty years in electronic dance music, Paul Oakenfold is clearly a legend. Hard at work on his third artist album and producing new music for Cher, Paul has been busy both in the studio and touring. I caught up with him at the Winter Music Conference for a quick chat about what’s going on in his mad world.
Ron Slomowicz: “As We Collide” continues to explode, did you have any idea that it would become such a big record?
Paul Oakenfold: Yes
RS: How did the record come about?
Paul Oakenfold: When you are in the studio making music you have to really like it, otherwise you wouldn’t release it. The collaboration is with two really great and talented people, I was very fortunate to work on it with them.
RS: What is the story behind your new album ‘Pop Killer’?
Paul Oakenfold: It is my third artist album and I am trying to finish it, but I keep stopping and traveling and touring and working on other projects… but it will be finished soon.
RS: You just did a track with Cher for her lead single, what was it like working with her?
Paul Oakenfold: How do you know that?
RS: The song leaked a few months ago and word is that you did two songs with her.
Paul Oakenfold: “Woman’s World” leaked? Did you like it?
Paul Oakenfold: I don’t know when it is coming out but hopefully it will do well, she is a great vocalist and it was an honor to work with her.
RS: How do you discover vocal talent like Mika Newton?
Paul Oakenfold: I got introduced to her from a mutual friend. She is a unique artist and I respect where she has come from. She is very driven and talented, I had an opportunity to collaborate with her and it worked out very well.
RS: Why did you decide to bring your label Perfecto into the Armada family?
Paul Oakenfold: There are two reasons, first of all I like what they do and they are very good at it, second of all they are good people. I like collaborating and working with the right people but they have to be good people as well and Armada is.
RS: I totally agree with you. I have read that the new album has Red Hot Chili Peppers, One Republic, Gnarls Barkley, and B.o.B on it, are those all confirmed?
Paul Oakenfold: I have recorded with all of them but whether they make the record or not is not confirmed. The process is a conversation that you have to have with the record company, they have to have single rights and there are a lot of things that go into it. In terms of collaborations I have been very lucky to work with a lot of different people, what actually comes out on the record is a different thing though.
RS: Is there anyone that you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?
Paul Oakenfold: Yes, Dr. Dre, we spoke earlier.
RS: You have done a lot of soundtrack work over the last couple of years like with The Matrix, Swordfish, and The Bourne Identity, how did you get involved doing soundtracks?
Paul Oakenfold: Usually they find you in the studio and ask you if you want to score a movie or do queues for it and then you read the script or watch the film and go from there.
RS: Your Rain residency in Vegas finished last year. Do you have another residency now?
Paul Oakenfold: No, but last year I did the Hard Rock pool parties as a resident and this year I wanted to take a step back and just play at individual clubs rather than at the same place all the time.
RS: Why did you make that decision?
Paul Oakenfold: Because everyone else is playing at every single place and if you are a resident you can only play at the same place. I felt that after four years of playing at the same places I wanted to go and play at all the different places.
RS: If people want to follow you what is the best way to do that, Twitter or Facebook?
Paul Oakenfold: All of them.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Paul Oakenfold: First of all thank you for all of your support, come and enjoy and most importantly, have a good time.
RS: Thank you so much for your time.
Interview conducted during WMC 2013.