He toured with U2 and Madonna.
He is a certified chef and signed Will Smith to one of his first labels.
He scored albums for movies like The Bourne Identity and Swordfish, and has been nominated for three Grammy’s.
He performed on the Great Wall of China… shall I continue?
No, this is not some superhero from the planet Krypton that is faster than a speeding bullet but be sure in the eyes of his loyal fans, he’s pretty close.
Paul Oakenfold is the epitome of a Zeitgeist, the spirit of a generation. Without his influence in electronic music, fans today would not be jamming out to David Guetta and there certainly would be no Guetta collaboration with Akon or Flo Rida that is currently jamming up the radio waves.
With Oakenfold’s long-awaited Facelift Tour and coveted stop in South Beach at LIV on Nov. 13, Mike Rothman grabbed a few minutes of the remix king’s time to talk about what’s next for the world’s greatest DJ, his monster 50-stop tour, working with Ryan Tedder and even how friends have the gall to fall asleep while Paul cooks one of his English Roast dinners.
Mike Rothman – So what are you up to right now?
Paul Oakenfold – I have a residency in Las Vegas but I’m currently in Los Angeles. I’m just in the studio doing a remix on Chris Brown’s new single [Yeah 3x].
With the Facelift show Saturday night at LIV, what should fans expect?
The idea of the tour is to build a show around the whole DJ concept. I haven’t been on the road in a few years in America. I’ve been based out of Las Vegas and had a residency there at the Palms Casino [Planet Perfecto at Rain Nightclub]. The whole idea was to invest in a big light show, take it on the road and introduce young, new, fresh talent from around the world.
Do you like to come to South Beach?
Yeah, I think everyone does (laugh). It’s great coming to Miami, I have friends there and it’s always a good time to come and play.
Are you planning a follow up to your last album, A Lively Mind?
It is scheduled for May of next year. There are various different collaborations with different people from different genres… there’s no title at the moment.
Any collaboration you are excited about on the new album?
There’s a band called Infected Mushroom that I’ve done collaboration with. There’s Ryan Tedder from One Republic that is just a great American singer/songwriter that I am very excited to work with him.
Do you have any favorite artists you like to work with or remix?
Probably similar to a lot of people, I mean Madonna, U2, who I have collaborated with. This new urban singer called Miguel, who I am really a big fan of his new works.
So, I read you once were going to be a chef, how did that come about?
I studied as a chef and am a fully qualified chef. My parents were the people really behind that idea, I wanted to do music and they were like ‘get a proper job.’ So, I started as a chef.
Random, but I read on your site, is it true you signed Will Smith to a label?
Yeah I singed Will Smith in England yeah. I was A&R for a record company called Champion Records and Will Smith was under the name of Fresh Prince. That was one of the first records I signed and mixed it.
Are there any DJs that you admire today that could be considered in your class?
A lot of people. David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Armin van Buren and David Guetta.
What can we expect from you soon, what’s coming out?
I’ve done this movie called Fugly, scoring the movie in December. Finishing up a few remixes and got the tour, which goes to the end of November.
You’ve toured with the true greats, where are some of the places that stick out as special?
Playing on the Great Wall of China, I was very lucky to do that. Anything out of the box really. I like the idea of not just DJing at a club. I did shows at the Hollywood Bowl. I played at the Boston Pops with a 75-piece orchestra.
In 1992, when you remixed U2’s “Even Better Than the Real Thing”, your remix was more popular than the original.
Yeah it sold more and was a bigger hit.
Has any other DJ ever accomplished that before?
No, not really.
Is there anything fans don’t know about you?
Every time I cook dinner for my friends, it takes so long; they end up all getting drunk and not eating the food. I cook an English Roast dinner, so it takes like three hours to cook it. So, friends come over, you cook it, before you know it, everyone is drinking wine and no one’s eating.