With a slew of critically acclaimed releases clocked on the likes of Virgin Records, Capitol Records, Maelstrom and Somn’thing Records (to name a few) – as well as collaborations with A-listers including Boy George, Sonique, Kimberly Wyatt and Mutya Buena – longstanding British DJ and producer Paul Morrell has racked up a huge assortment of chart-topping singles and notable accolades over the course of his esteemed twenty year career. Now, as he looks to add another huge dancefloor weapon to his ever-expanding musical arsenal, Paul Morrell announces his eagerly anticipated Sirup Music label debut, with the immaculate new future house cut, Work It Out. We sat down with Paul from his home in Warwickshire to talk early influences, working with Aya Marar and plans for the rest of 2021. Here’s how it went down.
Hi Paul, and a very warm welcome to DMC World. How are you and where are you answering this interview from?
I’m doing really well thank you! Things are beginning to get back to normal in the UK so im hoping that 2022 will be a slightly more positive year! I’m currently at home in Warwickshire, UK.
First things first, please may you introduce yourself to our readers?
I am a UK based DJ, producer, remixer, song writer, club promoter and general music fanatic. I have been producing for almost 20 years and DJing even longer. During my career I have collaborated with various high-profile artists and vocalists including Boy George, Mutya Buena, Kimberly Wyatt etc, as well as remixing for huge pop artists including Ava Max, Kelly Clarkson, All Saints etc.
How would you best describe your brand of electronic music?
Eclectic and Energetic. I have always gravitated towards big room, tougher sounds, however also like to throw in obscure or unexpected tracks when DJing to really stand out from the crowd. I like to create memorable sets that also include classics or music from other genres rather than just the ‘Beatport top ten’. The genre I would say people most associate me with is house music, however I am influenced by all music genres. My music collection itself is hugely eclectic.
Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Growing up in the UK in the late 1980s / Early 1990s, I was exposed to the birth of dance music in the UK as a teenager, so have a real understanding of the heritage of the scene. The DJs that most inspired me early on in my career were the huge array of British talent at the time, such as Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules, Tall Paul, Jeremy Healy, Sonique, John Kelly etc, many of whom I am lucky to have now worked with and are personal friends. This scene was so important for me as a young man, as I aspired to emulate the success of these DJs – I knew early on that I wanted to pursue DJing as a career, rather than aspire to be a footballer or sportsman like the majority of my friendship group at school.
When did you become a DJ / producer, and what inspired you to take this career path?
My very first club gig was in the early 1990s at a club called The Lighthouse in my home city Coventry, I was an avid collector of dance music, and it was a natural progression to move from dance music fan to DJ.
Congratulations on your new single ‘Work It Out’ on Sirup Music. What can fans expect from this release?
The track is a mainstream house record with a solid vocal from Ayah, and a classic piano drop. I believe it is slightly different to the barrage of commercial piano house tracks out there at the moment, as it has a more of a credible feel to it, and uses slightly different synth sounds and layers within the verses. Also Ayahs top line is extremely distinctive, and is uniquely her sound.
What was it like working with Aya Marar on the single?
Ayah is a true professional. I initially approached Ayah, as I loved her vocal on Calvin Harris’ track ‘Thinking About You’ which had been a firm favourite of mine for several years. We actually recorded the track in the middle of the pandemic, and went back and forth with ideas over WhatsApp, Ayah would send me vocal snippets on voice-note and we would bounce ideas off each other – it was actually quite a fun way to work. I had already completed the instrumental prior to the lockdown, however it just made sense to get Ayah on board as her vocal really seemed to gel with the instrumental. We have still not met ‘in person’, which is a strange thing about contemporary music production, you can collaborate with people you have never met. That said, we often speak on the phone for ages!
What else do you have coming up over the course of 2021? Any exciting projects or touring you can talk to us about?
I have recently remixed two huge club classics and had them approved for release by the original artists. The first is my forthcoming remix of K Klass 1991 classic ‘Rhythm Is A Mystery’ which I was asked to remix as part of their 30th Anniversary re-release. I have known the K Klass guys for quite a long time, and it was a real honour to have been asked to produce a remix on this package.
The second project which I have also been involved in is the remix package for Tall Paul’s track ‘Rock Da House’ which is due for re-release early 2022. I completed this remix just prior to the pandemic, however it has been on hold for a while, as Paul was awaiting a return to relative normality in club land before releasing it in order to maximise its chance of success. Again, this is a huge club classic and one of the tracks I used to love playing at the beginning of my career, so to be asked to remix it was a real honour.
Thanks for your time and we wish you all the best for 2021
Paul Morrell feat. Aya Marar – Work It Out is out now via Sirup Music