Paul Oakenfold

Exclusive interview with the Perfecto superstar

Hey Paul, welcome back to DMCWORLD young man. Another great summer for you and a brand new release ‘We Are Planet Perfecto Volume 2’ out this week. The artists you have selected for your mix are exceptional, huge flavours of the month in there including Nicky Romero, Tommy Trash and Hardwell. This must have been a very exciting project to piece together…

“Yeah it really was. I wanted to make something that reflects the kind of sound I play at my shows in the US – which is pretty different to the more Fluoro orientated sounds I push at my European shows.”

For many years alongside Sasha and Digweed, you have been the sole torch bearers for dance music in America. Now that the dust has settled a little and you have a chance to take it all in, what are your thoughts on the progress of EDM in the United States of America in 2012?

“Well as everyone knows dance music in the last 3 years in the US has literally exploded. The commercial successes artists like David Guetta have had has spawned a who new generation of DJs and producers who are following in his footsteps and collaborating with the biggest names in pop – and the masses in the US are hooked.”

We were listening to a certain Hollywood DJ on the radio the other day, he was suggesting it wouldn’t surprise him if EDM went the same way that Disco went in the 1970s. When the Americans get fed up with something, they chuck it in the bin. Thoughts on that little comment?

“It’s true and I don’t think it’s just the case in the US – globally music trends tend to last about 10 years. That’s not to say movements or genres die after 10 years but things that are hugely popular tend to be so for a maximum of a decade and then the slip down the pecking order to allow something else to take poll position. Yes EDM is huge in the US right now, but I’m sure in say 8 years from now it will be something else. But of course it will never die and it will always play a prominent role in nightlife – because people like to go out and dance.”

How has Las Vegas coped with the sudden impact of dance music in America? Has this little pocket of Ibiza changed in any way – do the crowds dancing in the pools and the million dollar clubs actually appreciate the music you are playing or are they there for the party only?

“Vegas has coped fine. It has lapped up the additional traffic and overnight given birth to a number of amazing new clubs and venues. Most of the biggest DJs in the world have monthly residencies there. How do the crowds differ? How does the music differ? Well it’s a lot more commercial in Vegas than it is in Europe. When you play in Europe you’re playing to crowd that want to be taken on a journey with a backing track of underground music while in Vegas it’s more about the party – so the sound tends to be more commercial, more accessible.”

What are your thoughts of Ibiza 2012? The island has changed drastically this year, corporate has taken over, there are perhaps 4 key players who now control where artists play on the island and the days of the entrepreneur promoter coming in with an idea are long gone…

“Well to be honest I’ve only been there for ISM in May and then last Friday night when I played at Pacha which was amazing, so I can only say that it looked busy as ever and appeared to be buzzing. I’m coming back to do 2 shows over the next 3 weeks at Privilege with Armin / Armada and will be staying on the Island for 2 weeks holiday so ask me again in month and I’ll be able to answer more thoroughly.”

Tell us about the new Poncho track with Maxi Trusso?

“Well Poncho are a massive band from Argentina and they made this record “Please Me” which I first heard on tour in South America last year. It’s absolutely huge down there. The Youtube video for the track has like 4 million hits in 3 or 4 months. And I just loved the track – got hooked and immediately wanted to sign it to Perfecto to create a new package of remixes.”

How do you feel about another place close to your heart, Goa. The place has certainly changed with all of the Russian developers taking over…

“Sure I miss the place and the sound I play in Europe is still heavily influenced by the Goa sound (as opposed to the Psy sound).”

What has been your anthem of the summer?

“Brian Cameron “Serotonin Syndrome” (Eshericks remix) has been huge in Europe and the Maison & Dragen remix of “Surrender” has been huge in the US.”

Who are the new, young and exciting producers you are giving high fives to at the moment?

“Federation, Magnus, Michael S, Justin Oh, Eshericks, Beatman & Ludmilla, Richard Beynon, Angry Man, Yahel…”

You are on tour all of the time which must give you the perfect opportunity to sample the best cuisines of the world. As a chef, what country offers the best food in the world, and if you were on death row (!!), what would be your last meal…?

“England!! Last meal would have to be my mum’s Sunday roast!”

What is the next studio project you are working on?

“I have a new single finished called “Come Together” which I just aired for the first time on my Essential mix a few weeks back and this week I am working on mixing the next 2 seasons of my Four Seasons compilation series. I have several remixes coming and of course there is the ongoing artist album “Pop Killer” which now looks like it will be out in 2013.”

It’s your birthday – what 3 DJs do you ask to come and play for you…and which artist do you ask to sing you happy birthday?

“Adele to sing Happy Birthday and DJing I’m not sure. Maybe an Alfredo set playing the music from back in the day would be cool.”

Your website suggests a ‘where not to miss in London’ section for people at the Olympics. What do you really miss about living in London?

“Being able to see my mates.”

What has been your highlight of The Olympics so far, Underworld did a pretty good job huh?

“Yeah the opening ceremony was amazing. I’m hoping the highlight will come tomorrow when I’m going to the Olympic stadium to watch men’s 800 meters and loads of other track and field events. Keep you posted.”

And finally, what has been the best show of 2012 to date…

“Impossible to choose just one. I just can’t do it. They’ve all been amazing.”

‘We Are Planet Perfecto Vol.2’ is out on August 10th