Grammy's 2014: Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' Wins Record and Album of the Year! The masked duo in Daft Punk represents the maturing of E.D.M., stretching a hugely popular genre to arty new heights.
But there is another artist who has been at the front of the EDM scene much longer than the masked duo. Paul Oakenfold who not only tops the list of top DJ's in the world, continues to make music and has branched out into movies, television and video games.
Oakenfold is a survivor in the world of EDM. As one of the most influential trance and progressive house DJs/producers out there, Paul is in the midst of working on his forthcoming album, Pop Killer, and has just launched his Trance Mission USA tour.
Oakenfold describes Pop Killer, "as more of the same of my last two albums. "Basically it's melodic, cutting-edge music with collaborations. But the collaborations this time I've gone for Azealia Banks, ZZ Ward, Allen Stone, Miguel."
"It's going that route rather than the last two albums—big names, Oakenfold said. "What's changed is that house music has become pop music. So we now live in a much more commercial area. I think the album will be perceived as much more commercial but I haven't changed anything since the last two."
I recently had a chance to sit down with Paul to talk about his career, his love of music and soccer and his plans for the future during the Avalon Hollywood's 10th anniversary celebration. Oakenfold headlines the venue ten years earlier.
MORE ON PAUL:
Paul Oakenfold describes his early life as a "bedroom DJ" in a podcasted interview with Vancouver's 24 Hours, stating he grew up listening to The Beatles.
Later 21-year-old Oakenfold and Ian Paul moved to 254 West 54th Street. Studio 54's Steve Rubell ran the place and only allowed popular people inside. Oakenfold and Paul used fake passes to sneak into places in New York where they met Maze, Bobby Womack and Bob Marley, whom they also interviewed, claiming to be NME and Melody Maker journalists.
Oakenfold's musical career began in the late 1970s, when he started playing soul in a Covent Garden wine bar. Here, he met Trevor Fung as well as Rumours in London where he played Earth, Wind and Fire and popular British bands.
In 1984, he spent several months in New York City's West Harlem. During this time hip-hop was the most popular sound in the area (see 1984 in music). He began breaking into the mainstream as he was working as an A&R man for Champion Records.
At that time, he signed DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, as well as Salt-n-Pepa. Oakenfold appeared on the Blue Peter BBC program for children with a breakdancing crew. He became a promoter and British agent for the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C.. Since then, he appeared at The Project in Streatham playing soul and jazz music.
Since October 2012, Oakenfold has served as an advisor to DJZ, an online home for electronic dance music.
Paul Oakenfold also wrote two songs for Cher's new album: Woman's World and Collide. The first single from her upcoming album, Woman's World.
One of Oakenfolds biggest hits was "Starry Eyed Surprise" It was released in July 2002 as the second single from his album Bunkka. It features vocals by Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town. It was later included on Shifty Shellshock's 2004 album "Happy Love Sick", and Oakenfold's 2007 album "Greatest Hits & Remixes, Vol. 1". (VIDEO BELOW)
MORE ON AVALON HOLLYWOOD: (Video Below)
Clubs come and go in the Los Angeles nightlife scene, but Hollywood's Avalon will be celebrating its tenth anniversary with a performance from Paul Oakenfold as part of his North American Trance Mission Tour.
This pairing is fitting, considering that Oakenfold played the club's first night when it opened back in 2003. Over the ten years, the club has rolled out its successful CONTROL Fridays in addition to serving over a million clubgoers over the course of more than 500 Saturday nights.
The club also plans to roll out new initiatives celebrating this milestone and ushering in a new phase of the club's life over the next year. An extensive upgrade of the club will be unveiled in the coming months, and will include a state-of-the-art "Avalon by EAW" sound system. Additionally, Avalon will open a San Diego location.
Photos Courtesy of: Oh Dag Yo Photography
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Oakenfold on EDM's Growth: 'We Built the Foundations Up' Rolling Stone Interview Below