Elektro Exclusive Interview with Paul Oakenfold
There’s not much to say about Paul Oakenfold that hasn’t already been said. A legend within EDM, the native Brit seems to have accomplished everything. Notches on his belt include winning DJ Mag’s “Best DJ” poll to creating the influential Perfecto brand and yes… even working as a professional chef. (By the way, he says his signature dish is a classic roast). We snagged a few minutes with Paul backstage on the MDNA tour, and he chatted in signature cut-and-dry fashion about Madonna, being a support act and the current EDM explosion.
D: You’ve already done two tours with Madonna – Sticky and Sweet and Confessions - what’s different about the MDNA tour?
P: Well, her show’s completely different; my show’s completely different. This is an arena tour, and the last two have been stadiums. Other than that, it’s just…find your rhythm. I know my role; I know what I’m meant to do. You know, I’m the support act. I get the crowd going. I work on the sets after the shows. I look at what worked and what didn’t, re-tweak the set, choose different records and do edits to make tracks move a lot faster. So that’s the big difference really to what I did last time.
D: So your opening act is a pure DJ set, yes?
D: Is it different every show?
P: No DJs set is different every show. A DJ always plays a lot of the same music. He plays sick tunes that do very well for him. You know, you have key records that you hear DJs play on different nights, and it’s the same with the Madonna show. I mean it’s much more commercial, so I’ll have my remix of Coldplay. I might play that one night, and then I’ll play the new Flo Rida the next night. I make certain special tracks. I make this special track and it goes, “Hands up for..,” and then I put the city in that I’m playing. Tonight it’ll be, “Hands up for Chicago,” which really gets the crowd going.
D: What are your thoughts about dance music integrating into pop culture in America?
P: Well I’ve seen in it the UK many years ago, and it’s still doing well. It goes through peaks and valleys like any form of music. I think it’s good for mainstream culture to break out to new music. You know we’ve got a strong community at the moment. That’s what the club is all about – people coming together and having a good time. If that means you have more people coming together and enjoying themselves, then I think that’s good.
D: What’s it like to hang out with Madonna in the downtime of this tour?
P: We don’t exactly - I have all my hours in shows. I finish tonight, tomorrow is Scottsdale, then LA, then Vegas, so it’s still work to me. It’s not like everyone hangs out and parties.
D: What’s coming up for you?
P: I have my new album, “Pop Killer.” I just released a new DJ compilation called, “We are Planet Perfecto Vol. 2” I’m finishing my residency in Vegas this weekend, so it’s kind of a lot going on actually.
Written By: Dani Deahl