Up Close with Paul Oakenfold – Charlotte, NC Jan. 18, 2014

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JAN. 30, 2014

You describe your early music life as a “bedroom DJ” what do you think that means, and do you think there are still many of those type of DJ’s/Producers out there?

That’s where I started, like every kid in the world, you start somewhere and you start in your bedroom practicing on those. You have to start there, it’s not like your first gig, the first time you every DJ is live in front of a crowd, you have to start somewhere. You have to start in your house, and usually your equipment is in your bedroom.

As someone who was part of a pioneer event such as Cyberfest 200 which many say paved the way for major events such as Electric Daisy Carnival, what’s your take on the explosion of major EDM events in the US and where do you think the expansion will lead the scene?

Well I think finally they’ve caught up to the rest of the world, I mean, we’ve been doing this for 25 years, so it’s great, it’s good to see people are enjoying it, people want to be a part of it, I think in some respects it’s tough for a lot of people out there so for people to go to an event and have fun and enjoy themselves, why not?

You have had an extensive career, working with talented people across all genres and fields of musicianship, what keeps you going, what keeps you interested and motivated to this day to work in this industry as hard as you do?

Cause I love what I do, it’s got nothing to do with what I do, what it’s all about, it’s not the subject matter, it’s if you enjoy it. I was doing this when I had no money, this wasn’t cool, this wasn’t the thing to do when I was doing it, I did it for the passion, for the belief, and I love it. So that’s what it’s all about for anyone working, find what you love doing and do it. It’s not easy to do that, not everyone finds their destiny, not everyone finds what they’ve been put on the earth to do, but if you can find it, do it, enjoy it, share, love it, that’s what it’s all about.

I know you’ve been asked this a lot, so instead of asking when, I’ll ask WHAT can we expect from your long awaited album Pop Killer.

Hopefully, well this year, it’s gotta be this year. It has to be. This year I’m doing two records, the first record is very very interesting record. There’s this upswing in trance now, it’s starting to become popular, but what’s very interesting is that the current generation don’t know any of the classic songs. Or let me rephrase that, are not too familiar with the classic songs. So I thought that I wanted to share those songs with the current generation. So what I decided to do was take ten of the popular tracks from back in the day and cover them, not remix them, so actually reproduce them with a 2014 production sound which is what I’m doing now and the album will come out in April, called Trance Mission. And then Pop Killer comes out towards the end of the year, or early September.

Before going on stage, do you ever prepare differently for larger venues versus smaller venues like Phoenix here in Charlotte?

No, I like small venues, that’s why I came here. I like to get close. This set up here (his equipment in his hotel room set up and playing tracks when I came in) because I’m listening to, I’ve got probably over a hundred tracks this week and I’m listening to them, just checking them out which ones I like, which ones I’m going to play, that’s the whole idea of preparation.

What are some of your favorite festivals or events to perform at?

Coachella’s my favorite, it’s a lot of people’s favorite, but it’s awesome I think.

You played at Burning Man last year and rumor is you will be there again this year, what makes this particular event so unique and different to perform at?

Burning Man’s an art festival and now I’ve put together with a friend of mine a show called White Ocean, so we booked all the talent, put a big party on for people, it’s good, it’s fun, you guys should go.

Recently you’ve worked with Madonna and Cher and others on their albums, are there any other big names you have your sights set on or are working with currently?

I did a track with Azealia Banks, but besides that not really, not at the moment, I’m just trying to finish this Trance album and I’m going to play three tracks [from it] tonight, looking forward to it.

By Lauren Stafford