Paul Oakenfold is a trance and acid house DJ from England. He was born in 1963 and had begun his career by the late 70s. The DJ is now one of the biggest globally, with three Grammy and two World Music Award nominations. Paul Oakenfold has toted up an impressive 100 remixes and has worked with some of the most influential musicians in history. This includes U2, Massive Attack, and The Cure. The DJ’s work has earned him 5 million album sales and a converted title: “Godfather of Electronic Music.”
Paul Oakenfold’s early career gave him access to history’s most exciting music scenes. In the late 70s, he DJed soul music in London’s Covent Garden, and in the early 80s, he moved to New York City. Having gained exposure to New York dance and rap scenes, he returned to the UK. Oakenfold then began working for Champion Records and promoting the Beastie Boys.
It was not until 1988 that Paul Oakenfold began producing under the moniker ‘Electra,’ having visited Ibiza, discovered acid house, and brought it to the UK. ‘Electra’ was a Balearic beat project, taking influence from the Ibiza scene to release four tracks. Oakenfold then began producing under the name Perfecto, and he started the Perfecto Records targeting new and upcoming trance producers.
From 1988 to 1991, Oakenfold broke onto the ‘Madchester’ scene through his remixes of Happy Mondays tracks, performing with the Stone Roses on Spike Island, and producing the UK charts #1 album Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches. This success elevated even further during the 90s when the DJ began to tour, releasing live mixes including the 1997 double CD Global Underground 004: Paul Oakenfold, Live in Oslo. This stage of the DJ’s career culminated in him playing the Glastonbury main stage in front of 90,000 people.
The 2000s were the era where Paul Oakenfold began to thrive making his music. In 2002, the DJ created his first studio album: Bunkka. The album, released on Maverick Records, achieved over 1 million sales and featured Ice Cube, Nelly Furtado, and Perry Farrell.
Oakenfold backed up the success of Bunkka with his 2006 album A Lively Mind. The DJ’s 2nd album was another eclectic album featuring the most exciting artists such as Farrell Williams and OneRepublic. Never averse to giving legends another moment in the spotlight, this electronica album also featured Grandmaster Flash.
The DJ’s final studio album was Trance Mission, a collection of covers. On Trance Mission, Oakenfold reimagines classics with a new perspective. Listen to this album, and hear Simple Minds, Cass Fox, and even Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings” like never before.
As well as new releases, the 2010s was an era where live music took Oakenfold to some incredible places. The DJ has performed some truly historic gigs around the world. In 2017, he performed at Mount Everest base camp. The performance was commemorated by the release of the mixtape Mount Everest: The Base Camp Mix. As well as performing at natural wonders, the DJ has performed at culturally significant places and events. These include a performance at the iconic Stonehenge, commemorated with a mixtape released in 2019: Sunset on Stonehenge. Finally, his performance at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi featured his remix of the Games’ theme song.