For the past 30-plus years, Paul Oakenfold has remained in the vanguard of the global electronic music community. With more than 30 million streams collectively, over 5 million albums sold worldwide and three GRAMMY nominations, Oakenfold is one of the industry’s most revered and most successful artists—ever. Hailed as the “Godfather of electronic music,” he’s been voted the world’s best DJ twice by DJ Mag, named the most influential DJ of all time by the London Evening Standard and recognized as the world’s most successful DJ by Guinness World Records
Never one to rest on past laurels, Oakenfold continues to push the envelope via his game-changing performances and projects. He’s known for performing at exotic locales, like the Great Wall of China, in 2003, and from within a 1000-year-old rainforest in Ushuaia, Argentina, the latter of which is recognized as the southernmost city in the world; iconic venues, including the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where he sold out two dates, in 2003 and again in 2007, and played in front of 30,000 people; and world-class festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, where he became the first DJ to play the mainstage at both events.
Lately, Oakenfold has launched several global, first-of-a-kind performances that take him into the world’s most awe-inspiring locations. In April 2017, he performed a once-in-a-lifetime DJ set at the top of the base camp of Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain above sea level, following 10-day hike. Following the rare performance, Oakenfold released Mount Everest: The Base Camp Mix (February 2018, New State Music), a full-length album mix that captures his Mount Everest set in full. In addition to the album, he will soon release Soundtrek Everest, a brand-new documentary chronicling Oakenfold’s momentous Mount Everest expedition.
In September 2018, he became the first-ever artist to perform at Stonehenge, one of the world's most famous landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage site, a groundbreaking gig now recognized as one of the most iconic moments in dance music history. Oakenfold celebrated the legendary occasion via his newly released Sunset at Stonehenge mix album (February 2019, New State Music), which captures the historic DJ set.
This past March, Oakenfold performed at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the performance, he also remixed the Games’ official theme song, “Right Where I'm Supposed To Be” from world-renowned pop stars Ryan Tedder, Avril Lavigne, Luis Fonsi and other global acts.
A prolific recording artist, Oakenfold’s lauded discography includes three full-length studio albums, multiple live and compilation albums, countless singles, remixes and rave classics, and more than 20 DJ mix albums. He counts two GRAMMY nominations for his solo work—twice nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album for Creamfields (2005) and A Lively Mind (2007)—with an additional third nomination (Best Dance Recording, 2010) for his production work on Madonna’s international hit “Celebration.”
Oakenfold has also written and produced for every superstar artist of the past four decades. His extensive list of collaborators includes everyone from Cher and The Happy Mondays to U2 and Madonna. Oakenfold also counts +100 groundbreaking remixes for +100 artists, including The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, U2, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Elvis Presley, among many others.
Oakenfold is currently working on Labor of Love, his fourth full-length album, which sees the master producer/artist expanding into new sounds. The album will feature cross-genre collaborations with today’s leading pop luminaries, including CeeLo Green, Ryan Tedder and Luis Fonsi.
Following a relocation from London to Los Angeles in 2002, Oakenfold began to work on film scores for major blockbuster movies. He produced the original soundtrack for Swordfish (2001), which won him a BMI Film Music Award in 2002, as well as the music score production for the 2007 Japanese CGI anime film Vexille. He’s also contributed music to scores and cues for breakout films like The Bourne Identity (2002), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Shrek 2 (2004), Collateral (2004), The Heavy (2010) and others. Additionally, he’s produced and contributed music to major TV series, including Big Brother, Showtime’s Californication and Transformers Cybertron, as well as video game franchises like Frequency.
On the live and touring front, Oakenfold single-handedly pioneered the DJ residency formula that has since dominated the Las Vegas and larger North American club market with his Paul Oakenfold Presents: Perfecto Las Vegas series. Originally launched in 2008 at Rain Nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort, the weekly Perfecto Las Vegas shows were fully produced spectacles featuring live theatrical performers, cutting-edge visuals and special effects. Elsewhere, the residency spawned Oakenfold’s 2009 Perfecto: Vegas mix album, which became the highest-selling DJ compilation in American history at the time of its release, with over half a million sales.
Via his independent imprint, Perfecto Records, and its various sublabels, Oakenfold has shaped the dance music industry on a global scale. Founded in 1989, Perfecto has been integral in the birth of trance music and the overall development of electronic music as an international movement. Perfecto, today distributed by Black Hole Recordings, has released influential albums and singles from dance music’s biggest artists, including Carl Cox, BT and Sandra Collins; it’s also the home of Oakenfold’s own GRAMMY-nominated album, A Lively Mind. Perfecto celebrated its 25-year anniversary in 2015 with the release of 25 Years of Perfecto Records, a compilation album, mixed by Oakenfold himself, that traces the label’s history and sonic evolution. This year, Oakenfold celebrates 30 impactful years of Perfecto, with upcoming plans for special projects currently in the works. With more than 10 million record sales to date, Perfecto looks ahead to the next 30 years of its history as it leads the future of dance music via a class of fresh, young talents and exciting new releases.
During every major development in the history of electronic music, Paul Oakenfold has played a pivotal role. A boundary-pushing artist, Oakenfold is the forefather of modern dance music culture and its most prominent figure. His creative touch is omnipresent, his influence on the sound and scene is ever-lasting and his global impact on the industry is immeasurable.
—John Ochoa, July 2019