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Oakenfold feature

  PAUL OAKENFOLD


 

 

 

watch
Faster Kill Pussycat
video with Brittany Murphy
here

 

 

 

 

 


click to listen & buy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

written by Claire Maxwell

The fact that saying, "he really needs no introduction" is completely a cliche when introducing Oakenfold, is, well, an introduction that goes to show how well this prolific and popular artist, DJ, producer, and industry baron is known!

Despite his Tolstoy-length list of accomplishments, Oakey (as he calls himself) is notorious for not been all that keen on being interviewed. I can remember an early oline video interview with our own Jennifer Warner in 2002 where he was being adorably shy! But he's always been extremely gracious over the years with talking to oh probably tens of thousands of journalists, including a few times for Raves/DJfix, like now.

FREE download of Faster Kill Pussycat audio!

We wanted to hear what he had to say about his new artist album, A Lively Mind, which features the super fun single (dowload link above) with Brittany Murphy, plus a whole slew of amazing guest appearances. So Oakey emailed us the answers to 10 questions... and here they are! Check out the full press release below for more info too.

Of all the people you could work with, how did you decide on Brittany Murphy, Pharrel Williams, and Grandmaster Flash?  

1: Grand Master Flash is a legend in his own rite, it was an honour to work with him, and Pharrell and Brittany are very talented people and a pleasure to work with.

Did you work in the studio with any/all of the artists who appear on your album, or was some of it long distance?

2: All the artists worked in the studio, though it was sometimes difficult with Pharrell due to his touring commitments.

Describe your role in the entire song writing and recording process... how are you inspired, what exactly technically do you do on each song?

I co-wrote most of the Album, and recorded it with my Engineer's and myself.

How do you decide when a track is finally done ‚ do you run it by anyone in particular (a trusted friend for example); play it in your car/walkman/club to test it out; leave it for a few days and come back to it, or any other technique that you use for most tracks?

I sometimes play them out to test the reaction, but generally I can feel when they are completed.

Where in the world did you come up with the lyrics and title for Faster Kill Pussycat???

Me and my co-wroter Kelli came up with the lyrics, we wanted an edgy vocal.

Another great title is ìSave The Last Trance For Meî - where did that come from?

The idea behind the title, really was to have a joke at myself.

What was it like making that video for Faster Kill Pussycat?

Great big production, I loved it!

You are also working on the scores for three new films this year, can you let us in on what they are, and has your film work influenced your artist work in any way?

The 3 new Movies im due to work on are 'Nobel's Son' 'One 9' and 'The Heavy'. My film work has an influence on my artist album.

Two bands you signed to Perfecto and that you have on your album - Bad Apples and Spitfire, are rock and rap, respectively. Will you be signing more diverse acts to your label, or do you have any new signings coming up that you can let us in on?

Bad Apples and Spitfire are signed to The Sound of the Renegade Recordings not on Perfecto, I’m producing both Band and Artist's, the new signings on Perfecto are EM-Jay and the Atari Baby's and Jan Johnson.

Youíve always been ahead of the curve, seeing where dance music will go and putting yourself and your label there first. Where do you see yourself, and electronic/dance music heading now?

I think Electronic Bands are the way forward 'Turbo Electronic Rock' done live.

And thatís ten! Thank you!!!!

Thank you for all your support,
Oakey.

For more visit: www.pauloakenfold.com and below.


OAKENFOLD OFFICIAL BIO

A Lively Mind is Paul Oakenfold's second artist album and his second for Perfecto Records. Of course, every single one of his mix albums and projects have involved a high level of artistry, so perhaps a little explanation is in order...

Paul Oakenfold has long been one of the most important--if not the most important--name in modern club culture. People who don't know that much about DJ culture or the music itself are familiar with Oakenfold's name and what he represents. Of course, many people who think they're unfamiliar with Oakenfolds music actually may have heard it often, thanks to appearances globally on the radio and TV featured in commercials supports mega brands such as Coca-Cola, Toyota, Motorola and Saab all which ran throughout 2005, not to mention his contributions to hit films such as Swordfish (which Oakenfold scored), The Matrix Reloaded and Michael Manns Collateral. In fact, when the superstar DJ sold out the Hollywood Bowl a couple of years ago, many pundits viewed the events as definitive proof that dance culture had finally arrived in America--a force as powerful as any other in modern pop music.

Still, when he works as a DJ and/or as a remixer and releases mix CDs it's not a total expression of this Grammy Nominated artists musical creativity. Thus, A Lively Mind features 12 new songs composed and created by Paul Oakenfold. A work of love and passion, its been three years in the making. Bunkka, his debut artist album featuring the hits Ready Steady Go and Starry Eyed Surprise, was released in 2002, sold over a million copies worldwide and went Gold.
"I'm an infant in the 'artist' world, weaned and ready to blossom," jokes the composer. "I still primarily believe that songs are the way to move forward in my musical world, which has always been very instrumentally-based. So coming up with great songs takes time. And, naturally, I'd jump from making the record to working on cues for films or doing a couple of remixes and then I'd get inspired and jump back into it. Some of the tracks have been reworked many times over to find a comfortable arena for me.

"Plus, even though there are 12 tracks on the CD, I've recorded quite a few more. It wasn't a process of seeing what I could come up with and that's what's ended up on the album. There was a lot of tooing and froing until I was happy with the record".

By his own admission, however, Oakenfold is not a singer. Bunkka featured such guest vocalists as Perry Farrell, Ice Cube, Tricky, Nelly Furtado, and--in what would turn out to be his final recorded appearance--Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. A Lively Mind continues the tradition of employing unique vocalists.

"Faster Kill Pussycat," the kickoff track and first single, is perhaps the most unique and somewhat shocking of the album when it comes to guest singers. The song--which started life as a rock tune but now might best be described as reminiscent of a young Madonna at her very best--features the astounding singing talents of... Brittany Murphy. Yes, that Brittany MurphyEminems girlfriend in 8 Mile. The femme fatale in Sin City. The actress-turned-diva was recommended to Oakenfold by a mutual friend. Oakenfold claims, by the way, to be totally unfamiliar with Russ Meyer's cult classic film, Faster, Pussycat, Kill Kill.

"I was looking for a different genre and a different feel and something just original for me," explains Oakenfold. "I knew I wanted a girl vocalist but also someone who's not known as a singer. It had to be someone from a completely different world than mine. It ultimately seemed that film was the right place to look because I was venturing more and more into that world. But even more importantly, I needed someone who could sing--who could really, really sing--and Brittany Murphy fit the bill."

The world of film--or at least of Hollywood--influenced another of the albums stand out tracks, this one featuring vocals by modern hip-hop great Pharrell Williams. Inspired by the four years the London-Raised Oakenfold has called L.A. "home," the track is titled "Sex 'N Money." "It was actually an idea I came up for my last record that didn't make it because it was to hip-hop back then and I already had enough hip-hop songs on that album," says the writer. "So I shelved it and then later came across it while hunting for some old stuff. I liked the lyrical connotations of sex and money, thinking if anything, it's more relevant to today.

"It's a song about how soulless the Hollywood party scene can be. Ive been in situations where people are introduced to me and then they spot a celebrity, standing nearby, and they disappear, literally mid sentence. So the track is really Hollywood in a nutshell for me--it's all sex and money. We deconstructed our original track and rewrote it for Pharrell, in a way that's melodic and hypnotic and just keeps coming back at you in waves."
Other vocalists include two artists signed to Oakenfold's long-running Perfecto custom label--Spitfire (who performs on "No Compromise" and "Feed Your Mind") and Ashley of the rock band Bad Apples (who adds his vocal talents to "Vulnerable"). And then theres one who can only be described as a true living legend. Grandmaster Flash, the man who gave birth to the whole hip-hop movement in the early '80s with his classic "The Message," joins Oakenfold on "Set It Off."

"Flash and I have long talked about making a track together hes the godfather! So it was truly an honor to work with him. I don't think there's another DJ I would actually make a record with but I really liked the idea of the guy who arguably started the whole DJ thing being on my record. And I liked the idea of our worlds colliding and our sounds clashing. That's why the track is a little more electronic than some of the others. It's a perfect blend of both our elements."

A perfect blend could also be the perfect phrase to describe the cohesiveness of A Lively Mind a title which means an active person, says its creator. Balance was the key on this one, and the artist believes that this album may strike with a larger audience than Bunkka, an album that tended to alienate a small portion of his large audience. "What I set out to do on my last record was probably one step ahead of the game," he says in retrospect. "The dance world or electronic world was expecting more of a DJ record and I wanted to make a record that was more out there. Direction is hugely important to me--to have a balance. And I felt like maybe I'd lost a bit of balance on Bunkka. So this record is a lot more up-tempo, a lot more focused, and a lot more comfortable in the electronic world than the last record was and yet it still has a variety of flavors."

In fact, some of the titles and themes on the album have a direct correlation to that electronic and dance world, both lyrically and title-wise. "Save The Last Trance For Me" is, of course, a play on words from the Drifters' classic "Save The Last Dance For Me." His critics get their comeuppance in "No Compromise." And the instrumental "Amsterdam" pays tribute to a city that plays host to the biggest dance scene in Europe. Of course, on some levels, it seems almost absurd to think of Paul Oakenfold needing to get "more comfortable" in anything involving the electronic world. After all, the guy helped invent that world. His mark can be seen and heard in everything from the early rise of hip-hop to the birth of the "Madchester" scene.

Oakenfolds career began in London, when he began DJing in small clubs around the West End. His rising reputation led to a job as an A&R rep at the UK-based Champion label, where his first signing was Will Smith (still part of Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince). His second? Salt N' Peppa. Not bad for a novice record exec. After stints at Profile and Def Jam (where he perfected the talent scouting skills that would eventually lead him to start his own Perfecto label in 1991), he returned to DJing.

Oakenfold changed European youth culture throughout the late '80s and early '90s. He was one of the first DJ's to have a residency on the Island of Ibiza, leading to both a new sound and a yearly festival. He also started regular "Balearic" club nights in London, attracting a crossover audience and remixed legendary bands such as The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays (whose Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches album was produced by Oakenfold and his production partner Steve Osborne, becoming the biggest album of the band's career).
His pivotal role in the Manchester scene was Oakenfold's visa into the rock world. Over the next several years, he, along with Osborne, remixed tracks by legendary bands New Order, The Cure and Massive Attack. In 1991, he first worked with U2 remixing "Even Better Than the Real Thing" and "Mysterious Ways" from their Achtung Baby album. It was the start of a long partnership with that band. He was the DJ on their historic ZOO TV tour and later remixed the band's "Beautiful Day," a number one hit for U2 on the U.S. and U.K. dance charts.

Over the years, he's remixed tracks for everyone from Madonna to Elvis Presley to Justin Timberlake to Moby to Snoop Doggy Dog. He's the first electronic artist ever to be in the Guinness Book of World Records--for being the biggest DJ in the world. He's the only DJ to have a display case in the Hard Rock Cafe's Rock & Roll Museum. 2003 also saw Paul perform a concert on the Great Wall of China. That same year, not only was he honored with the UK's "Pioneer of Dance Music" award, which was presented by Queen Elizabeth herself at the "Pioneers of the Nation" celebration," shortly after Oakenfold had played the Nelson Mandela-organized South African AIDS benefit concert alongside Bono, Peter Gabriel and Beyonce Knowles. Oakenfolds mix compilation Another World (Perfecto) sold over 500,000 in the U.S. alone making it the biggest selling DJ compilation. He's also one helluva cook, having graduated from culinary school before beginning his journey in the music world.

Now comes A Lively Mind, a totally new and fresh venture and perspective, musically speaking, for the artist. The album is just the beginning of an amazing 2006 that will find Oakenfold working on the scores of at least three new films--as well as remixing a number of singles including Madonnas new record Confessions of a Dance Floor and a track from the legendary Burning Spear. At the same time, the Perfecto label is releasing debut albums by the aforementioned Spitfire (who Oakenfold compares to a young Anthony Kiedis) and the London-by-way-of-Los Angeles Bad Apples. Then there's the U.S. and European tour that will follow the new albums release.

 

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