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Paul Oakenfold Biography

Home > Music > O > Oakenfold, Paul > Biography

Born: 1963/08/30
Birth Place: London, UK
Years Active: 1980–present
Genres: Trance, Progressive Trance, House

Paul Oakenfold (born 30 August 1963; London, UK) is a British record producer and a trance DJ. He also runs Perfecto Records, trance's most successful record label.

Oakenfold started playing records at parties when he was a teenager. He spent the summer of 1987 on the Spanish island of Ibiza, going to clubs which played European dance and Italian house tracks. Oakenfold brought the musical influences back to the UK and incorporated the sounds in productions that he and Steve Osborne released on their Perfecto Records label.

Their production can be heard on albums such as the Happy Mondays Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, and they have remixed for bands including U2 and The Shamen.

Influenced by the high beats per minute (BPM) music he heard on the beaches of Goa in India, Oakenfold put together a two-hour set which BBC radio transmitted in 1994. Known as the “Goa Mix,” it mixed the trance sounds of artists like Hallucinogen and Man with No Name with other slower tunes from Vangelis and Wojciech Kilar, among others. The mix is one of the most acclaimed and requested that the BBC have ever transmitted.

For three years he and Osborne performed their own music as Grace, with their most successful single, "Not Over Yet", making it to #6 on the charts in the UK. The group Grace dissolved in 1997 as Oakenfold was touring as a performance DJ more frequently and could not commit to recording.

Oakenfold's production work was reaching new audiences and his reputation as a DJ was spreading his fame far and wide. Residencies at one of the UK's largest clubs, Cream, put him into the newly emerging league of Super DJs.

In 2002 he released his first studio album,

Bunkka.” It has sold over one million copies and reached #1 on Billboard’s Top Electronic albums chart, as well as #65 on the Billboard 200 chart. His album “A Lively Mind” followed in 2006. The single "Faster Kill Pussycat" features Brittany Murphy and is one of many collaborations to appear on the album, with other collaborators including Pharrell Williams, Grandmaster Flash and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic. The album was nominated for two Grammy awards, for Best Electronic Album' and for Best Electronic Album.

Oakenfold's work has also been used by other media, including video games and soundtracks for dozens of films, such as “The Matrix Reloaded” and “Die Another Day.”