DJ Paul Oakenfold sets up his equipment at Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. He was the first person ever to DJ there, doing so Sept. 13, 2018.
By Dave Hoffenberg
Internationally known record producer and DJ Paul Oakenfold will be kicking off the 2018 FIS Women’s World Cup, Friday night Nov. 23. This year, the live music line-up is incredible with DJ Paul Oakenfold, KT Tunstal, Michael Franti and Guster all playing free outdoor concerts.
Oakenfold has been mixing music for over 30 years. He is a three-time Grammy Award and two-time World Music Awards nominee. He was voted the No. 1 DJ in the World twice in 1998 and 1999 by DJ magazine. Oakenfold has provided over 100 remixes for over 100 artists including U2, Moby, Madonna, Britney Spears and The Rolling Stones. He’s in the midst of his Generations World Tour Part 1.
Oakenfold has never been to Killington, but came to Vermont last year for an event.
“This is only my second time in this part of the world, so I’m really looking forward to it. I very much enjoyed it last time, so I’m excited to head over,” Oakenfold said.
He said Killington will be a different kind of show.
“What I mean is, I’ll probably dig deep into the classics I’ve worked on, produced and made. I’ll play some of the big remixes – the songs will be familiar – with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Bruno Mars, but you’ll hear those in a different way. There will be some new music from my album and current tracks that I’m playing that are going down really well. That will be the essence of the set. I want to thank Victor [Waryas] for bringing me. I know the show means a lot to him and everyone there,” said Oakenfold.
Oakenfold grew up in London, England, and gets home two to three times a year to play shows and visit with family. His father, Peter Joseph Oakenfold, was a musician; and his mother was a chef. He studied cooking for four years, but grew up in the music world. “I grew up hanging out with a lot of people who were in music so naturally as a child being around that, you’re just into it because you enjoy it and love music,” he said. Oakenfold credits his parents for getting him into the music business, with his father being his biggest musical influence. When he was between 5 and 7 years old, his father played a lot of The Beatles and Elvis. “Later in life when I play those songs that he played, it’s amazing. I know all the words,” he said.
Oakenfold got his start in the London music scene. He was playing the Spectrum nightclub, which he said was the big moment of change.
Thirty years later, he is still going. If you look up artists that Oakenfold has worked with, it’s a “Who’s Who” of some of the greats in the music business. He said his favorite he’s worked with is U2.
“They’re just the best. They’re incredible guys, really humble, genuine and respectful. It was a pleasure and I’m very lucky to have worked with them, toured with them and hung out with them. Still to this day, if they’re around and in town, I get to see them. Only three weeks ago in London, I went to both of their shows,” he said.
Oakenfold has played all over the world but most recently has had some pretty amazing shows. He just became the first DJ to ever play at Stonehenge. It was in support of the English Heritage charity.
He also played at Base Camp at Mount Everest which is being called the “highest party on Earth.” He performed a set at 17,600 feet and raised a lot of money for children’s charities.
“These kind of unique shows I enjoy and hopefully there’ll be a few more down the line,” he said.
Oakenfold has a new album he’s producing which will be out in March. He said it’s a real interesting record. “What I mean is, some of it I recorded with an orchestra. It’s very down tempo, very melodic. It’s song-based. Some of the artist’s names you’ll be familiar with, and others you won’t. I’m very happy with it.”
Oakenfold is a big fan of movie scores. He has songs in “Swordfish” and “The Matrix Reloaded.” “I’ve been working in Hollywood since 2001 on film. That’s a great sound I enjoy and it’s very moving. I’m always listening to new scores of movies and the current one I’m listening to is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ It’s a lot of good songs that we know, but it’s good to get back in touch with those.”
Oakenfold really enjoys all that he does, saying: “What keeps anyone going all these years when you do something you love, it’s very special. I know I’m one of those people who loves making music, sharing music and playing music. I’m very lucky that people like what I do. I love being in the moment, making people happy, playing great music and watching the crowd enjoying themselves. It’s very unique when there’s one of you up there and you’re playing your own music, remixes of other people’s music and you see the crowd come together with you, literally as one big crowd enjoying themselves. I love that moment.”