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Paul Oakenfold

The Yak goes one on one with…

…Paul Oakenfold – the founding father of Dance Music. And we asked DJ Tony Montana to ask the G.O.A.T. for a baker’s dozen…

Which family members educated you in music?
My father was a musician and taught me to play the piano and guitar.

How did you save-up to buy your first pair of decks? Or were you part of a crew?
I saved up my pocket money and studied as a chef – so I got paid for that.

What is your first memory of “having a mix”?
I think everyone’s favorite memories are when you first complete your DJ mix.

Jazz n Blues, Motown, Reggae, Hiphop, Disco. The U.K. was a hotbed of culture at the time, from the Soul-Boys at Wigan Pier, to the Yardies and Punks of West London, to the Mods & Rockers of Brighton. What were your early tastes?
I was very much into jazz funk, disco and soul.

Five producers who strongly influenced you?
Steve Osbourn, Rob Davis, Flood, Brian Eno and Todd Terry.

Can you name six DJ’s who “schooled” you as a lad?
There weren’t any DJ’s who schooled me as a lad.

Who got you “in” to the music industry? How did you know this person? Do you still know this person?
Mel Medali and I still know him! Champion/Polo Record.

Describe your early career in studios and labels, please!
I was learning my way around the recording studio from an early age and really enjoyed it.

Tell us about the infamous interviews you did in NYC, faking it as a journalist…?
Yeah in America you have to have ID and we forged our ID saying we worked for a music magazine in the UK so that we could get into all the clubs for free.

How big is your current vinyl collection? Tell us you didn’t sell it off like so many DJ’s did in the early 2000’s…?
We got no answer to this …

Perfectomundo Tequila looks like a fine drop. As a Tequila enthusiast, what’s the story here?
I’m a partner in the Tequila brand which is named after my record label Perfecto.

DJ’ing in your 50s, how is it? And what will DJ’ing be like in your 60s (for you and the rest of the ‘crew’)?
I really enjoy DJ’ing and I love traveling, so for me it’s not about an age it’s about how you feel.

Thanks for your time Paul and see you on the 28th of December on Karma Kandara Beach…