From Mount Everest to Hollywood with the pioneering DJ.
Paul Oakenfold came of age in an era of musical transformations. Depending on who you speak to, the English DJ, producer, label owner and A&R helped bring some of these paradigm shifts to fruition and contributed to dance music's rise into an international concern. After a stint living in West Harlem, he became a hip-hop obsessive and ended up signing Jazzy Jeff and a young Will Smith to Champion Records, marking his first major success in the A&R world.
Oakenfold had also studied to be a chef in French cuisine, but electronic music took over his life in the space of two years. His hallowed 1987 trip to Ibiza with Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway and Ian St Paul helped kick off the Balearic movement while 1988 saw him in the thick of the acid house explosion. Within the space of a few years, he became one of the most famous DJs in the world, taking electronic music to the masses with a huge array of remixes and opening sets for superstars like U2 and Madonna. As Matt McDermott found out in this conversation, Oakenfold has done all there is to do as a DJ, but he's still got the competitive spirit that drove his career to such giddy heights.