Paul Oakenfold in the hot seat

We met Brit DJ legend during his sixth Dubai visit Discuss this article

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© ITP Images

We make this your sixth visit to Dubai. What keeps you coming back?
It has fantastic food. I’m going up the tallest building in the world soon – is it any good?

The Burj Khalifa? It’s worth seeing.
Yeah, I’ve been to Dubai so many times; it’s changed so much in 10 years.

So tell us, what’s this Four Seasons tour all about?
We’ve created a bunch of shows around the four seasons, with new visuals and music. The winter show we’re doing in Dubai is more dark and frosty; towards summer it will lighten up. It’s about coming up with new ideas and changing things to make it more interesting.

And you’re also working on a new album, Pop Killer…
I decided to stop doing film soundtracks to give me a chance to get back on the radio. It carries on from where my last album left off – songs with great singers and up-tempo beats. It will sit comfortably on the radio.

You’ve been at this game for 30 years, but it’s only your third proper album – why?
I find them incredibly difficult to do! And to be honest, it’s not like the world needs another Oakenfold record.

You made your name in Ibiza when the scene there was just getting going. Looking at it now, do you think it's lost its way since then?
It lost its way for a lot of people, but that all changed last summer. It freshened itself up, there were new clubs, day parties – last summer was really good. I was really excited.

And you just finished a three-year residency in Las Vegas.
The mentality people have about Las Vegas is wrong – it’s young. It’s got more nightclubs than Ibiza, the best residents, it’s a 24-hour party central. America is much bigger for electronic music now. That place isn’t going to go away, it’s only going to get bigger.

People often compare Dubai to Las Vegas.
Really? I’ve never seen the similarity. Can you party 24 hours in Dubai? No. There’s nowhere else in the world like Las Vegas.

The big question: Do you think David Guetta has sold out?
I signed him to Perfecto. I think Guetta is great at what he’s done, and why is that selling out? A lot of people are jealous of him, they want to be in his place. He works with great singers on great songs; what’s wrong with that?

You’re approaching 50. How do you keep fit on the road?
I look after myself; I work out and I take vitamins, eat the right food and get as much sleep as I can.

Do you still go out partying?
I went to see [US electro producer] Skrillex the other night – I think he’s great. Musically, his choice was very good. He wasn’t afraid to take chances – he even dropped some reggae.

You’ve remixed plenty of songs for Madonna, and opened for her on her 2006 tour. What do you remember most about working with her?
How good she is: she keeps you on your toes. Money is time with Madonna, so you have to know exactly what you’re doing and be at your best. Every moment felt like the FA Cup final: you’ve got to deliver.

Paul’s Winter album is released on February 17; Pop Killer is scheduled for release later this year.

By Rob Garratt
Time Out Dubai,

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