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Paul Oakenfold
Superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold returns this month with a brand new album full of exciting sounds and unlikely collaborators. Here he is in an exclusive conversation with The Record giving us the inside look at his latest release, the experience of working with an actress-turned-singer and ~ for all you aspiring musicians ~ what makes new talent stand out!

The Record: What did you want to do differently on the new album from Bunkka (your first record)?

Paul: With A Lively Mind [the new album], I wanted to create a record that was diverse but that also had a consistent flow to it and I think weíve accomplished that. Bunkka was also a rather diverse compilation of songs but it didnít have a solid direction. Also, with the new album I did collaborate with a few well-known artists as I did on Bunkka, but most of the collaborations were done with new, upcoming talent that people havenít heard about yet. Iíve got a few artists on the album that Iím producing right now (Spitfire is featured on two tracks and the band The Bad Apples are featured on a track as well) and it was really exciting to work with them in the studio.

TR: How did you choose the guest vocalists for the songs? Were any of the tracks written with the singers in mind?

Paul: No, things unfolded very naturally. I knew that I wanted to work with new types of artists that I hadnít in the past ~ someone from a different world than dance music and thatís where [actress] Brittany Murphy [8 Mile, Sin City] came in. I also got to work with perhaps the greatest pioneer of DJ culture, Grandmaster Flash, on a track that fuses a hip-hop sound with a dance sound. Thereís also some fantastic vocal tracks which feature a few very talented up-and-coming artists: Spitfire, Ryan Tedder from the group One Republic, and Ashley, the lead singer from the band The Bad Apples.

TR: Brittany Murphy is a surprising choice as a guest vocalist on the album ~ tell us about the experience of working with her.

Paul: Brittany was great. She came to the studio and jumped right into it. She has everything that a successful singer needs ~ a strong work ethic, a sense of confidence and above all, a beautiful voice. I think that sheís going to surprise a lot of people with her talent on this song and hopefully this will be the beginning of a long career for her in the music industry.

TR: Which track on the album surprised you the most when it was done?

Paul: I would say Not Over Yet because when we were recording it I didnít realize what an epic sounding ballad it would be when it was finished and I couldnít be happier with it. Ryan Tedder put down an amazing vocal and I appreciate the track more each time that I hear it.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Paul Oakenfold in the June 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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