Funktasy Spotlight presents an exclusive interview with Paul Oakenfold, artist, DJ and Perfecto Records founder.

Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox - ConcentratePaul Oakenfold is the visionary behind Perfecto Records, a dance music empire spanning over three decades. He pioneered global DJ superstardom, producing hits for icons like Madonna and U2, Oakenfold’s influence is unparalleled. As Perfecto celebrates its 30th anniversary, Oakenfold unveils “Perfecto 30,” a tribute showcasing landmark events, exclusive performances, and remixes from industry legends and rising stars. Oakenfold’s journey is full of groundbreaking achievements, including being honoured by Queen Elizabeth as a “Pioneer of the Nation” for his contributions to dance music. With Perfecto, his impact reverberates throughout the music industry. Oakenfold not only a pioneer of contemporary electronic music soundtracks for games and hit Hollywood movies but also an innovator of DJ culture across genres, crucial in bringing underground club sounds from trance to EDM to a worldwide mainstream audience.

As he embarks on this next chapter, Oakenfold reflects on the label’s original mission and returns to his roots, promising a return to straight club records and underground tracks defining Perfecto’s legacy. Join us for a celebration of dance music history and the enduring impact of Paul Oakenfold and Perfecto Records.

Download & Stream “Concentrate” by Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox Here.

Congratulations on 30 years of Perfecto. Three decades of great music and running a record business. How does it feel?

It’s a really exciting period celebrating Perfecto Records – one of Britain’s longest independent dance labels with over 10 million records sold. We’ve flown the flag for British dance music around the world and pioneered some of Britain’s biggest dance acts. The milestone is a big personal achievement for me – and I think a lot of artists on the label and dance music in general – we are no longer seen as a small industry. Dance music is global now and massive. Looking forward to some great collaborations and wonderful events.

You are one of the pioneers and frontrunners of dance music. Can you tell us what the underground music scene in London was like in the 80s, 90s and 00s?

The underground music scene in London and Britain was inspiring, amazing, and everything you can imagine. There were no mobile phones, no cameras, and people came together to dance, enjoy themselves, and experience something like no other. The big change came when mobile phones entered the club world, then people focused change by taking pictures of themselves, surrounding areas, taking calls, taking them out of the moment.

You started in the age of vinyl and shifted into the digital world. What’s your outlook on this transition?

Change has always been an important part of the music industry. It’s how we stay ahead in this genre.

Paul Oakenfold and Perfecto received a lot of homegrown love and support from clubs and such stations as BBC radio 1. How crucial was this for your success?

I was the resident DJ for a year playing in different cities and countries once a month for Radio 1 and recorded the shows. Plus, I was doing essential mixes from Ibiza. It was amazing. It was not crucial, but it was definitely a part of it.

Today, North American commercial radio stations are still not giving electronic music the love it deserves. What’s your take on that?

I totally agree, and I don’t understand why they won’t. We are a 30+ year-old industry that is globally recognized, with dance music everywhere in film, commercials, TV shows, and games.

Paul Oakenfold

In your opinion, how did Ibiza change the dance music scene?

Ibiza was a very important part of dance culture. It influenced change in a lot of ways.

Your latest collaboration with Carl Cox is called “Concentrate” and all of us at Funktasy love it. How did this collaboration come about and can we expect more techno from Paul Oakenfold in the future?

Carl Cox has been a pioneer of electronic music for years. He’s been signed to the record company for many years, and it was an obvious choice to start a collaboration with Carl. I loved working on this track with him. It’s a blend between techno, trance, and the old rave scene. A very unique sounding record. Next up I have a collab with Franky Wah.

Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox - Concentrate

Tell us about your creative and production process from start to finish. Do you work in the box or hybrid?

The creative process I love is having a bunch of musicians/singers in the room to come up with a great song.

Clubs or festivals? What’s your vibe?

I love playing in both for different reasons. Clubs because of the intimacy, and festivals because of the large amount of people.

Do you have any interesting or inspiring stage or touring stories you would like to share?

DJing at the Special Olympic games and meeting the athletes, talking with them, and hearing their determination, focus, practice, and dedication was incredibly inspiring. This was a worldwide televised event with over 1 billion people watching. I’ll never forget it.

Who’s your dream artist to collaborate with and why?

I really enjoy collaborating with new artists and established artists from different genres. I choose my collaborations based on talent and being a fan. There are so many great young musicians out there. Barry Can’t Swim, Anyma, John Summit, Rebuke, Teddy Swims, Anne-Marie, Anunnakis, Velvet Cash, AP Dhillon, and LUM1NA. I look forward to future collaborations and celebrating what Perfecto has achieved.

What’s in the works for Perfecto for 2024/2025?

So much. We have a documentary coming out toward the end of the year, where we interviewed lots of colleagues. Perfecto will be doing some great festivals this summer and beyond and we are signing a lot of new young artists, helping them today and making them stars tomorrow. It’s a very exciting time for the label.

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