Paul Oakenfold Signs to Maverick

By | October 23, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Maverick Recording Co. announces the signing of worldwide DJ phenomenon Paul Oakenfold to make his debut album as a solo recording artist. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Paul,” said Guy Oseary, Maverick co-partner and CEO. “As a DJ, he’s the best at what he does, and we’re determined to help him reach the widest audience possible as an electronic artist.”

While Maverick is best known as the label founded by Madonna, Oseary says Oakenfold’s signing fits the label’s history of bringing electronic music to a larger audience. He cites Madonna’s own work with electronic producers like William Orbit and Mirwais, as well as the success of “The Matrix,” the biggest-selling soundtrack album to feature electronic artists, and Prodigy, whose 1996 album, “The Fat of the Land,” is still one of the biggest-selling electronic albums ever. “We don’t have a lot of electronic records, just the biggest ones,” said Oseary. “We didn’t sign five DJs, just the biggest one – and that’s Paul Oakenfold.”

The UK-born Oakenfold began his career in the late ’80s working at hip-hop labels in the US and the UK before turning his attention to deejaying in England in the late ’80s. There, his “anything-goes” DJ style kick-started the English dance explosion of the early ’90s, which culminated in Oakenfold producing the group, The Happy Mondays.

In addition to his remix work for artists like the Smashing Pumpkins, Rolling Stones, U2 and, most recently, Madonna, Oakenfold has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful DJ. He was featured with U2 on their 1993 Zooropa tour as the first DJ ever to play stadiums with a rock band. He currently has four albums in the Top 50 Electronic charts, including “Another World,” a DJ mix CD that was the highest-charting electronic debut record in the Billboard Chart history. Oakenfold has also successfully ventured into the world of movies and isresponsible for the critically acclaimed soundtrack to “Swordfish” and a remix for the theme to “Planet of the Apes.”

With these credentials, Oakenfold was chased by many labels anxious to sign him. But it was Maverick’s hands-on approach that impressed him most. Says Oakenfold, “I liked their attitude. I run a small record company of my own in England, so I know how labels work. I didn’t need to be wined and dined; I need to know the company gets what I’m doing, which is making cutting-edge music. With a person like Guy Oseary in charge who’s actually in touch with the music scene, I knew Maverick understood where I was coming from and jived with the kind of audience I’m trying to reach.” Adds Oakenfold, “Having Madonna as the owner and a band like Prodigy on the label pretty much says it all.”

Madonna shares Oakenfold’s enthusiasm. “Paul Oakenfold’s instinct and talent is undeniable. I couldn’t be happier having him join the Maverick family. He’s a perfect fit.”

Oakenfold’s as-yet-untitled Maverick debut is slated for release in 2002.

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