After years of mystery surrounding Paul Oakenfold’s forthcoming album, “Pop Killer,” the producer/DJ is ready to reveal details. “I’d say I’ve got about 75% of it done – but I’m a Virgo so we could be having this discussion next year,” he joked in a recent interview with Billboard.
Oakenfold cites several reasons for the long wait for his third studio release, the main being that he spent a few years honing his songwriting ability.
“I really wanted to go away and learn the art of writing songs — collaborating with great singers — and I set a period of time to do it. Then I started scoring films, started my residency in Vegas, and went on tour with Madonna. I kept doing these other things,” he explains.
Delay aside, Oakenfold says that “Pop Killer” is his current priority.
“I’m really focused. I stopped DJing and I’m working hard on the record to get it out,” he explains.
The new album, which he is recording in his home studio, is set to be “very melodic” and will feature a variety of collaborations:
“I’ve recorded with ZZ Ward who is blues, Alan Stone who is soul, Wallpaper who is kind of pop rock. I’ve got a couple of songs by Miguel. I’ve got Azealia Banks. I’ve got some of the bigger names – I don’t want to mention all the names because I’d like it as a surprise — but what I’m more a fan of is finding new young talent.”
Thought he loves collaborating, Oakenfold admits that he occasionally finds the process nerve-racking:
“You go into the studio with these people and they are big stars and you think ‘God. What happens if it doesn’t work or if I don’t like something? Can I say that?’ You want to be respectful but you know your position within the team as the producer whose record it is. You’ve gotta be honest and say, ‘We can do better. Let’s write a better chorus. Let’s come up with more meaningful lyric rather than, We’re in the club drinking shots.’ It doesn’t mean enough to me.”
As for the title, Oakenfold explains that he came up with “Pop Killer” based on what he was hearing on the radio when he originally began working on the record.
“I was listening to a lot of radio in America because I was trying to study songs and all I kept hearing was the same thing. It was just the same tracks, the same pop sound. Bear in mind, at this time electronic music wasn’t mainstream. House music is pop music now. It’s changed and might not be as relevant anymore.”
Oakenfold hasn’t set an official release date for the project, however, he’s pushing to “at least” have singles out sometime this year — nonetheless, he assures us that his follow up to 2006’s “A Lively Mind” will be well worth the wait.
“The way I look at it is if you set a date and you try and work to the date, it’s good but bad. You’re really focused and you’re working on it but if it’s not right — and if you release it and it’s not right — then you’ve wasted all that time and energy. I really want to get the record right and I set myself very high goals.”