Watch the dance pioneer discuss Ibiza and the digital era on the eve of his Perfecto Records’ 25th anniversary.
It’s been 25 years since Paul Oakenfold channeled an island’s worth of inspiration into creating his seminal record label.
The British trailblazer founded Perfecto Records to provide a home for the music he discovered following a fateful 1987 trip to Ibiza. As he says, “there wasn’t really any label at that time that was putting out music that we were into.”
Oakenfold imported the White Isle’s so-called “Balearic sound” to a London rave scene hungry for something new. In doing so, he helped start a movement that paved the way for his unprecedented global rise. Perfecto would also play an integral role in launching the careers of dance titans like Tiësto and Carl Cox.
From the changing face of Ibiza to supporting the dying art of DJing, the decorated dance veteran gave Billboard an elder statesman’s take on dance music’s shifting dynamics.
In reflecting on the quarter-century since launching Perfecto, Oakenfold links some of the music industry’s major shifts to greater social behavioral trends.
“I think the album is much more disposable, as is the single, but that’s society now,” he says. “Everything’s disposable and we all seem to want the next thing rather than enjoying being in the moment and saying things are good.”
However, Oakenfold’s observations are not all negative. The artist acknowledges that the digital era has also made the world a much smaller place.
“It’s broadened our base,” he says. “We’ve got fans all across the world who are into the label and collect the music… That’s pretty refreshing.”
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