Paul Hardcastle is a name that will forever be associated with ‘19’, the number one record from the eighties and the video that accompanied it. It was a massive hit around the world and put Paul on the international radar. Rather than cash in on a formula that clearly grabbed the music buying public around the world, Paul chose to continue to release music that inspired him. Fast forward to today and he has had huge success under various guises since the eighties and has just put the finishing touches to his forthcoming release on Pacha Recordings, Essentialibiza caught up with Paul to find out what he has been up to all these years and what we can expect from ‘Perceptions Of Pacha’.
Over the years you have worked with numerous artists, in various styles and on countless different labels, which period has given you the most satisfaction as an artist?
84-87: The ‘84 period when I was on Profile records New York, they broke Rainforest in a big way, and It was my first high profile no1 record on Billboard/Cashbox RnB chart, and hit the top spot in the Club chart in the UK. ’85, which was the ’19′ era when It all just went crazy, that was also a great time. I believe 19 has now sold over 8 million copies worldwide. The D Train Remixes gave me a buzz as it was my fav record from that era, then I was asked to write the TOTP theme, which was a great honour. ’91 to the present has been great as well; I have had 10 no 1 tracks on the Chill Charts in America, and sold over 4 million albums from these projects.
‘19’ was a break from your normal production style and gave you your biggest commercial success but you chose to experiment with your sound for the follow up, what was the thinking behind that?
I just felt that after creating such a different record, I didn’t want to be seen as just doing 1 kind of thing.
Was there a temptation to use the winning formula on more than one release?
Yes there temptation, but I’m glad I didn’t over use the sampling to death.
You may have been out of the public eye more recently but you have been busy in the studio, what have you being doing these past few years?
Well like I said in answer one, my career in America has been great also I still have been doing music for TV etc. Also, I have my own label, Hardcastle Music, and have just signed a pop Urban duo SD-JEM who have just gone into the club chart at no 28 at the time of writing.
This year sees you release Perceptions Of Pacha, what can we expect from the album?
Let me be honest, there are so many different types of dance music now days, I’m not sure what to call it. (ha-ha) People seem to really like it so that’s fine by me what they want to call it, but to me, it’s Hardcastle.
How did the Pacha Recordings hook up come about?
My son Paul Jnr plays in Ibiza, he’s a sax player and he got talking to Steve Hulme who runs the label, he said get your dad to give me a call, and I did and I sent him a demo of a track I thought may be right for the label. He said I love it, can you do an album for Pacha, so I did.
What is your process of putting an album like this together for a leading brand like Pacha?
You know what, in all honesty I just had fun in the studio, that’s all I can say. It was real easy.
Is Ibiza a place that you visit regularly?
Not regularly, but have been a few times.
What are your thoughts on the dance music scene as it exists today?
When I was making only dance music, it wasn’t as fragmented as it is today, a dance track was a dance track, but now it all has to fit into a certain genre, like trance, house , deep house, tribal, etc. It has to be a certain speed, which I think is a shame. I said to my daughter Maxine, who is a DJ, was that the same track you were playing for the last two hours!
How much has new technology impacted on how you produce music?
Technology has not impacted on me that much as I was using a thing called a synclavier, it was the first Super computer to use disks for recording, which was back in 1987. I was lucky to be able to have one due to my success, there were only around 10 in the whole of the UK, I have only recently retired it and use Apple equipment now.
Having physically given out copies of ‘You’re The One For Me’, do new producers have it easier nowadays, as technology allows them instant access to a mass market?
Ha-ha, yea that was funny going around London with my then record company partner Steve Walsh, and going into all the cool record shops saying can you take some of these records, and the fact that they did was a great feeling. But people now have it so easy with the net, although the net has also killed some peoples chances of getting a record deal with a major company because of the piracy. Young, new artists need to have some sales to survive, but when their product is made free by pirate sites, it just stops any chance of them continuing, which is a real shame.
What’s your favourite piece of new technology and why?
I love my I-phone, I can even put down ideas on it using nano studio or one of the other music software programs.
No matter what style of music you are producing, you have never failed to sell records, what advice would you give to new producers starting out?
Don’t just copy people and try to be safe, try and create your own style, a bit of melody here and there will always be a winner. In my view this guy Labrynth has got his sh-t together, and he doesn’t sound like anyone else, hope he continues like it.