DJ White Shadow

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DJ White Shadow
Birth name Paul Blair[1]
Born (1978-09-20) September 20, 1978 (age 39)
Youngstown, Ohio
Origin Chicago, Illinois
Occupation(s)
  • Producer
  • DJ
Website djwhiteshadow.com

Paul Blair (known by his stage name DJ White Shadow, sometimes written as DJWS, born September 20, 1978) is an American music producer and DJ currently based in Chicago, Illinois.[2] He is best known as the producer for Lady Gaga's Born This Way and Artpop albums.[3][4] Blair has played in numerous cities throughout the United States[5] and has toured as a headliner. He has also toured with Lady Gaga internationally.[5]

In addition to his writing and producing, Blair has released three EPs as part of a Trilogy through DECON Records. He was featured in the Anheuser-Busch Pac-Man commercial for Super Bowl XLIX, the song for which he remixed using the original Pac-Man music.[6] His remixes have appeared in other television commercials including for Beats by Dre.[7] Blair was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012 for his work on Gaga's Born This Way album.[8] He is also the main producer for Lady Gaga's upcoming sixth studio album.[9]

Early life and education[edit]

Blair spent his younger years on a farm in Ohio and started collecting records when he was in second grade.[5] His family moved to Detroit, Michigan, when he was in fifth grade and he purchased his first set of turntables at the age of 16.[1][5] Growing up in Detroit, he used to sneak out of his house to go to Techno shows when he was 15 years old.[5] Blair learned Japanese when he was younger and attended Michigan State University where he studied international business. His first year at MSU, he entered a Japanese exchange program in order to study abroad.[5]

Blair was 17 when he held his first residency, playing at the Delta Market while attending college in Takamatsu, Japan.[1] He got the residency by asking the owner to play some records one night at the bar. The owner invited Blair back to play every Thursday night which turned into his first official residency.[5] Despite performing as a DJ earlier in his lifetime, it was in Japan that he started getting paid to perform.[10]

Career[edit]

After returning from Japan, Blair worked in various clubs and performed at parties throughout the midwest. He gained prominence in the Detroit techno scene[11] and moved around from Detroit to New York prior to settling in Chicago. He eventually began playing for corporate clients that included Google, Nike, Playboy, and Guinness.[12] He held residence at it-nightspot Hyde in Los Angeles where he eventually ran into Lady Gaga.[13]

Blair met Lady Gaga during one of his shows in Los Angeles,[5] and went on to help write and produce nine songs on her second studio album, Born This Way. He co-wrote and produced the album's title track "Born This Way" which went to number one on various charts and was nominated for a Grammy Award.[5] Following the release of the album, Blair toured with Gaga for two years, performing with Gaga and working on different projects.[5] Blair continued to work with Gaga, co-writing and producing much of her Artpop album which was released in 2013.[2] He co-wrote the lead single "Applause" which reached #1 on numerous charts and was performed live by Gaga at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. For Artpop, Blair worked with Gaga recording 70 to 100 songs,[14] later performing at ArtRave, a two-day event hosted by Gaga to promote the album.[3] Blair is also credited with partnering R Kelly with Lady Gaga for the song "Do What U Want", the second song from the album, also remixing a version of the song.[2][15]

In addition to Lady Gaga, Blair has remixed songs for various other artists. In 2010 he remixed "Fall in Love" and "Freak", two singles from Estelle that were later released as part of her 2012 album All of Me.[16][17] The following year he remixed two songs that appeared on Kitsuné Maison Compilation 12: The Good Fun Issue, also playing at the album release party.[18] In 2012 Blair remixed a version of Chris Brown's song "Don't Wake Me Up". His remix also appeared on Brown's Germany Digital Remix EP of the same song.[19] Blair also mixed Time of Our Lives a compilation released by Pitbull and Ne-Yo in 2014.[20] Blair has released three EPs as part of a trilogy through Decon Records.[21] The first of which was I'm Killing Me, a five-song compilation that he released for free on his own website in 2011.[22] The second, Pussy, Drugs, Fear, was released in 2013,[23] with the third, The Clock is Ticking, released the same year.[2] Releases from the trilogy were featured in articles with Billboard, including the title track "The Clock Is Ticking", the video for which depicts a man's life story from conception through death.[2] The video to the song "Fear" was described by Billboard as one that skewers the images of violence that constitute our cultural notion of fear.[8]

Blair's work in music took him to television when was hired by Anheuser-Busch to work on its #upforanything campaign for the 2015 Super Bowl.[24] He was featured in the company's "Coin" advertisement that featured a life size maze resembling the 1980 video game Pac-Man.[25] The music for the commercial was a remix of the original Pac-Man music, mixed by DJ White Shadow himself.[24] Blair also worked with Namco on the project, the copyright holder to the original Pac-Man.[26]

In 2015, Blair was named the North American music director of W Hotels where he continues to oversee musical branding in over 25 of the company's locations. In 2016, W Hotels partnered with Billboard on an emerging artist series called Next Up that Blair also worked on.[27] Blair was also the "brainchild" behind the hotel chain's "W Sound Suites" which are recording studios located within select W Hotels and available to touring musicians.[28] The first W Sound Suite was inaugurated in May 2016 at W Bali - Seminyak.[29] The first North American Sound Suite opened in April 2017 at W Seattle.[30]

After the launch of the Sound Suite in Seattle, Blair announced that he had recently finished six weeks of studio work with Lady Gaga.[31] In September 2017, the soundtrack for My Little Pony: The Movie was released which Blair executive produced.[32] That same month, he headlined the Green Tie Ball to benefit Gateway Green in Chicago.[33] In October, Lady Gaga revealed that Blair would be the main producer on her upcoming sixth studio album that is due to be released in 2018.[9] Blair has referred to the upcoming album as the "little sister" of Gaga's 4th studio album, ARTPOP.[34]

Discography[edit]

EP's[edit]

List of EP's, with year released
Title Album details
I'm Killing Me
Pussy Drugs Fear
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Decon Records
  • Format: Digital download
The Clock Is Ticking
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Decon Records
  • Format: Digital download

Production[edit]

Year Title Artist Album
2004 "For The People"
"One Card Short"
"Step Up"
"Shadow Games"
"It's Over"
"U Better Fear Me"
"Power Within"
"Believe In"
The Black Eyed Peas
James Chatton
Jean Rodriguez
Trixie Reiss
Fatty Koo
The Deleted
Dan Metreyeon
Skwib
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie
2011 "Americano"
"Bad Kids"
"Black Jesus † Amen Fashion"
"Bloody Mary"
"Born This Way"
"The Edge of Glory"
"Electric Chapel"
"Government Hooker"
"Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)"
Lady Gaga Born This Way
2013 "ARTPOP"
"Applause"
"Do What U Want"
"Jewels N' Drugs"
"MANiCURE"
"Sexxx Dreams"
"Swine"
"Venus"
Lady Gaga Artpop
2017 "Sexy Body"
"Dedicated"
Pitbull Climate Change
"The Cure" Lady Gaga Non-album single
"Thank You for Being a Friend"
"Can You Feel It"
"I'll Chase the Sky"
"No Better Feelin'"
"Neighsayer"
Rachel Platten
DNCE
Jessie James Decker
CL
Promise of the Real
My Little Pony: The Movie

Remixes[edit]

Year Title Artist
2010 "Fall in Love (DJ White Shadow Remix)"
"Freak (DJ White Shadow Remix)"
Estelle
2011 "Born This Way (DJ White Shadow Remix)"
"Judas (Dj White Shadow Remix)"
"Scheiße (DJ White Shadow Remix)"
Lady Gaga
2012 "Don't Wake Me Up (Dj White Shadow Remix)"
Chris Brown
2014 "Applause (DJ White Shadow Trap Remix)"
"Applause (DJ White Shadow Electrotech Remix)"
"Do What U Want feat. R. Kelly (DJ White Shadow Remix)"
Lady Gaga
2014 "Time of Our Lives" Pitbull & Ne-Yo
2015 "DJ White Shadow vs. PacMan" Namco

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "15 Minutes with DJ White Shadow, aka Paul Blair". Chicago Mag. January 7, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e McCarthy, Zel (December 5, 2013). "DJ White Shadow 'The Clock Is Ticking' Video Premier". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Musacchio, Lauren (November 11, 2013). "Gaga Producer: She Was a 'Glitery Mermaid' on 'Artpop'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 2, 2011). "Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Is 'Much More Complex' Than 'Fame' Says DJ White Shadow". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Caruso, Chris (December 2, 2013). "DJ White Shadow: Lady Gaga's Go-To Guy". DJ Times. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ Caruso, Chris (January 28, 2015). "Watch DJ White Shadow's Bud Light Super Bowl Commercial". DJ Times. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ Muhammad, Latifah (October 21, 2013). "Lady Gaga and R. Kelly Team Up on Do What You Want". BET. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b McCarthy, Zel (July 9, 2013). "DJ White Shadow, 'Fear' Video First Watch". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Malone, Chris (October 19, 2017). "Lady Gaga Returns to Studio With 'Born This Way' Producer DJ White Shadow". Billboard. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  10. ^ Bosso, Joe (August 14, 2011). "Lady Gaga producer DJ White Shadow on Born This Way and his new EP". Music Radar. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ Graff, Gary (August 11, 2011). "Lady Gaga May Have 'Ruined' Cohort White Shadow". Billboard. 
  12. ^ "DJ White Shadow". Shure. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  13. ^ Lee, Matt (June 22, 2011). "DJ White Shadow Helps Lady Gaga Craft 'Born This Way'". Hour Detroit. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  14. ^ Corner, Lewis (August 15, 2013). "Lady Gaga recorded 70–100 songs for new album ARTPOP". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ Gomez, Luis (October 21, 2013). "How R. Kelly ended up on Lady Gaga's 'Do What U Want'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  16. ^ Dolan, Jon (February 28, 2012). "Estelle All of Me Music Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Estelle Freak (Remixes)". The Word Remix Makes Me Hard. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Meet White Shadow – Kitsune Maison 12". Kitsune official website. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  19. ^ "iTunes – Music – Don't Wake Me Up (Remixes) – EP 2 von Chris Brown" (in German). iTunes Store (Germany). Apple. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Time of Our Lives (@DJWS Remix)". Mix Matters. Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  21. ^ Caruso, Chris (July 17, 2013). "DJ White Shadow Releases Explosive 'Fear' Video & Gears Up for EP Trilogy". DJ Times. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  22. ^ Graff, Gary (August 11, 2011). "Lady Gaga May Have 'Ruined' Cohort White Shadow". Billboard. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  23. ^ Sadri, Arshan (August 7, 2013). "Must-Watch Music Videos: DJ White Shadow's Trilogy of Found Footage". Tube Filter. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b Burton, Bonnie (February 2, 2015). "Go behind the scenes of the Pac-Man Super Bowl ad". Cnet. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Super Bowl: Anheuser-Busch releases details on Bud LIght, Budweiser TV sports". Austin Free Press. February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  26. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 29, 2015). "Go Behind The Scenes of the Crazy Pac-Man Super Bowl Ad". Game Spot. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  27. ^ Peters, Mitchell (April 21, 2016). "W Hotels Music Director Paul Blair (aka DJ White Shadow) Talks New Billboard Partnership & More". Billboard. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  28. ^ Brunner, Jeryl (May 26, 2017). "Finding Creative Spaces In The Most Unexpected Locales". Forbes. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  29. ^ "W Hotels Worldwide Open Recording Studio at W Bali". Billboard. May 17, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  30. ^ Ramsey, Colby (August 7, 2017). "Interview: DJ White Shadow on W Hotels' private sound suites". Audio Media International. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  31. ^ "Lady Gaga's Right-Hand Man, DJ White Shadow, Makes More Than Just Pop Music: Interview". PopCrush. April 21, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  32. ^ Sawyer, Jonathan (September 22, 2017). "Watch Sia's "Rainbow" Video Featuring Maddie Ziegler for 'My Little Pony: The Movie'". Highsnobiety. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  33. ^ Bostedt, Shelbie Lynn (September 12, 2017). "Paul Blair, aka DJ White Shadow, talks Wrigley Field, Lady Gaga and Green Tie Ball". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  34. ^ Savage, Mark (December 20, 2017). "Lady Gaga announces two-year Las Vegas residency". BBC. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 

External links[edit]