The Birmingham-based DJ and producer has worked with the likes of Boy George and performed alongside Calvin Harris, making him probably the coolest teacher on the planet
So, remember your teachers? Did they go to Boy George’s birthday bash or jet off to Helsinki for a gig alongside the world’s greatest DJ at the weekend? Or perhaps they topped the UK Club charts for three weeks in the summer holidays? Thought not. Paul Morrell, who lectures in media studies part time at Birmingham Metropolitan College in Great Barr has done all three and then some and is gaining quite a reputation on the music scene. So much so, he now has representation on both sides of the Atlantic and his main club mix of American songstress, Kelly Clarkson’s track Heat is about to be released on Warner Music.
With nearly 50,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Paul has an impressive catalogue of official remixes and original productions which include Mutya Buena, Kimberly Wyatt and Boy George among other big names. He’s set to release a new original single, Up In Flames featuring the vocals of Amanda Wilson who achieved success with the Freemasons as well as providing vocals for Avici’s debut single, Seek Bromance.
VIDEO IN BRUM
Paul describes Up In Flames as ‘an anthemic big room house record with a catchy vocal’. The release includes remixes from Dollrockers & Gamechasers as well as a video shot in Brum which is directed and produced by two of Paul’s talented students, Taylor Bould and Jacob Furnell.
DJ-ing since he was 15 and alongside Judge Jules aged just 17 (brilliant but ‘intimidating’), Paul has always wanted a serious career in music although his parents had other ideas. He says: “They were keen for me to get a ‘proper job’ and I went to university and trained to be a teacher. I guess it’s an example of do what you love and you’ll get there.” At one point Paul was teaching full time and DJ-ing all weekend, sleeping through Sunday and repeating the process of which he says: “It really wasn’t sustainable!”
When DJ-ing alongside Sonique, she asked him to remix her 2000 hit Feels So Good which he did. She also invited him to Boy George’s birthday bash which proved to be hugely enjoyable and frankly career progressingly useful. Teaching until four o’clock on the day of the party, Paul drove down to London and arrived with people like Pete Burns, Spandau Ballet and the late Steve Strange which all sounds a bit surreal. He was up at the crack of dawn the morning after to drive back to the day job having met his now manager on this side of the pond, Natalie who also introduced him to her father who manages the likes of Will Smith on the other side of the pond. Paul’s now represented by both and his career’s flying.
As well as being the main room resident DJ at London’s biggest gay super club XXL – Paul has mixed two compilation albums for them – he played at the prestigious Matinee Circuit festival in Barcelona, as well as supporting the world’s number one DJs Martin Garrix, Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren to a crowd of 30,000 at the Weekend Festival in Helsinki.
Paul also holds residencies at XXL Birmingham, the Gallery at Ministry of Sound and is a regular on the main stage at Birmingham Pride where he has performed for five years supporting artists such as Dua Lipa, Rudimental and Katy B. Of Birmingham Paul reckons the club scene has declined in recent years with the loss of God’s Kitchen and Gatecrasher among others. He says: “There are pockets of vibrance like the Rainbow Warehouse which does some great stuff, but the city has suffered a bit.”
Increasingly sought after as a producer as well as a DJ, Paul’s remix of Motorcycle As The Rush Comes reached number one in the UK Club Charts staying on the top spot for three weeks in the summer. A handful of exciting projects are due to be released shortly such as an official remix of Bloom for Australian superstar Troye Sivan as well as a remix of Sweet But Psycho for up and coming American vocalist Ava Max who also features on David Guetta’s new single.