Paul was born with music in his bones. His parents knew early on that he was destined for a lifetime in music when their pots and pans became his instruments. As he grew older, Paul experimented with multiple instruments, including the drums, organ, guitar and bass guitar. He would spend a lot of time studying each instrument in his youth until he became skilled and old enough to earn a spot playing in a popular local band. Truly a musical natural, Paul never learned how to formally read music. He relied on his instincts, his inner musical genius, to guide him through the rhythms and lyrics. Paul “just knew” what his audience wanted to hear; he “just knew” what instruments to use, and how to use them, to move the crowd.
He had fun with his gift; marching in his high school band and with the New York Skyliners Senior Drum and Bugle Corps were defining moments in his teenage years. Over time as he honed his talent, Paul transitioned to the turntables and became a popular DJ in high school and college until he earned a position at Club Sensations as a resident DJ. Paul went on to obtain a full-time writer and engineer position at Sensations Studios, where he co-produced Jomanda’s “Make my Body Rock” and Turntable Orchestra’s “Gonna Miss Me”. It was there where he met Shank.
Shank’s musical journey was quite exciting. He grew up in a household where music was the passion of his whole family, so it was only natural for him to pursue a musical career. As a teen, Shank expressed his love for House music through DJ’ing and became known for his sharp backspin and mixing techniques. He graduated from DJ’ing house parties to form a dynamic DJ team -- P&S Productions -- with DJ Punch Phillips. Shank helped take P&S over the top with the company’s infamous skate parties in Essex County, New Jersey. P&S shrewdly marketed its skate parties and dance competitions to all the high schools in the Essex County area. And, on any given night, P&S would max out the capacity at Twin City Roller Rink in Newark, New Jersey. Much to Shank’s surprise, P&S enjoyed local celebrity status, and the DJ team’s fan base kept on growing.
Always wanting more for P&S Productions, Shank’s entrepreneurial drive and business acumen elevated the DJ team to a greater level of success. He negotiated space rental contracts with popular dance clubs in the North Jersey area, such as Newark’s Club Zanzibar, to DJ parties. His experience playing for a live audience drove him to learn how to edit songs on a reel-to-reel tape machine. He then used this skill to rearrange songs to energize the dance floor. Eventually, Shank’s editing work parlayed him into music production when Smack Music Productions took notice and invited him to do a mix on Adeva’s “Warning”, Vicky Martin’s “Nowhere to Run” and his self titled release “Jazz Track” on Sleeping Bag Records. These tracks circulated among the top local and national DJs and solidified Shank’s reputation as one of the New Jersey House music greats.
Paul and Shank met in 1987 through a mutual close friend, DJ Punch Phillips. Paul invited P&S to Sensations Studios to mix HMJ’s “Hyped”, a Hip House track. The P&S mix stood out from the other mix collaborations and caused a frenzy on the House scene. From then on, Paul and Shank -- BOP -- began to work on different projects together. “Come on Move with the Beat” was BOP’s breakout banger for Big Beat Records that put them on the map. BOP’s success continued with the Ace Beat Records release of “Call Him Up”, a churchified track with an all-star cast of New Jersey’s finest House music singers, including Kenny Bobien, Sandy B, Joey Washington and Cassio. “You are my Friend” by Kenny Bobien and “Feel like Singing” by Sandy B shot BOP into the ionosphere as acclaimed House music producers. Expanding their impressive portfolio, BOP then went on to produce House hits for Jellybean Records, Bass Hit/Soundmen on Wax, Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Mercury, Warner Brothers, Columbia and a host of other labels from the U.S. to Japan.
The love of creating music drew Paul and Shank back together to create music in 2015. So, keep your ears open and your feet dancing to the grooves of BOP.