After Paul Blair moved from Detroit to Chicago 12 years ago, he quickly became a fixture on the nightclub scene, going by the stage name “DJ White Shadow” and regularly spinning at popular spots like Le Passage and Manor. But his local celebrity turned global two years ago when Lady Gaga, who had gotten a hold of his mixtapes, asked him to produce her “Born This Way” album, and he created the beats for the hit song as well as several others on the album.
Now he tours the world with the singer and is co-writing and producing her next album, “ARTPOP,” which comes out next year. “I make beats, and I write songs to them with her,” says Blair of their collaboration. During their months on tour together, “we record hundreds of songs and pick out what’s best when it’s time to present an album to the label.”
Currently on the South American leg of the tour and headed to South Africa and Russia next, Blair spent most of October back home in Chicago, making time to DJ at the grand opening for the Emporio Armani store on Oak Street.
Here, he breaks down his Sunday routine for Splash.
“I wake up and work on tracks. Then I try and get a coffee on the way to the studio — I usually hit a Dunkin’ Donuts.”
Harold’s Chicken Shack [636 S. Wabash] for lunch. “Chicago may be known for some pretty high-end restaurants, but you cannot beat Harold’s. In fact, I wish someone could mail it to me when I’m in Russia.”
“I like to buy stuff when I am home because I never get time to shop on tour. I usually hit Rush and Oak and just roll around from there. I like Moncler [33 E. Oak] and Emporio Armani [25 E. Oak]. I also always try and stop by and see my friend, Ashley, at Sofia [100 E. Walton].”
Shedd Aquarium [1200 S. Lake Shore]. “I have a membership there, and I love that place. One day, if I ever have time, I would totally volunteer full time doing whatever.”
“For dinner, I just call one of the Melmans. Those guys kill it. All of their places [Hub 51, Paris Club, RPM Italian] are awesome. And, if that doesn’t spill into the night (which it usually does), I just go home and watch ‘Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!’ on Adult Swim.”
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