This afternoon, Zane Lowe broadcast his very last show for BBC Radio 1. The New Zealand-born DJ had manned the radio station’s evening slot for the last 12 years, where he regularly delivered “Hottest Record” world premieres for music’s biggest artists, as well as shined a light on up-and-comers. He’s credited for helping discover Arctic Monkeys, Adele, and Foals. During his long reign, he also conducted numerous insightful and high-profile interviews with the likes of Kanye West, Daft Punk, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. As we noted in February, Lowe will be taking his talents to Apple.
For his final hurrah, Lowe thanked his loyal listeners (us included) and those who worked for him over the years. His farewell also included nearly two hours’ worth of his and his staff’s favorite songs, a long list featuring The White Stripes’ “Icky Thump”, Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”, Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These”, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps”, Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, Arcade Fire’s “Keep The Car Running”, James Blake’s “Retrograde”, and Disclosure’s “Latch”, among many others. His final entry? Queens of the Stone Age’s “A Song For the Dead”. Listen to the full show here.
Since Lowe announced his departure, artists, festival promoters, and fellow DJs across the globe have offered up their own goodbyes and words of gratitude. Check a few of those out below.
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Back in September '03, i was sitting in the old Elektra Records office, doing promo for my first album Here Comes The Fuzz. Brian Greenspoon, who worked the international department, handed me the phone while whispering, "This is Zane Lowe. He talks really fast. But don't worry, just try your best to keep up" [translation: "Ronson. Look alive! None of your usual are-you-or-are-you-not-stoned, Sudafed demeanor"]. I remember he did talk really fast. And I also remember being taken aback that he was the first person i had ever spoken to who seemed to get everything about the record–from MOP to Rivers Cuomo. He got where i was coming from, probably cause he came from the same era. We were both unashamed music freaks who grew up in the golden era of hip-hop but also loved guitars. Cut to the end of '05, i don't really have a hell of a lot going on…I got dropped from my label, production gigs have dried up, I'm no longer the go-to DJ in NYC so I've gone to China to take a few club gigs to pay the rent, keep my little label going, etc… I come back drunk to my hotel one night and check my messages…"Hey Mark, it's Zane. People over here are really feeling that Radiohead cover you did. Good work, man, it's a heater". Zane championed that record "Just", and I ended up getting a new record deal to make my second album, Version. March '10, I'm finishing up my third album, I play Zane some songs–some almost finished, others in a rawer state. He hears the first 4 bars of a new track I'm working on and goes, "That's your first fucking single dude". So i go back to NYC and finish "Bang Bang Bang" with MNDR & Q-Tip. Back in 2013, Zane happened to move into the studio upstairs from me near Kings Cross. A year later, I'm playing him some half-finished songs from my fourth album. I play him a dusted out, disco-y cut, and in the middle he goes, "You really need a big, wild guitar solo there". So I do it. And in November, Zane world-premiered the finished "Daffodils" on his show–once again, championing a track of mine, the same way he played "Ooh Wee", "Just", "Bang Bang Bang". And alot of the reason that i probably have a career. so thank you Zane. and thanks for the tunes.
Revisit our interview with the man himself: