Zane Lowe

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Zane Lowe
Birth name Alexander Zane Reid Lowe
Born (1973-08-07) 7 August 1973 (age 41)
Auckland, New Zealand
Show The Zane Lowe Show
Station(s) BBC Radio 1, MTV Rocks
Style Disc jockey
Country United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Kara Walters (1999-present)
Children 2

Zane Lowe is an award winning radio DJ, Live DJ, record producer, and television presenter. He was born in Auckland,[1] New Zealand and in his early years he was a presenter on local music station Max TV.[2] In 1997, Lowe arrived in London. Zane worked at the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill before being asked to cover for a show. He would later become presenter of MTV News and MTV Brand:New. He would later join MTV2 Europe to take a permanent position with the show Gonzo.[3]

He started his radio career hosting XFM's Music Response, before moving to BBC Radio 1's flagship evening slot in 2002,[4] showcasing the hottest new music from around the world. His role with the BBC saw Zane become one of the most recognised voices in international music radio - getting exclusive interviews with Jay Z,[5] Kanye West,[6] Chris Martin,[7] Eminem and Rick Rubin.[8] Through his show Zane also introduced the world to Arctic Monkeys, Gnarls Barkley, Adele and Ed Sheeran.

Lowe currently resides in London with his wife Kara, and his two sons, Jackson and Lucius.

BBC Radio 1[edit]

Lowe's BBC Radio 1's evening show was broadcast from 2002 to 2015 between 7 and 9pm on Mondays to Thursdays every week. Lowe's method of DJing was high octane and fast-paced, similar to many hip hop DJs, with samples of radio stations, interview clips and Radio 1 stings thrown in between songs, along with the occasional sound of Lowe singing along to the music. A key feature of his broadcasting style was to avoid the use of the fader to reduce the volume of the track being played during intros and outros, rather he talks or shouts over the tracks which are played at undiminished volume. The show developed a number of features including 'Hottest Record In The World Right Now',[9] 'Masterpieces'[10] and the 'Zane Lowe Meets' interviews.

On 15 February 2015 it was announced that Lowe would be leaving BBC Radio 1 in March 2015 to work at Apple.[11]

Zane Lowe presented his last show on 5th March 2015, bowing out with 'A Song For the Dead' by Queens of the Stone Age.


Between 2007 and 2012, one month of Zane Lowe's show was dedicated to albums considered 'Masterpieces'. Each show focused on a different album which Lowe and his team considered to be a bonafide classic. The first half of the show was dedicated to interviews and an in-depth look at the album's cultural impact. In the second half of the show, the full unabridged album was played in its entirety, complete with gaps and no lyric censorship.

Season Air Date Artist Album
Title Release Date
1 5 November 2007[12] Nirvana[13] Nevermind[13] 24 September 1991
6 November 2007[12] Arctic Monkeys[13] Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not[13] 23 January 2006
7 November 2007[12] The Strokes[13] Is This It[13] 30 July 2001
8 November 2007[12] Led Zeppelin[13] Led Zeppelin IV[13] 8 November 1971
2 31 March 2008[14] Radiohead[14] OK Computer[14] 16 June 1997
1 April 2008[14] Public Enemy[14] It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back[14] 14 April 1988
2 April 2008[14] The Libertines[14] Up The Bracket[14] 14 October 2002
3 April 2008[14] Guns N' Roses[14] Appetite For Destruction[14] 21 July 1987
3 1 December 2008[15] The Stone Roses[15] The Stone Roses[15] 13 March 1989
2 December 2008[15] Rage Against The Machine[15] Rage Against The Machine[15] 6 November 1992
3 December 2008[15] Pink Floyd[15] Dark Side of the Moon[15] 10 March 1973
4 December 2008[15] The Prodigy[15] Music for the Jilted Generation[15] 4 July 1994
4 30 November 2009[16] Metallica[16] Metallica[16] 13 August 1991
1 December 2009[16] The Streets[16] Original Pirate Material[16] 25 March 2002
2 December 2009[16] The Clash[16] London Calling[16] 14 December 1979
3 December 2009[16] Daft Punk[16] Discovery[16] 13 March 2001
5 22 November 2010[17] The White Stripes[17] Elephant[17] 1 April 2003
23 November 2010[17] Jay-Z[17] The Black Album[17] 14 November 2003
24 November 2010[17] The Smiths[17] The Queen Is Dead[17] 16 June 1986
25 November 2010[17] Fatboy Slim[17] You've Come a Long Way, Baby[17] 19 October 1998
6 21 November 2011[18] The Smashing Pumpkins[18] Siamese Dream[18] 27 July 1993
22 November 2011[18] Amy Winehouse[18] Back to Black[18] 27 October 2006
23 November 2011[18] Dizzee Rascal[18] Boy in da Corner[18] 21 July 2003
24 November 2011[18] Oasis[18] Definitely Maybe[18] 30 August 1994
7 3 December 2012[19] Queens of the Stone Age[19] Songs for the Deaf[19] 22 August 2002
4 December 2012[19] Beastie Boys[19] Ill Communication[19] 24 May 1994
5 December 2012[19] Arcade Fire[19] Neon Bible[19] 3 March 2007
6 December 2012[19] The Chemical Brothers[19] Dig Your Own Hole[19] 7 April 1997

On 25 July 2011, his first show after the death of Amy Winehouse, Zane told listeners that he had intended to make her album Back to Black a Masterpiece of previous series, but was unable to secure an interview with the singer. During 21 November 2011 broadcast of 'Masterpieces' featuring The Smashing Pumpkins, Lowe expressed his delight at securing the opportunity to play Siamese Dream in full, stating the album to be his favourite of all time. On 24 November 2011, Zane Lowe announced that 2011 could possibly be the final edition of 'Masterpieces', concluding the show with "Hallelujah" from Jeff Buckley's album Grace, stating that the idea of the feature originally came from the suggestion that the album Grace be played on the air from beginning to end. However, Lowe announced that Masterpieces would continue in 2012, with the four chosen albums being announced on 6 November 2012. Zane Lowe himself stated that 2012 was a slightly different year of selection, in that the team chose albums that were of "pure quality, but hasn't necessarily featured on any traditional 'greatest albums' lists."[20]

International DJ[edit]

Zane is a hugely successful international DJ and consistently receives top billing at some of the world's biggest clubs and festivals, including Coachella,[21] Future Music Festival in Australia, Glastonbury,[22] Creamfields and Bestival. He has toured with artists including, amongst others, Skrillex, The Prodigy, Kasabian and The Weeknd and opened shows for both Muse[23] and Foo Fighters at their concerts at Wembley Stadium. As well as being a regular performer at Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks, Lowe is also Musical Director for the brand,[24] helping to develop and build their artistic and musical output.

Breaks Co-Op[edit]

Zane has also been a member of New Zealand band Breaks Co-op The other band members are Andy Lovegrove and Hamish Clark

Lowe and Clark formed Breaks Co-Op in Auckland, releasing the electronic album Roofers in 1997 before they both left New Zealand to travel and pursue other interests. They ended up in the UK, where Lowe has become a hugely successful radio DJ and TV presenter.


Zane Lowe has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, from NME Awards[25] to Radio Academy Awards.[26] Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles once jokingly referred to 'The Best Radio Show' award at the NME Awards as ‚'The Zane Lowe Award' due to Lowe's repeated success. Lowe has won the Gold Award in The Specialist Music Programme Award and Music Broadcaster of the Year categories at the Radio Academy Awards a number of times over the past 8 years. Zane recently won the Gold 'Music Radio Broadcaster Of The Year' at the Radio Academy Awards 2014 and in early 2015 was nominated for a Grammy Award for his writing and production on Sam Smith's smash album 'In The Lonely Hour'.

Year Awards Category Result
2004 NME Awards Best Radio Show Won
2006 NME Awards Best Radio Show Won
2007 NME Awards Best Radio Show Won
2008 NME Awards Best Radio Show Won
2010 Radio Academy Awards Music Broadcaster Of The Year Gold
Radio Academy Awards Best Specialist Music Programme Gold
2011 Radio Academy Awards Music Broadcaster Of The Year Gold
2012 Artist Manager Awards Industry Champion Won
2014 Radio Academy Awards Best Specialist Music Programme Bronze
Radio Academy Awards Music Radio Broadcaster Of The Year Gold
2015 Grammy Awards Best Album (Sam Smith‚'In The Lonely Hour') Nominated

Zane Lowe on MTV [edit]

Lowe started his career on MTV Two (now MTV Rocks) presenting shows such as Up 4 It (1997) and Brand:New (1999), and since 2002 he has presented Gonzo, its flagship music show, in which time the show has evolved from a two-hour random collection of presenting and clips, to a primetime (7pm) show featuring regular musical guests and interviews. The show is presented solely by Lowe, with the studio effectively being a blue screen and the infamous 'Brown Couch'. His presenting manner on Gonzo is more laid back than on his radio show. The show features music videos, along with news (usually ripped from the NME; Lowe can often be seen reading the news straight from the magazine) and input from the channel's message boards. The show also features mock interview done by a character called Ginger Bloke, in which popular musical artists are humorously "interviewed." Occasionally, moderators of the boards (chosen on Gonzo and by the members) contribute; one member even filled in for a week when Lowe was ill and unable to present. At Oxegen Festival 2006, Zane Lowe was reportedly "beaten up" by Didz Hammond and Carl Barat from Dirty Pretty Things on an episode of Gonzo. He has since said that the punch was in fact completely playful but unfortunately, and painfully, connected with his groin.[27]

Ryan Jarman incident[edit]

Zane Lowe saved Ryan Jarman's life at the 2006 NME Awards, an incident NME now refers to as "engraved in indie folklore".[28] Ryan's band, The Cribs, accepted an award on behalf of winners Franz Ferdinand. However, on his way to collect the trophy from presenter Russell Brand, Ryan dived onto the Kaiser Chiefs table and pierced his back with broken glass, narrowly missing his vital organs.[28] He was quickly taken to hospital but discharged himself to return for the show's party later in the night. However, his injuries were severe and he fell unconscious in a back corridor. Luckily Zane Lowe, a fellow guest at the party, came across Ryan lying on the floor and discovered he was bleeding profusely. Zane raised the alarm and Ryan received urgently needed medical attention to stop internal bleeding.[28]



Year Song Artist
1995 "What I Gotta Do" The Hard Way
2008 "Look for the Woman" Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
"F Ur X" Sway
2009 "Vlad the Impaler" Kasabian
2011 "Still Speedin'" Sway
2012 "Lightspeed" Kill The Noise & Datsik
"In the End"
(Whateverman Remix)
Snow Patrol

Writing and production credits[edit]

Year Title Artist Album
2012 "Blood From a Stone" Example The Evolution of Man
2013 "Count on Me" Chase & Status featuring Moko Brand New Machine
"Wake Up" Sway Wake Up
"Dot" Amplify Dot Paper Cuts
"5 Minutes" Tinie Tempah Demonstration
2014 "Restart" Sam Smith In the Lonely Hour
"Running Low" Netsky featuring Beth Ditto TBA
"Walking Out" Liam Bailey Definitely Now


  1. ^ Kiwi-born DJ home for first stadium gig. The New Zealand Herald. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Zane Lowe biography". JHO Management. Retrieved 2012. 
  3. ^ "IMDB - Zane Lowe". IMDB. Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ Crawley, Jason. "Lowe swaps XFM for Radio 1". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 26, 2003. 
  5. ^ "Jay Z. Zane Lowe. Part 1". Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Kanye West gives extraordinary interview on BBC Radio1". NME. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ Stutz, Colin. "Coldplay working on 'Final Album', 'A Headful of Dreams' Says Chris Martin". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ Elan, Priya. "Zane Lowe Meets Rick Rubin". Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Zane Lowe's Hottest Records". BBC. 
  10. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces". BBC. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ a b c d "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2007 (Broadcast Date)". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2007". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces March 2008". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces December 2008". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2009". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2010". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2011". BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe announces his 2012 Masterpieces on Radio 1". BBC. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Zane Lowe announces his 2012 Masterpieces on Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Payne, Chris. "Coachella 2013: 10 Non - Headliners to watch". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Glastonbury". BBC. Retrieved 2013. 
  23. ^ "Muse Announce Big Names for Wembley Shows". NME. Retrieved May 21, 2007. 
  24. ^ Stassen, Murray. "Ibiza Rocks Group launches Croatia Rocks for 2015". Music Week. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  25. ^ Brown, Mark. "Arctic Monkeys Look good at the NME Awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2006. 
  26. ^ "Radio Academy Awards Winners". Radio Academy Awards. Retrieved 2015. 
  27. ^ Zane Lowe on Dirty Pretty Things Bust-up. YouTube (11 November 2006). Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  28. ^ a b c NME 26/01/08

External links[edit]