Zane Lowe

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Zane Lowe
Zane Lowe 1 Big Weekend.jpg
Playing at Radio 1's Big Weekend
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
Time slot 7–9pm Mondays–Thursdays
Style Disc jockey
Country United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Kara Walters (1999-present)
Children 2

Zane Lowe (born Alexander Zane Reid Lowe on 7 August 1973), also known as "Zipper", is a radio DJ, record producer, and television presenter. He was born in Auckland[1] where he formed the hip hop group Urban Disturbance, releasing the album 37 Degrees Latitude in 1994 through Deepgrooves Entertainment, and then forming Breaks Co-Op with Hamish Clark.[2] In Auckland, he was also a presenter on the local music station Max TV, before moving to the United Kingdom.[3] He presents BBC Radio 1's evening show, where he plays a variety of alternative music, including rock, punk, dance, drum and bass, and hip hop. He was also the presenter of the MTV Rocks show Gonzo, having been a former VJ on MTV since 1997, where he presented Brand:New.[3] Lowe currently resides in London with his wife Kara, and his two sons, Jackson and Lucius.

BBC Radio 1[edit]

Lowe about to take the decks at a Radio 1 event in Preston

Lowe's radio show can be heard on Mondays to Thursdays from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Lowe reading the papers while sitting next to Edith Bowman at Glastonbury 2007.

Lowe's method of DJing is rather enthusiastic 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 is 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.

Zane Lowe played "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley for the first time on radio. The song was frequently played on Radio 1 thereafter, helping it to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart on 2 April 2006. "Crazy" was the first song in British history to go to number one based on sales of legal downloads alone; the download was made available a week before physical copies went on sale. The song also featured in Zane Lowe's TV advert, which aired in early 2006.

Prior to Muse and Foo Fighters emerging onstage at their concerts at Wembley Stadium, Lowe "entertained" the crowd on DJ decks. More recently, Lowe played a large role in the festival/large concert "Warrior's Dance" hosted by The Prodigy, and DJ'd two sets through the evening.


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[4] Nirvana[5] Nevermind[5] 24 September 1991
6 November 2007[4] Arctic Monkeys[5] Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not[5] 23 January 2006
7 November 2007[4] The Strokes[5] Is This It[5] 30 July 2001
8 November 2007[4] Led Zeppelin[5] Led Zeppelin IV[5] 8 November 1971
2 31 March 2008[6] Radiohead[6] OK Computer[6] 16 June 1997
1 April 2008[6] Public Enemy[6] It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back[6] 14 April 1988
2 April 2008[6] The Libertines[6] Up The Bracket[6] 14 October 2002
3 April 2008[6] Guns N' Roses[6] Appetite For Destruction[6] 21 July 1987
3 1 December 2008[7] The Stone Roses[7] The Stone Roses[7] 13 March 1989
2 December 2008[7] Rage Against The Machine[7] Rage Against The Machine[7] 6 November 1992
3 December 2008[7] Pink Floyd[7] Dark Side of the Moon[7] 10 March 1973
4 December 2008[7] The Prodigy[7] Music for the Jilted Generation[7] 4 July 1994
4 30 November 2009[8] Metallica[8] Metallica[8] 13 August 1991
1 December 2009[8] The Streets[8] Original Pirate Material[8] 25 March 2002
2 December 2009[8] The Clash[8] London Calling[8] 14 December 1979
3 December 2009[8] Daft Punk[8] Discovery[8] 13 March 2001
5 22 November 2010[9] The White Stripes[9] Elephant[9] 1 April 2003
23 November 2010[9] Jay-Z[9] The Black Album[9] 14 November 2003
24 November 2010[9] The Smiths[9] The Queen Is Dead[9] 16 June 1986
25 November 2010[9] Fatboy Slim[9] You've Come a Long Way, Baby[9] 19 October 1998
6 21 November 2011[10] The Smashing Pumpkins[10] Siamese Dream[10] 27 July 1993
22 November 2011[10] Amy Winehouse[10] Back to Black[10] 27 October 2006
23 November 2011[10] Dizzee Rascal[10] Boy in da Corner[10] 21 July 2003
24 November 2011[10] Oasis[10] Definitely Maybe[10] 30 August 1994
7 3 December 2012[11] Queens of the Stone Age[11] Songs for the Deaf[11] 22 August 2002
4 December 2012[11] Beastie Boys[11] Ill Communication[11] 24 May 1994
5 December 2012[11] Arcade Fire[11] Neon Bible[11] 3 March 2007
6 December 2012[11] The Chemical Brothers[11] Dig Your Own Hole[11] 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. Lowe also appeared alongside other music acts The Vaccines, Darwin Deez, Union and Doorly on 7 June 2011, and again alongside Biffy Clyro, Morning Parade and Doorly on 19 July 2011 at the Mallorca Rocks hotel in Magaluf, Mallorca for the event of the same name.

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."[12]

Zane Lowe on MTV Two [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.[13]

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".[14] 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.[14] 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.[14]


Both the Zane Lowe Show and Gonzo have won numerous awards including Best Radio Show and Best TV Show respectively at the NME Awards 2006. Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has jokingly referred to "The Best Radio Show" award as "The Zane Lowe Award" due to Lowe's repeated success. Lowe continued this success by winning the Best Radio Show NME award in the 2007 and 2008 Awards.

Lowe won the Gold Award in The Specialist Music Programme Award, and Music Broadcaster of the Year categories at the 2006, 2010 and 2011 Sony Radio Academy Awards. Zane recently won the Gold Radio Broadcaster of the year at the Sony Radio Awards 2014.



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"
(with Whateverman)
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


  1. ^ Kiwi-born DJ home for first stadium gig. The New Zealand Herald. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  2. ^ DJ Zane Lowe to support The Chemical Brothers. The New Zealand Herald. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Zane's Biography". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2007 (Broadcast Date)". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2007". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces March 2008". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces December 2008". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2009". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2010". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2011". BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "Zane Lowe announces his 2012 Masterpieces on Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Zane Lowe on Dirty Pretty Things Bust-up. YouTube (11 November 2006). Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  14. ^ a b c NME 26/01/08

External links[edit]