At school in the early 1970s he was in a band called Chillum with his school friend, Ian Morris, and Glendowie College boys Andrew Bayliss, Glenn Owen and Bruce Murdoch. They played local parties, tennis clubs, rugby clubs and school dances.
When Chillum folded in 1975, he and Dobbyn formed Th' Dudes with Ian Morris. After Th' Dudes split in 1980, Urlich headed off to the UK where he was fascinated by the rise of club culture. Returning to New Zealand in 1981, he approached writer Mark Phillips and they opened their first club in a run down bar in Auckland's Albert Street. A Certain Bar was an immediate success and over the next decade, he and Phillips ran a succession of successful clubs. These were hugely influential in establishing a contemporary club scene in Auckland.
In 1986 Urlich and Phillips were partners in Stimulant Records with Simon Grigg. The label released the album Eight Arms to Hold You, the first New Zealand club music collection.
In the 1990s Urlich returned to performing and had residencies in Auckland as the vocalist with The Lawrence Quintet. In 1995 he began a Saturday morning radio show on 95bFm. His initial partner was DJ Phil Clark, however he was replaced in 1996 by Bevan Keys and the show, Nice'n'Urlich, with its mix of Urlich's chat and Key's soulful house music selection, became a hit. Taking the show to clubs also proved hugely popular and for the next decade Nice'n'Urlich sold out increasingly larger venues. In 1999 the duo were signed to Simon Grigg's Huh Records. The three Nice'n'Urlich albums sold over 60,000 albums in New Zealand.
In 1999 Urlich co-starred in a New Zealand reality show, Popstars (arguably the inspiration for the worldwide Idol phenomenon), which was a hunt for people to form a pop band, and to perform and produce an album (the winners formed a band named TrueBliss). His role in the show was that of manager.
In 2000 Urlich and Grigg released the first of their Room Service compilations of lounge music, once again for Huh. The three volumes sold in excess of 150,000 across Australia and New Zealand. The Room Service brand was also used on a '70s soul collection, Soul Food, which went gold in 2003. The pair also compiled Welcome To, a collection of original New Zealand house music in 2001.
In 2002 Urlich launched The P.U.B.E. (Peter Urlich Breakfast Experience) on Auckland station George FM.
His album of covers of lounge classics, Between You & Me, was released by Liberation Music, in May 2008.
Urlich has been music director of the Taste of Auckland Festival since 2009.
- "Forget about the last game, get ready for another". Sunday Star-Times. Fairfax. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2011.