Zane Lowe

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Zane Lowe
Alexander Zane Reed Lowe

(1973-08-07) 7 August 1973 (age 50)
Kara Walters
(m. 1999)
ShowThe Zane Lowe Show
  • DJ
  • record producer
  • television presenter

Alexander Zane Reed Lowe (born 7 August 1973) is a New Zealand radio DJ, live DJ, record producer, and television presenter.

After an early career in music creation, production and DJing, he moved to the UK in 1997. He came to prominence through presenting on XFM and MTV Europe (MTV Two), developing a DJ career by opening sets for bands and eventually landing a slot on prime-time radio on BBC Radio 1 from 2003 to 2015, with the trademark 'Zane Lowe's World Record', airing the UK's best and hottest in music.

In 2015, he was head-hunted by Apple to be the Creative Director of their new world-wide music station, Apple Music 1.

Early career[edit]

Born in Auckland,[1] Lowe attended Auckland Grammar School and was a presenter on local music station Max TV.[2] Zane was a member of Urban Disturbance, an early 90s hip hop group whose standout hit was "No Flint No Flame"[3] and Breaks Co-Op, alongside 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. Both would eventually develop their careers in the UK.

International DJ[edit]

Lowe performing live

Lowe relocated to the UK in 1997. He initially worked at the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill, before being asked to cover for a show on XFM, going on to host XFM's Music Response. In 2003, he joined BBC Radio 1, showcasing new music from around the world.[4]

Also a successful international DJ, he has played sets at festivals including Coachella,[5] Future Music Festival in Australia, Glastonbury,[6] Creamfields and Bestival. He has toured with artists including, Skrillex, The Prodigy, Kasabian and The Weeknd and opened shows for both Muse[7] 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,[8] helping to develop and build their artistic and musical output.

Lowe on MTV [edit]

Lowe started his career on MTV UK before moving to MTV2 Europe (now MTV Rocks) presenting shows such as MTV News (1998-2001), MTV News Daily Edition (1999-2001) and Brand:New (1999). From 2002 to 2015, he presented Gonzo, its flagship music show. The show evolved from a two-hour random collection of presenting and clips, to a primetime (7pm) show featuring regular musical guests and interviews. The show was presented solely by Lowe, with the studio effectively being a blue screen and 'Brown Couch'. His presenting manner on Gonzo was more laid back than on his radio show. The show featured music videos, music news and input from the channel's message boards. The show also featured mock interview done by a character called Ginger Bloke, in which popular musical artists were humorously "interviewed". Occasionally, moderators of the boards (chosen on Gonzo and by the members) contributed; one member even filled in for a week when Lowe was too unwell to present. At Oxegen Festival 2006, Zane Lowe was reportedly "beaten up" by Didz Hammond and Carl Barât 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.[9]

BBC Radio 1[edit]

Lowe's BBC Radio 1 evening show was broadcast from 2003 to 2015, occupying a 7-9PM timeslot on Mondays to Thursdays every week. Lowe's method of DJing was high octane and fast-paced,[10] The show developed a number of features including "Hottest Record In The World Right Now",[11] "masterpieces"[12] and the "Zane Lowe Meets" interviews, including interviews with Jay-Z,[13] Kanye West,[14] Chris Martin,[15] Twenty One Pilots, Eminem and Rick Rubin.[16]

On 15 February 2015 it was announced that Lowe would be leaving BBC Radio 1 in March 2015 to launch a new station with Apple.[17] Lowe presented his last show on 5 March 2015, bowing out with "Song for the Dead" by Queens of the Stone Age, from their 2002 album Songs for the Deaf.


Between 2007 and 2012, one week per year of 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 classic. The first half of the show was dedicated to interviews and an in-depth look at the album's cultural impact, with the album being played in full in the second half of the show.

Season Air Date Artist Album
Title Release Date
1 5 November 2007[18] Nirvana[19] Nevermind[19] 24 September 1991
6 November 2007[18] Arctic Monkeys[19] Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not[19] 23 January 2006
7 November 2007[18] The Strokes[19] Is This It[19] 30 July 2001
8 November 2007[18] Led Zeppelin[19] Led Zeppelin IV[19] 8 November 1971
2 31 March 2008[20] Radiohead[20] OK Computer[20] 16 June 1997
1 April 2008[20] Public Enemy[20] It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back[20] 14 April 1988
2 April 2008[20] The Libertines[20] Up the Bracket[20] 14 October 2002
3 April 2008[20] Guns N' Roses[20] Appetite for Destruction[20] 21 July 1987
3 1 December 2008[21] The Stone Roses[21] The Stone Roses[21] 13 March 1989
2 December 2008[21] Rage Against the Machine[21] Rage Against the Machine[21] 6 November 1992
3 December 2008[21] Pink Floyd[21] The Dark Side of the Moon[21] 10 March 1973
4 December 2008[21] The Prodigy[21] Music for the Jilted Generation[21] 4 July 1994
4 30 November 2009[22] Metallica[22] Metallica[22] 13 August 1991
1 December 2009[22] The Streets[22] Original Pirate Material[22] 25 March 2002
2 December 2009[22] The Clash[22] London Calling[22] 14 December 1979
3 December 2009[22] Daft Punk[22] Discovery[22] 13 March 2001
5 22 November 2010[23] The White Stripes[23] Elephant[23] 1 April 2003
23 November 2010[23] Jay-Z[23] The Black Album[23] 14 November 2003
24 November 2010[23] The Smiths[23] The Queen Is Dead[23] 16 June 1986
25 November 2010[23] Fatboy Slim[23] You've Come a Long Way, Baby[23] 19 October 1998
6 21 November 2011[24] The Smashing Pumpkins[24] Siamese Dream[24] 27 July 1993
22 November 2011[24] Amy Winehouse[24] Back to Black[24] 27 October 2006
23 November 2011[24] Dizzee Rascal[24] Boy in da Corner[24] 21 July 2003
24 November 2011[24] Oasis[24] Definitely Maybe[24] 30 August 1994
7 3 December 2012[25] Queens of the Stone Age[25] Songs for the Deaf[25] 22 August 2002
4 December 2012[25] Beastie Boys[25] Ill Communication[25] 24 May 1994
5 December 2012[25] Arcade Fire[25] Neon Bible[25] 3 March 2007
6 December 2012[25] The Chemical Brothers[25] Dig Your Own Hole[25] 7 April 1997

In 2011, during a 21 November 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 one of his favourites. Three days later, 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 later announced that "Masterpieces" would continue in 2012, with the four chosen albums being announced on 6 November 2012. Lowe himself stated that 2012 was a slightly different year of selection, in that the team chose albums that were of "pure quality, but [haven't] necessarily featured on any traditional 'greatest albums' lists."[26]

Apple Music 1[edit]

At the 2015 Apple WWDC Keynote, Lowe was introduced as one of the DJs of Apple Music 1 (previously Beats 1[27]), a radio station part of Apple Music.[28] He is also the host of the Apple Music show Planet of the Apps.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Lowe has been the recipient of NME Awards[29] and Radio Academy Awards.[30] Lowe has also won the Gold Award in the Specialist Music Programme and Music Broadcaster of the Year categories at the Radio Academy Awards. Lowe recently won the Gold 'Music Radio Broadcaster of the Year' award 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 hit album In the Lonely Hour.

Year Awards Category Result
2005 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 Album of the Year (Sam SmithIn the Lonely Hour) Nominated

Ryan Jarman incident[edit]

Lowe is remembered for saving Ryan Jarman's life at the 2006 NME Awards, an incident which NME now refers to as "engraved in indie folklore".[31] The incident occurred when Jarman's band, the Cribs, accepted an award on behalf of winners Franz Ferdinand. While on his way to collect the trophy from presenter Russell Brand, Jarman dived onto the Kaiser Chiefs' table and pierced his back with broken glass, narrowly missing his vital organs.[31] He was taken to hospital but discharged himself to return for the show's after-party later in the night. However, his injuries were severe and he fell unconscious in a back corridor. Lowe, a fellow guest at the party, found Jarman lying on the floor bleeding profusely and another ambulance was called which took Jarman to hospital where doctors stitched up the injuries along with the ones the first surgeon had missed.[32][33]



Year Song Artist
1995 "What I Gotta Do" 3 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 Non-album single
"Walking Out" Liam Bailey Definitely Now
2015 "Baby Blue" Action Bronson featuring Chance the Rapper Mr. Wonderful


  1. ^ Kiwi-born DJ home for first stadium gig. The New Zealand Herald. 27 February 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Zane Lowe biography". 2012. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2017 – via Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Urban Disturbance - AudioCulture".
  4. ^ Crawley, Jason (26 March 2003). "Lowe swaps XFM for Radio 1". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. ^ Payne, Chris (25 January 2013). "Coachella 2013: 10 Non – Headliners to watch". Billboard. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Glastonbury – Zane Lowe Keeper of the hottest records". BBC. 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Muse Announce Big Names for Wembley Shows". NME. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  8. ^ Stassen, Murray (31 October 2014). "Ibiza Rocks Group launches Croatia Rocks for 2015". Music Week. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  9. ^ Zane Lowe on Dirty Pretty Things Bust-up. YouTube (11 November 2006). Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Zane Lowe: Radio's grand optimist". 12 October 2012. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Zane Lowe's Hottest Records".
  12. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces".
  13. ^ "Jay Z. Zane Lowe. Part 1". BBC. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Kanye West gives extraordinary interview on BBC Radio1". NME. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  15. ^ Stutz, Colin. "Coldplay working on 'Final Album', 'A Headful of Dreams' Says Chris Martin". Billboard. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  16. ^ Elan, Priya. "Zane Lowe Meets Rick Rubin". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Zane Lowe to leave Radio 1 in March". BBC Newsbeat. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  18. ^ a b c d "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2007 (Broadcast Date)". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2007". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces March 2008". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces December 2008". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2009". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2010". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Zane Lowe's Masterpieces 2011". BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Zane Lowe announces his 2012 Masterpieces on Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  27. ^ "Apple announces Apple Music radio". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Apple – Press Info – Introducing Apple Music — All The Ways You Love Music. All in One Place".
  29. ^ Brown, Mark. "Arctic Monkeys Look good at the NME Awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2006.
  30. ^ "Radio Academy Awards Winners".
  31. ^ a b NME 26/01/08
  32. ^ "NME Awards star hospitalised twice in a night".
  33. ^ Bassil, Ryan (1 October 2014). "Zane Lowe Has Been Producing For Future, Tinie Tempah and Pretty Much Everyone". Vice. Retrieved 21 June 2017.

External links[edit]