Zane Lowe

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Zane Lowe
Birth name Alexander Zane Reid Lowe
Born (1973-08-07) 7 August 1973 (age 42)
Auckland, New Zealand
Show The Zane Lowe Show
Station(s) BBC Radio 1, MTV Rocks, Beats 1
Style Disc jockey
Country United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Kara Walters (1999–present)
Children 2

Zane Lowe (born 7 August 1973) is a New Zealand-born, award-winning radio DJ, Live DJ, record producer and television presenter.

After an early career in music making, production and DJing in New Zealand, he moved to the UK in 1997, coming to prominence through presenting on XFM and MTV Europe, before hosting a new global music show on BBC Radio 1 from 2003–2015. He now hosts his own show on Apple's international radio station, Beats 1. Lowe has also developed a high-profile DJ career, with sets at various concerts and as a warm-up act for touring bands.

Lowe currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Kara and their two sons.

Early career[edit]

Born in Auckland, New Zealand,[1] in his early years he was a presenter on local music station Max TV.[2] Zane was a member of 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 ended up developing their careers in the UK.

International DJ[edit]

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 the hottest new music from around the world.[3]

Also a successful international DJ, he has played sets at festivals including Coachella,[4] Future Music Festival in Australia, Glastonbury,[5] Creamfields and Bestival. He has toured with artists including, amongst others, Skrillex, The Prodigy, Kasabian and The Weeknd and opened shows for both Muse[6] 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,[7] helping to develop and build their artistic and musical output.

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 from 2002 to 2015 presented Gonzo, its flagship music show. 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 too unwell 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 rendering him impotent.[8]

BBC Radio 1[edit]

Lowe's BBC Radio 1's evening show was broadcast from 2003 to 2015 between 7 and 9pm on Mondays to Thursdays every week. Lowe's method of DJing was high octane and fast-paced,[citation needed] similar to many hip hop DJs,[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The show developed a number of features including 'Hottest Record In The World Right Now',[9] 'Masterpieces'[10] and the 'Zane Lowe Meets' interviews, gaining exclusive interviews with Jay Z,[11] Kanye West,[12] Chris Martin,[13] Eminem and Rick Rubin.[14]

On 15 February 2015 it was announced that Lowe would be leaving BBC Radio 1 in March 2015 to work at Apple.[15] Lowe presented his last show on 5 March 2015, bowing out with 'A Song For the Deaf' by Queens of the Stone Age.


Between 2007 and 2012, one week 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 bona fide 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, Lowe would play the album in full.

Season Air Date Artist Album
Title Release Date
1 5 November 2007[16] Nirvana[17] Nevermind[17] 24 September 1991
6 November 2007[16] Arctic Monkeys[17] Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not[17] 23 January 2006
7 November 2007[16] The Strokes[17] Is This It[17] 30 July 2001
8 November 2007[16] Led Zeppelin[17] Led Zeppelin IV[17] 8 November 1971
2 31 March 2008[18] Radiohead[18] OK Computer[18] 16 June 1997
1 April 2008[18] Public Enemy[18] It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back[18] 14 April 1988
2 April 2008[18] The Libertines[18] Up The Bracket[18] 14 October 2002
3 April 2008[18] Guns N' Roses[18] Appetite For Destruction[18] 21 July 1987
3 1 December 2008[19] The Stone Roses[19] The Stone Roses[19] 13 March 1989
2 December 2008[19] Rage Against The Machine[19] Rage Against The Machine[19] 6 November 1992
3 December 2008[19] Pink Floyd[19] The Dark Side of the Moon[19] 10 March 1973
4 December 2008[19] The Prodigy[19] Music for the Jilted Generation[19] 4 July 1994
4 30 November 2009[20] Metallica[20] Metallica[20] 13 August 1991
1 December 2009[20] The Streets[20] Original Pirate Material[20] 25 March 2002
2 December 2009[20] The Clash[20] London Calling[20] 14 December 1979
3 December 2009[20] Daft Punk[20] Discovery[20] 13 March 2001
5 22 November 2010[21] The White Stripes[21] Elephant[21] 1 April 2003
23 November 2010[21] Jay-Z[21] The Black Album[21] 14 November 2003
24 November 2010[21] The Smiths[21] The Queen Is Dead[21] 16 June 1986
25 November 2010[21] Fatboy Slim[21] You've Come a Long Way, Baby[21] 19 October 1998
6 21 November 2011[22] The Smashing Pumpkins[22] Siamese Dream[22] 27 July 1993
22 November 2011[22] Amy Winehouse[22] Back to Black[22] 27 October 2006
23 November 2011[22] Dizzee Rascal[22] Boy in da Corner[22] 21 July 2003
24 November 2011[22] Oasis[22] Definitely Maybe[22] 30 August 1994
7 3 December 2012[23] Queens of the Stone Age[23] Songs for the Deaf[23] 22 August 2002
4 December 2012[23] Beastie Boys[23] Ill Communication[23] 24 May 1994
5 December 2012[23] Arcade Fire[23] Neon Bible[23] 3 March 2007
6 December 2012[23] The Chemical Brothers[23] Dig Your Own Hole[23] 7 April 1997

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 one of his favourites. 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."[24]

Beats 1[edit]

At the 2015 Apple WWDC Keynote, Lowe was introduced as one of the DJs of Beats 1 radio that is part of Apple Music.[25]


Lowe has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, from NME Awards[26] to Radio Academy Awards.[27] 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

Ryan Jarman incident[edit]

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. Zane Lowe, a fellow guest at the party, came across Ryan lying on the floor and discovered he was bleeding profusely.



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

External links[edit]