The Definitions

Zane Lowe was born in New Zealand and moved to London in 1997. He was a host on Radio 1 between 2003 - 2015. He now hosts his own show on Apple’s international radio station, Beats 1. We get to know Zane during a sit-down as he shared some of his experiences as well as his views on words that resonate with Linda Farrow

Tell me about your life in New Zealand growing up?
It was idyllic. It’s a beautiful environment packed with good people. New Zealand creates unique things - music, art, and film. Its isolation is the thing that drives many of us overseas but it’s also the thing that makes it special.

You moved to the UK in 1997, was it a culture shock?
Absolutely. It was cold, brutally honest, and expensive. But it was so exciting. It was 1997, and London was riding a serious wave. Mo Wax, Wall Of Sound, Talking Loud, Face Magazine, New Labour, clubs. There was a palatable excitement in the city. I was working at a second hand record store. I was mainly broke, but always had money for beer. I met new people who became some of my closest friends. And eventually, I found my way into a flow and my career began in earnest.

What do you consider your most career-defining moment?
Most recently, the call from Apple. That was a life-changer. My interview with Kanye in 2013 changed the course of my life I believe.

What makes you happiest?
Music. Knowing that once I have done the best job I can, I can bring the results home and share them with my family. Hearing my family laugh at the same time. Watching our kids grow into their passions and their skin.

If you weren’t in music, what would you be doing? What was the 
eight-year-old Zane Lowe’s dream?
It was always music, but it all depended on whether I made it or played it. That’s been the trade pretty much my whole life. I still make music and our kids are getting serious about it. Eight year old me wanted to be on the artist side of things.

What musical influences impacted you growing up?
Everything. Tom Petty, Def Jam, Eric B and Rakim, Jam and Lewis, INXS, Janet Jackson, Neil Young, Flying Nun Records, Tribe, De La… Native Tongues,The Cult, The Smiths, Inner City, Beastie Boys, PJ Harvey

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