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Jazz Shapers

Shaper: Gilles Peterson

Best known as a radio presenter on Saturday afternoons on BBC 6Music and as an international club DJ, Gilles Peterson is also an avid record collector, a curator, a music producer and record label boss. Every year he puts on two large events – the Worldwide Awards in London which are his annual showcase of that year’s best music and the Worldwide Festival. He also presents a syndicated weekly radio show that is broadcast all over the globe, from Shanghai and Sydney to France and Germany.

He has a long history of running record labels, including Acid Jazz in the late Eighties, Talkin Loud in the Nineties through to his current venture, Brownswood Recordings, which releases some of the best underground music around. As a curator, Gilles holds the record for compilation releases, having put together over 100 compilations as well as unique projects such as the recent remix album for Melanie Di Biasio and the Worldwide FM radio channel for computer game GTA. As a remixer and producer he has been involved in a number of projects around the world, including the Havana Cultura series of albums and culminating with 2014’s Sonzeira album, where

New initiatives include the launch of the online radio station, Worldwide FM, broadcasting from its London HQ and from studios around the world. Meanwhile Gilles has been appointed Creative Director of WeTransfer, a role with an open brief to work together on exciting new projects.

Follow Gilles on Twitter @gillespeterson

Interview Highlights

I give people a moment that I had back in those days.

The music coming out of the UK and club culture has been so powerful and important, and I say, where else could you live? London has constant remix and reimagination.

I’ve got better. I need the radio because it allows me to have the connection with the audience and with the music.

There must be a businessman in me somewhere because I am constantly looking at opportunities.

I sold my musical DJ aesthetic to a growing club culture and audience that had been introduced to the music through acid house.

There was an internal voice and I was on such a mission with the music and the scene.

The big differences between today listening habits and back then is that it took me ten years to understand John Coltrane, Giant Steps or Impressions, I didn’t just put that on and go this is amazing.

I like playing to people who are going to get it but I think there is a real satisfaction in trying to introduce new musicians.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be around what I love which has come along and saved me on many occasions.

I find sometimes if people are just doing one thing, they might actually get tired by it so for me I am involved in the full spectrum.

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