Shaper: Gilles Peterson

Show aired on 23rd February 2019

Transcript

Elliot Moss
Welcome to the Jazz Shapers podcast from Mishcon de Reya. What you are about to hear was originally broadcast on Jazz FM however music has been cut or shortened due to rights issues.

Welcome to Jazz Shapers with me, Elliot Moss, it’s where the Shapers of Business join the Shapers of Jazz, Soul and Blues. My guest today, I am really pleased to say is Gilles Peterson, club DJ, music producer, radio presenter, record label boss and the man behind the Worldwide brand, you are in for a real treat. Brought up amongst the south London suburban soul scene in the early eighties, Gilles was inspired by pirate stations such as Radio Invicta to set up his own station, literally an aerial suspended between a tree and a phone box in Epson Downs. He played an eclectic mix of Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Soul and early Electro. “I didn’t know where it would lead me” he says, “But I was definitely on a mission.” Described as a relentless pioneer of contemporary underground music, Gilles launched the Acid Jazz record label in the late eighties, Talkin’ Loud in the nineties and his current venture, Brownswood Recordings, and as a curator he holds the record for compilation releases having put together over a hundred. We’ll be talking to Gilles about all this and his Worldwide Festival and Worldwide Awards in a few minutes. We’ve also got the rather wonderful sounds of amongst others, Lonnie Liston Smith, Donald Byrd and this, it’s Jill Scott with He Loves Me (Lyzel in e Flat).

That was Jill Scott with He Loves Me (Lyzel in e Flat). As I said earlier here on Jazz Shapers, the one and only Gilles Peterson is with me, or rather I am with him because for the first time ever actually, Jazz Shapers is on the road, I am here at the home of Gilles Peterson’s music, it’s Brownswood Studio. Hello.

Gilles Peterson
Hello. How are you?

Elliot Moss
Alright. How are you?

Gilles Peterson
Well, it’s good to see you standing up.

Elliot Moss
I know. Do you know what? This is the first time I have ever done this standing up so, maybe different things will happen, we don’t know what’s going to pop out.

Gilles Peterson
It’s good. It’s good for your calorie count.

Elliot Moss
Well, that’s good because I am always looking after the calories and I have got a really nice coffee which Gilles has made himself as well, he made me feel very welcome, so thank you.

Gilles Peterson
A pleasure.

Elliot Moss
Take me back to you as a kid. Where did this obsession with music start because people get into, you know I’ve got kids that got into cars and they got into collecting stones, you were alive to music from a very young age?

Gilles Peterson
Yeah, I think so. I mean, the thing is, I am coming from a French family. Mum was French, I used to go the French Lycée. My dad is Swiss. He used to travel a lot. A lot of chanson in the house but apart from that, not that much music. For me, music became a major issue when I went to an English school and when I suddenly realised that I had to belong to something or a gang or a crew or, you know, I had to have my…

Elliot Moss
You described it as a tribe, I think, in the past.

Gilles Peterson
…a tribe, yes. I had to really, and so it was a boys’ rugby playing school called John Fisher in Purley, and in that school there were three soul boys. Most people were into, I remember being into Rainbow, that was a really big band at the time but not within the people that I was eventually going to sort of be influenced by but there is a lot of sort of Heavy Metal and a little bit of Punk, but mainly it was sort of these three guys who would introduce me to jazz-funk music and pirate radio and suddenly I liked the look, I liked the wedge haircut, I liked the clothes, I liked the sort of leather peg trousers you’d have to go to King’s Road Jones and pick up and my Pods, my Pod shoes I don’t know if you remember those but, so yeah, there was that uniform which I could relate to an apart from that there was also a movement and a scene of bands, there was a load of UK bands that were playing, groups like Level 42, groups like Incognito and so I just got seduced by it, I’d listen to Radio Invicta on a Sunday, try and tune in, 92.4 it wasn’t always on, I could pick it up from the bathroom that was the best place in my house where I could get it and I would just sort of stay there for a few hours and just try and get it tuned to that station, hear jazz-funk, you’d listen to Robbie Vincent on a Saturday, he used to do a show and then by the age of sort of fourteen/fifteen I sort of wanted to get turntables.

Elliot Moss
Sold a trainset, apparently.

Gilles Peterson
Sold my trainset and when my parents went away for the weekend, it was in the garden shed and…

Elliot Moss
It had gone.

Gilles Peterson
…and it became a pirate radio station overnight. I got a transmitter from a local guy that also built CB radios and who I found in the back pages of something, local paper and I just sort of created these little radio shows in the back garden where I wanted to be Robbie Vincent and my next door neighbour at the time who was also sort of into music, but different music, a guy called Ross, he wanted to be John Peel so he kind of based his show on John Peel and called himself Ross Trevone, his real name was Ross Tinsley, and my name was Gilles Móehrle but I had to change my name because, of course I didn’t wanted to get busted so there weren’t many Móehrle in the book with umlaut on the ‘o’, so I was going out with a girl called Natalie Peterson and I thought…

Elliot Moss
…and here we are…

Gilles Peterson
…Peterson sounds good.

Elliot Moss
…and we are going to pause it there. Mr Gilles Peterson has arrived on the scene, he has changed his name no less and we are going to pick up the story in a minute. But first, and we try to choose music that I think is in keeping with your own predilections. This is Lonnie Liston Smith with Mardi Gras.

Gilles Peterson
Brilliant.

Elliot Moss
That was Lonnie Liston Smith with Mardi Gras and Gilles you obviously know Lonnie Liston, you worked, you did a bit of work with him, you’ve worked with most of the greats, I mean that must be the lovely thing, I think I read somewhere you said the great thing about what you do is that you can be the super fan of all the people that you love to play.

Gilles Peterson
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
Tell me about, you said there was passion and you wanted to be part of the tribe. Why did it start to funnel into the different areas of music that did? Why those specifically? Why was it that actually jazz connected with you? What was it that you can also move over into hip-hop or to Afrobeat? What’s it about all those different things that for you connects?

Gilles Peterson
Well, I’m fast forwarding a lot obviously from sort of the early eighties…

Elliot Moss
And then we’ll come back again there.

Gilles Peterson
…and going to Caister Soul Weekender and hearing disco and jazz-funk records in a big room and Chris Hill DJing and just getting five thousand people to dance the same way and it was an amazing experience just watching him playing this… I remember him playing Tania Maria, Brazilian singer, to five thousand people, you know, in 1981. I mean this guy was a genius, very inspired by that but I remember going backstage or the back room, there used to be a back room and they used to play jazz in the back room and I remember Bob Jones was playing, John Coltrane, it was like twenty people dancing and it was really loud and there was an amazing energy in the room I was like this is it, this is what it’s about. I mean, I had never heard jazz like that and for me that was a very, very important, powerful moment which kind of very much got inside me and in a way ever since then my whole sort of idea of what I do is to kind of give people that moment that I had back in those days and of course while I have been on that journey music coming out of the UK and club culture in the UK has been so powerful and important and I think, you know, people say where would you, where else could you live? I said, I can’t live anywhere apart from London because London has this kind of constant sort of remix and reimagination and all this new stuff, it’s very heavily competitive and that’s why we’ve had dubstep, that’s why we’ve had drum and base, that’s why we’ve had acid jazz and acid house and football hooligans and whatever it is, you know this…

Elliot Moss
It keeps moving.

Gilles Peterson
It keeps moving.

Elliot Moss
And for you, when are you at your happiest? Is it when you are playing live in front of X hundred or X thousand people? Or is it in here, in your own studio quietly finding a new track and then going hold on a minute, that might work with that or is it when you are on the radio generally? Which bit for you is the moment?

Gilles Peterson
Well, the bit for me is all of it and it’s kind of interesting because I do sometimes think well, should I just let one of them go? Should I just no do the travelling and the DJing but I do love, there’s nothing more amazing than being on Output in Brooklyn or at Contact in Tokyo and you are on for eight hours, and everyone’s just with you on the journey and then you can play an Elvin Jones track at the end and people are waltzing to it, you know, as the sun is coming up, I mean there is no better feeling than that and, I mean, I was talking to Virgil Abloh and some really successful people recently who are sort of, you know, DJs as well as doing other things and I feel that they’re great, you know you can have all the money in the world and you can have the best, you know, the most famous people in the world but to have that feeling of being able to play music to people and to have that live reaction in the moment, that happening, is remarkable and it’s very addictive and I think that it’s something that I would find very difficult not to have because it is just pure and beautiful so the DJing thing, because I remember thinking Francois K, I remember he did something with me and I was like, you know, I used to go and listen to him in New York at Body and Soul and I used to think he had his little glasses on, he looked like a professor and I was like, do I want to be a DJ when I am sort of old because he looked old to me because he was like ten years older than me and I was like, you know, I’m going to have to give up when I’m forty, you know, do you know what I mean and I got to forty and I was actually, I’m actually better than I was, I’ve got better because you get better at the craft as well, so for me, I need that and I need the radio because the radio allows me to be able to have the connection with the audience and with the music and…

Elliot Moss
And new people who then find you of course and that’s another, if you are on that mission to spread the word as it were then you’ve got to have that. Stay with me for more from my guest, Gilles Peterson. Much more coming up from him but first we are going to hear from one of our partners at Mishcon de Reya with some words of advice for your business.

There are many ways for you to enjoy all our former Jazz Shapers and indeed to hear this programme with Gilles as well. You can ask Alexa to play Jazz Shapers and there you can hear many of the recent programmes or if you pop Jazz Shapers into your chosen podcast platform you can enjoy the full archive there but back to today, right here, right now, I am in north London, the amazing studio – it’s quite warm in here by the way, I don’t know how you concentrate, we’re sweating, I feel like…

Gilles Peterson
We’re sweating.

Elliot Moss
…it’s some kind of Ashtanga Yoga Jazz Shaper’s Special. Gilles, we’ve talked a little bit about the music and that moment when you have the joy. The flip side of this is, of course, you have to be successful commercially and what you’ve managed to do unlike many DJs who go and do those sets, who carry on through their lives and then they have to stop, a bit like a personal trainer. You’ve gone, hold on a minute, there’s brands to explore here, there’s businesses, you’ve set up awards, you’ve got a radio station, you’ve got your programmes as well, you’ve got this new festival, all sorts of things. Where does the business side of it come from? Where have you grown that acumen?

Gilles Peterson
Interesting. I don’t know. I don’t think that, I think there must be a businessman in me somewhere because I am constantly looking at opportunities and, you know, I’ve sort of been in the business of music from a record label point of view for many years, but I think really, I don’t really have that kind of overview in a way, I just sort of go with what is exciting me, I am just going on my energy and in a way I started off where I was playing music in the back room and we were the sort of underdogs, I was always the underdog guy, the underdog DJ playing the underdog music.

Elliot Moss
In what way? Why that?

Gilles Peterson
Just playing the sort of not the obvious so we were the ones, I don’t know, when… because even when I started up until acid house and acid jazz, there was no sort of career in being a DJ, it wasn’t, it hadn’t been sort of monetised almost, you were still the guy who came up and gave, you know you got a couple of hundred quid to work down the pub. I’d set up record labels, done compilations, done Talkin’ Loud but I’d still not really put my name on the front of a record to sell what I was about, what my brand was, I didn’t realise that until Journeys by DJ which was an independent sort of mix company, they put out DJ mixes, and they came to me and they said we really want to do a mix album with you, even though I was running Talking Aloud, we were winning Mercury Prizes at the time with Represent and stuff, but I had not in any way, I had done loads of compilations for Blue Note and Prestige, all kinds of compilations but these guys came up to me and said look we want to put your name on there and sell it as Gilles Peterson mix and that was when almost I realised that there was something in it and then I did an album called Incredible Sound Of for Sony which did really, really well and in a way it kind of, sort of sold my musical DJ aesthetic to a growing club culture and audience that had been introduced to the music through house and acid house so that was when I realised that there was sort of something in it for me as a DJ beyond just having five residencies in…

Elliot Moss
In the Electric and wherever else it might have been.

Gilles Peterson
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
But you following your nose, your instinct. You must have got a sense of what would be big enough to then make money or was it more about, do you know what, acid jazz is where it’s going now, I’m going to put my money over, my time there, Brazilian, there’s a bit of a vibe over there. Was it, how much of it was?

Gilles Peterson
To be honest with you, I made so many, I don’t think, there was not, I mean really Acid Jazz, if you go there, I set that record label with my DJ money and, you know, I was living in a flat in Rotherhithe and every penny I was getting was either going on records or was going in recording artists and studios, all my money going in and there was no one else doing this, there no one else signing the brand new heavies, signing Galliano, signing these groups because they didn’t think there was a scene or a market for that kind of thing and then I suddenly got a call from Mercury Records, Phonogram Records and they said look, you know, we like what you are doing, we want to give you a job to be an A&R guy at Phonogram and at the time I jumped at it because they were giving me £25 grand and a car and for me, you know, I was 23…

Elliot Moss
It sounds like the car was more exciting than the money.

Gilles Peterson
It was, it was, you know because you’ve got to remember that was it, but if I had really thought about it and realised that if someone had said actually Gilles, you know this is as big as Stiff, or this is as big as Two Tone, you’re mad, just kind of we’ll invest in what you have because you can sign all of these groups and you can let them grow independently and that would definitely have been jackpot for me back then but at the time I needed to go to a major record label to almost, for me I saw it as it was the catalyst to take this scene internationally and it was the catalyst to put these groups and give them bigger budgets than what I could afford to go into the studio, hence why we could make records like The Young Disciples album which was a proper record I could never have made that at Acid Jazz at the time so it was kind of like I was throwing myself into a situation which I knew I had to, even though…

Elliot Moss
So, you saw that, no one was advising you, you saw that yourself or have you over the years now been able to surround yourself with people saying hold on a minute, this is start up, that’s scale up, as people would now call that because what you’ve just described is the journey of a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s like I need investment to grow, you kind of said it without saying it, was that just an internal voice?

Gilles Peterson
Yes, it was an internal voice but I was on such a mission with the music and the scene that I was representing that I was going to do anything to make that grow, that meant me having residencies in Vienna, in Paris, in Cologne, travelling, you know I mean, every week I was at Heathrow Airport, every day I was at Phonogram Records, I was in A&R meetings talking about Wet Wet Wet and Elton John and I was going no, no, hang on a minute, I’ve got this really good record by a group called The K-Creative and they were like, forget it, just go back to you room, you know, within Phonogram there was no appreciation or understanding of what I was doing, right? But actually that was really good for me because it actually allowed me those years, those ten years to really understand how that side of the music industry…

Elliot Moss
How it worked.

Gilles Peterson
…worked. You know, I went to America with these records under my arm, the 25th floor of 8th Avenue Universal Building and got up there, speak to Ed Eckstein and go can you release my Young Disciples record and, you know, they’d just look at me go well who are you? This is the Urban department, go back to the Rock department, it was that kind of thing. So, you have to learn those things and I really appreciate it and then, you know, after thirteen years working there and the fact that my DJ career was beginning to take on some new sort of life and the fact that I was now getting towards being on Radio 1 and that was, I put a lot of energy into that because I felt that was really important back then particularly that platform, that Radio 1 platform, allowed me to be able to sort of champion records like the Cinematic Orchestra or Zero 7 or the Gotan Project, all that kind of music, that’s when I sort of took time off working at Talkin’ Loud and for a few years I didn’t do any record label until I got a demo given to me in Cargo and it was a Jose James demo and I thought, you know what this is too good, I need to create a record label to release this and that’s how I set up Brownswood Records many years later.

Elliot Moss
Hold that thought. Lots more coming up from my ebullient Jazz Shaper here, Gilles Peterson, he’s quite excited about music you have noticed. Time for some of that and it’s another one I hope that you will like, Gilles, it’s Stolen Moments by Mark Murphy.

That was Stolen Moments by Mark Murphy and Gilles, that’s one of your own choices for today. Normally we only have one but we can’t have Gilles Peterson and making only one decision about the music on a programme, that would seem inappropriate and if not, rude. Tell me why you chose that one.

Gilles Peterson
Well any time I can play Mark Murphy I always sort of take advantage of it. Stolen Moments, I remember listening to that again and again and again. Beautiful arrangement of the Oliver Nelson song and an artist who I had a great relationship with for many years because he used to spend a lot of time in the UK, he very sadly passed away recently and one of the real greats and I feel very privileged to have been able to work with these people, talk to them, interview them. I remember there was a period when I started on Radio London and I was like twenty years old and I didn’t really know much about jazz really, I was just coming from a collector, you know I was a jazz-funk boy and suddenly I had a jazz show because I was young and it looked good for the station and I took advantage of it but I remember within a few weeks of being at Radio London I had the opportunity to interview Wayne Shorter, Mark Murphy and Jalal from The Last Poets. These three people, for me, were really important because they kind of were serious artists with a lifetime of music and thinking and I hadn’t had those people around me to really give me that advice and that’s really, really important, I think.

Elliot Moss
And it sounds like, you know, because you’re inside of music culture, you define music culture, it takes a long time to do that. Where does your brain start? I mean go back to the time when you knew ten records. How did you start to build and create this world? Because I see when you are talking you are literally, your brain is darting around to that track and that one over there and that person over there, it is literally like a huge library or your own. When it was little, how did you know which way to go to find the next track or is it just trial and error? Is it just, I’ll have a listen to this one and see what happens?

Gilles Peterson
Yeah, I think so, I think that one of the big differences between today listening habits and back then is that it probably 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 mean I heard Bob Jones playing it at a Weekender and it was in a different context to what I would have heard it in and so I kind of understood it to a degree but these days, of course, you can get from Stanley Turrentine to Roland Kirk in three hours if you go through your iTunes and you can literally understand the journey but back then, you literally had to buy the records or listen to them or borrow them and then you just sort of built that journey so, for me, I didn’t just arrive at Sun Ra, that took fifteen years to kind of finally get it, you know, and that’s the satisfaction of it so, for me, I think it, that’s why I am very thankful to people like Bluey and the groups like Incognito and Light of the World, that movement of British bands that were there at the time because it was jazz-funk. A bit like today, a group that I release on Brownswood called Yussef Kamaal, there it’s kind of entry point music and I really think that’s a very important part of everybody’s journey, you know, and again as somebody who is on the radio who does play out, I am always aware that there needs to be a way in for people who aren’t as tuned into the really extreme sort of elitist sort of scene. I mean, I like playing to people who are going to get it but I think there is a real satisfaction in going to Ibiza and being on after Carl Cox and going okay there’s two thousand people here, how am I going to get them into, you know, Brother John by Yusef Lateef, I probably won’t get there but I’ll find a way and that to me is the game really.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me for my final chant with my guest today, Gilles Peterson here in the bosom of Brownswood Studios. Plus, we will be playing a track from another one I think of Gilles’ choices, it’s Donald Byrd. That’s all coming up in just a moment.

That was Donald Byrd with Wing Parade.

Gilles Peterson
Wow, love that.

Elliot Moss
That’s another one of your choices. What is it you love about that? I mean, I love Donald Byrd, I mean Wing Parade is another brilliant number.

Gilles Peterson
Yeah. Well entry point music again.

Elliot Moss
That’s probably why I know it.

Gilles Peterson
Maybe.

Elliot Moss
I mean, I am an entry point kind of guy.

Gilles Peterson
Yeah, well we all are. I think we all are and we have to find, I think it’s interesting because that record Places and Spaces, was completely dissed by the critics at the time, it got really badly panned apparently and so with time the understanding of the producers on that record, the Mizell Brothers and the way they were approaching the jazz and the funk and the textures they were creating was incredible and I think that a lot of modern day music today from the sort of likes of The Internet or Pharrell Williams or Jamiroquai or whoever, this is like as important to them as Naima by John Coltrane might be to somebody else so, that’s why it’s important and that was a record that I grew up on and that’s the record they were playing on the pirate stations and specific radio shows and at the all dayers that you go to in Manchester or Nottingham and you’d sort of, that was our music which differentiated us to the other tribes and so you’d play that in the car or somewhere and they would know the song and it was brilliant and that’s what you felt you had this secret code and secret music so, you know, from a nostalgia point of view it always shines for me that one.

Elliot Moss
The artistry with which you approach what you do, and I am calling you that intentionally because DJs, there are many that just put it on, talk and think and that’s the worst, then you’ve made a life of weaving and not just weaving but I think also proselytising and wanting people to kind of buy into it, it’s almost like it’s a religion. I mean, not that you’ve ever used those words and, I’m not a religious person so I have no idea if you are still going, you know attending Catholic mass and things, it doesn’t really matter but why, it seems so part of your being, there’s no separation to me as a I look at you between the person that works and the person that’s just you.

Gilles Peterson
Yeah. Well, I am the ultimate sort of example of someone who loves their job and I am constantly and still absolutely passionate about it and there’s always new music to inspire me, I think there is nothing better than music to heal and so for me I’ve been fortunate enough to be around what I love which has come along and saved me on many occasions, whether I am up or whether I am down so music’s a beautiful thing to have as something to work around. I am also involved in music in many different ways and I think that’s quite an important part so on one hand I will be a mentor, I will be working in the back room sort of working with artists as an A&R man or as a producer, on the other hand I will be sort of working with the record label and just sort of in marketing meetings and I think all of that allows me to be able to enjoy those little moments when I am being a DJ. 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, I am running a radio station as well so I am listening – it’s funny because when I started running Worldwide FM it was like a fun thing to do and then suddenly I realised that every DJ on there was expecting me to listen to their show to give them sort of feedback so I was like oh my god I’ve got to, so the only thing that can be a little bit intense sometimes which, hey it’s no bad thing really, is that I have to listen to a lot and so I have to make sure that I am sort of in the right space to listen to music objectively and to be able to, you know, give people good advice and response.

Elliot Moss
You are here, what over thirty/forty years later from when the first time, you know you sold your train set and then you are doing this. Do you ever stop? And I know you run a lot and I think that’s the time you said you don’t listen to music. Do you ever stop and go, this is alright, well done Gilles? I mean, you know, you are surrounded by your vinyl, here in this room alone there must be, I don’t know, a thousand, a couple of thousand, there’s a few more upstairs, I mean they are everywhere. Are you like that? Do you ever look at your own life and go, that’s alright? Or do you just go, no mate, it’s about the next bit of music?

Gilles Peterson
I think all of us who are busy and active, it’s like catching the moment isn’t it, life does go extremely fast because there’s just something going on every day and so I have got a lovely family and so I spend as much time with them as possible, I go and see my mum as much as I can so I try and have that balance. Running has been massive for me over the last fifteen years, you know, I was raving until I was forty, hard and then I looked at myself when I was in my mid-thirties and I thought actually, you know, this is only going one way so luckily the music was there to help me, therapy-wise and of course running really saved my life.

Elliot Moss
Listen, just before I let you go and thanks, it’s been a real treat for me, a music lover and someone who has followed you over the years. What’s your song choice, your final song choice, and why have you chosen it?

Gilles Peterson
Yeah, I wanted to play a track by Gary Bartz who is a seventy eight year old alto saxophonist who I met for the first time after many, many years of playing his records at the Winter Jazz Festival which is a one week thing that happens in New York in January, and I met him and interviewed him and I was blown away by him and I, you know, he played with Miles Davis, he played with Max Roach and has continuously been making incredible music and was very much one of the sort of champions of fusing poetry, jazz, free jazz and kind of spiritual jazz and so he was doing all that and he’s going strong so I am going to try and bring him over for this festival I am doing in August called We Out Here and I wanted to play this song which is just one of my favourite all time tunes by Gary Bartz with Andy Bey on the vocals who is the first person to use Andy Bey in this kind of context, and this is a song called Celestial Blues.

Elliot Moss
That was Gary Bartz with Celestial Blues, as chosen by my fantastic guest, Gilles Peterson. He talked about the importance to him of listening objectively and of creating entry points, giving his audience a way in to new artists and sounds as we each build our own journey. He spoke about getting energy from variety and, of course, as he put it, the beautiful addictive power of connecting with people live through music. And underpinning all of that was his fundamental desire to work with people and give time to people and frankly his compulsion to create. That’s it from me and Jazz Shapers, have a fantastic weekend.

We hope you enjoyed that edition of Jazz Shapers. You will find hundreds more guests available for you to listen to in our archive. To find out more, just search Jazz Shapers and iTunes or your favourite podcast platform or head over to mishcon.com/jazzshapers.

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 

“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.”