Zane Lowe has been bringing new music to the UK public for more than ten years, since bursting onto our screens with MTV2's legendary Gonzo then joining the BBC in 2003 to present a daily evening show which very quickly gained a large and loyal following which continues until today, when he hosts his final show for Radio 1.
We spoke to Zane last year to find out his Ultimate Playlist: naturally, there are some impeccable choices contained within, and some interesting stories behind the songs too. Read on and listen below...
FAVOURITE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK SONG
I'm a massive fan of Thomas Newman, so anything involved with Thomas Newman. I'm a huge fan of the way he plays and the way he integrates his music into film... I loved the work he did on the Road To Perdition movie with Tom Hanks - I loved that soundtrack. The other example is, I loved the song Seasons by Chris Cornell, which he did for the Man Of Steel movie. I loved that song.
FAVOURITE SAD SONG
Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins is pretty sad... that's a pretty sad song. I would go with that, because it's one of my favourite albums of all time; it's a record that travels with me everywhere I go. It's constantly at arm's length - on a phone, on an iPod, or in a record collection on various formats - I always have to have a copy of that. I just think the album is amazing, it really runs the whole spectrum of emotions and I think that probably is the moment on the record when it's at its general, sort of, breaking point. So that song, I think, is a pretty good example of Billy Corgan at his most fragile.
FAVOURITE SONG FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Here Comes My Girl from Damn the Torpedoes. That album - I still have very strong memories of listening to that album - my Mum loves that record, and I just remember it being one of the first albums that I remember listening to and loving myself, as a kid. I'm really pleased that when I go back and listen to that record now how incredible it sounds to this day. It's easy to look back on your childhood when you listen to records and kind of - and you should, you should have records that are a stepping stone to the next thing until you develop taste but - I don't know man, I'm pretty stoked with that one!
FAVOURITE SONG THAT NO-ONE ELSE HAS HEARD OF
The First Part by Superchuck. I think they came from North Carolina - Mack, who was the frontman of that band, and Laura, the bassist went on to form Merge Recordings - Merge is the label that signed Arcade Fire and has had a really amazing run of releasing incredible records - they've got great taste. Superchuck are just one of those incredibly credible and brilliant influential indie bands from America in the 90s and The First Part, I think, was only available on an EP. I love that song.
FAVOURITE CLUB ANTHEM
Rez by Underworld. It is just the perfect combination between hands-on electronic music production and the rhythm, y'know the trance-like effect of club music that brings you in. Everything moves so fast nowadays, y'know club records tend to move on quite quick, structurally, and Rez is a proper journey of a record, it's absolutely phenomenal. And I'd put that alongside Higher State of Consciousness by Josh Wink, in terms of a record that takes its time and at the end of it, every single second was worth it.
FAVOURITE SONG TO HEAR AT A WEDDING
Anything by Kool & The Gang. Full stop. I mean, they are one of the funkiest, best bands of all time, and they're one of those bands that you can play - cos I've DJed at weddings, and I've danced to those songs at weddings - and that band, they pull off this magic act, which is that people who are there to dance to something they know, and are there to dance to what people refer to as 'cheesy wedding music' will absolutely shake a leg to Kool & The Gang, but if you do like music, you really feel like you're actually dancing to something cool. It's not an easy transition to make at a wedding!
FAVOURITE ONE-HIT WONDER
You Get What You Give by the New Radicals is a pretty phenomenal example of a one-hit wonder. I mean that is one of the great modern pop songs, thematically, musically, y'know the way it sounds... the fact that he went on to write for others and the New Radicals never did anything after that I think is cool.
FAVOURITE LYRIC FROM A SONG
Oh god...you have to say, for me, to choose one lyric for all of recorded music is an impossible task. So I'm going to go with my favourite lyric of this year, which is: "Your last sh*t ain't better than my first sh*t/Your best sh*t ain't better than my worst sh*t". Which is Jay-Z, which to me is, kind of, that's what rap is! That's pretty much the pure algorhythm of rap.
FAVOURITE SONG CURRENTLY IN THE TOP 40
"I guess I'll just be predictable and say Lorde - Royals. She is just the breakout pop star of 2013, and the sophistication of the music and the lyrics is something that is not a given in pop music these days. And a fellow Kiwi, which is always nice - let's be honest, us Kiwis, we like to wave the flag!"
FAVOURITE SONG FROM YOUR OWN MUSIC
That's a tough call, because I'm proud of everything I've written on some respects.... I'll go with Tinie Tempah, 5 Minutes, because we spent 18 months carving it into shape and I'm so proud of how epic it turned out.