Famous for his international radio show, Worldwide, which is syndicated in 15 countries, including Serbia and Turkey, DJ and record-label boss Gilles Peterson has his fingers in quite a few pies. He also has a daily show on Japan’s influential J-Wave and, in the UK, his regular Gilles Peterson BBC Radio 1 show.
Peterson, 43, was one of the first English DJs to travel abroad with his record collection. When he’s not DJing on radio, he spins decks at club nights all over the world and was a pioneer in taking club culture outside the UK in the Eighties. These days, he never goes anywhere without a wireless-enabled laptop and a box of vinyl records and CDs.
According to Peterson, the positive ways in which technology and the internet have changed the music industry include the speed at which he can source and receive music and also discover new talent. “I was the first to play Lily Allen on Radio 1 because I heard from contacts online that I should check out her MySpace page.”
His Radio 1 show, which he has been presenting for nearly 10 years, can be listened back to all over the world from the Radio 1 website. “On-demand listening is revolutionising radio,” he says. “For me, and DJs like me, it’s amazing. The internet has allowed my show to get across to America. My market is everywhere, from Brazil to Serbia. It has had a huge effect on my career."
Technology also enables Peterson’s artists to make tracks on the internet without going into a recording studio. “I have a singer on my label called Ben Westbeech who did a song, So Good Today, with a group in New York called The Dap-Kings. They did the music in New York and he did the vocals in Bristol and then they made the record online. It meant we didn’t need to send Ben to New York.”
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