And yet Lowe has done just that. More than a decade ago, when he left London-based XFM for Radio 1, he explained his rationale: “This is a great opportunity for me to continue doing what I love but now it is going to be on a national platform,” he said. Today, he makes a similar case for his move to Apple: “It’s about being able to get great music to an audience on a global level. I know that there is an opportunity to come out here and to build something that will reach parts of the world that I’ve never reached before.”
He hesitates, smoothes the edges of his ambition: “and that’s not an ego-driven decision,” he says. “I’m just trying to connect with the listener, and connect with the artist, and put you guys together.” He talks in circles for a while – partly, I suspect, because he is still a little punch-drunk with the decision, but also because his new role with Apple has not yet been made public, which makes it difficult for him to talk in specific terms. And so there is much mention of platforms and curating and connecting, for the possibilities of extending his current role as musical cheerleader beyond the reaches of Radio 1.
After more than a decade at BBC Radio 1, well-known DJ personality Zane Lowe has taken a job with Apple in Cupertino, California.
Although the five-time Radio Academy Award winner hasn’t said what he’ll be doing at Apple, he will reportedly work on iTunes Radio.
Plenty of tailored stations are already available through iTunes Radio, but Lowe’s hiring could signal Apple’s plans to incorporate old-school DJ personalities for artist interviews and commentary.
Lowe made a name for himself over the years by surfacing emerging talent and scoring exclusive, wide-ranging interviews with artists like Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, Rick Rubin, and Chris Martin.
As a DJ, he’s played massive festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury. For several years at Radio 1, his team spent a month airing interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at albums considered to be masterpieces, such as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. He’s also a producer who was just recently nominated for a Grammy for his work on Sam Smith’s debut album, The Lonely Hour.
Annie Mac will replace Lowe after his last show airs on March 5th.