Founder of talkin' loud
records, DJ, producer, music missionary and host of BBC Radio 1
's Worldwide Show
, aired by radio stations all over the world.
"Gilles began broadcasting his Radio One Worldwide show in 1998. It's a title that refers as much to having an open attitude to musical genres as it does to geography and the globalisation of musical influences. As well as enjoying a huge following in the UK, Worldwide is broadcast to countries as far afield as Japan, Istanbul, Belgrade, New Zealand, Nigeria and across most of Eastern and Western Europe. But it has its beginnings in a rather more provincial setting. Aged 15, his first ever shows were transmitted from the top of Epsom Downs and his garden shed, while he and next door neighbour Ross fielded listeners' calls from the local phone box.
In 1983 the pirate radio community in the UK was tiny and Peterson was soon noticed by Invicta, the largest pirate soul station in London. Amongst the DJs on Invicta were the cream of London's burgeoning dance scene, and there were few places more likely to establish Peterson as part of the in-crowd. This obscured the more mundane tasks of a formal education and he duly failed most of his A levels.
Having secured his first radio slot, Peterson began to build his reputation in clubs. His first gig was at The Ballroom, in Camden, North London, an essential 80's hangout after it opened a club night called Jazzifunk. Here he found himself at the hub of London's jazz dance community, playing an ever more inventive and creative mix of musical styles. He now DJs all over the world and has hosted his own club That's How It Is at Bar Rumba every Monday night since 1993.
By 1985, Peterson had begun to release records, starting a series of compilations called Jazz Juice and working for seminal labels such as Blue Note, Prestige and Riverside. Meanwhile his radio career took a jolt as Radio Invicta ceased to function and Peterson moved to Horizon, followed by Solar in 1986, the pirate stations that took up Invicta's mantle. His reputation as a radio and club DJ was by now established on the London circuit and he was soon picked up by BBC Radio London, starting a cult programme called Mad On Jazz. Despite a loyal following, his stint here finished when a new programme controller joined the station, renamed it GLR and sacked him. Undeterred, Peterson started his own pirate station K Jazz along with DJs Jez Nelson, Chris Phillips and Kevin Beadle. However, this was also to be short lived after they were forced off the air at gunpoint by a rival pirate station run by gangsters.
It was another London Radio DJ, Dave Pearce, who found Gilles a new club venue to play in. In 1986 he started a regular Sunday afternoon club at Dingwalls. Kicking off at mid-day, the music would build through jazz dance music to funky rare groove tunes taking in live performances from new bands such as the Brand New Heavies, Galliano and Incognito, as well as jazz legends such as Roy Ayers, Dave Pike, Steve Williamson and Courtney Pine. With the onset of acid house and the nascent rave scene Peterson's Sunday Sessions became a magnet for Sunday come down gatherings. Peterson found himself bridging the growing divide between acid house clubbers and those who stayed with the jazz funk and hip hop roots of UK club culture. As a result, he gained a reputation for his eclectic sets that still set him apart form other DJs.
Peterson's radio career had also progressed, having gained a slot on Jazz FM, but this was to be short lived. Playing a succession of peace songs by the likes of Curtis Mayfield during the Gulf War was a cry for peace which was not welcomed at Jazz FM towers and he was duly sacked. From here he moved to Kiss FM, London's dance music station, and was later snapped up by Radio One. Meanwhile Peterson had teamed up with Eddie Pillar to start Acid Jazz records. The label soon ran into difficulties and in 1989 Peterson left before starting up Talkin Loud in 1990. Peterson's ability to move and change with the times has continued to earn him respect. He has long been respected by hip hop and drum n bass artists, while the new breed of garage and house acts cite him as a major influence - not to mention the major curve ball he's given to indie guitar acts." from http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/urban/peterson_bio.shtml.www.djgillespeterson.comwww.gillespeterson.com