Gilles Peterson is today one of the most known DJs, producers curators covering music from world to avant garde jazz, from soul music to abstract electronic. At that time I discovered his podcast he was doing his show on BBC Radio 1.
He curates 3 Worldwide festivals: one in Sete, France, happening at this very moment, Leysin in Switzerland and one in Japan. Other projects are the amazing Havana Cultura and with Dayme Arocena from Cuba as guest this evening at Theatre de la Mer in Sete. As passionate record collector and producer he is also the founder of Brownswood Recordings "a platform for the many unsigned artists that were sending their music to Gilles to play on his late night BBC Radio 1 show".
In additional to Gilles' BBC 6 live show now he records a separate Worldwide separate weekly Worldwide "programme that is syndicated to 8 stations across the Europe including France’s Radio Nova, VRT StuBru-Belgium, Arrow FM in the Netherlands, CRO Wave- Czech Republic, ORF FM4 in Austria, Radio X and WDR Funkhaus Europa – Germany".
Worldwide FM is broadcasting starting this year most of the acts happening at Worldwide Festival is now in testing and transmitting intermittently the fantastic music played and dj-ed live during the event.
Inertia Movement spoke with Gilles about Worldwide FM and the Worldwide festival platform supporting musicians. Starting track is produced by Leron Thomas who played yesterday at Worldwide Festival and who recently signed with Brownswood Recordings.
GP: I'm a communicator and I'm somebody who wants to pass the heritage of music to a new generation. So all these things that are do are done for illuminating the history and respecting the past and moving forward. And whether is club culture, whether is archiving old music, whether is doing radio shows, whether is producing records in Brazil, in Cuba, is what I love.
WorldwideFM is my new project which starts in September and we're gonna have studios around Europe and in L.A and in London and we're gonna be able to do the kind of music I do on my BBC show but over the whole day everyday so yeah I'm pretty excited about that.
IM: Pretty awesome! You're one of the founders of Steve Reid Foundation and it supports young emerging musicians in social difficulty. Is it UK, worldwide, Europe? How do you think that independent and young spirit in music and obviously labels, independent labels can survive nowadays?
GP: Is very difficult you know! You need to have the right amount of passion and talent and understanding of the business. So the Steve Reid Foundation is something I've created for two reasons. First reason is to help musicians in need. So in the last couple of years we've been helping with people like Arthur Blythe, Victor Bailey, Bernie Worrell who sadly died two weeks ago. And also we're mentoring up and coming musicians.
In fact in the background right now you can hear the music is Moses Boyd who's a drummer.
IM: I think I was soundhounding it. .. And the message is pretty cool and vibe and the trumpets are pretty awesome.
GP: Yes. So is great! So we're helping young musicians in the spirit of Steve Reid and Sarathy Korwar was another one we have been working with and other people.
I think my role now as somebody who is more senior in the music industry is not only to produce, to make music but also to guide young people and people who want to get into the industry. So doing festivals, all of that for me is about inspiring people and inspiring the new generation of musicians; which is why this festival for me is very important cause on one hand we have more legendary artists and on the other we have up and coming new artists and DJs. So for me is about balancing the two and inspiring.
IM: Could you name some independent emerging labels that you didn't have the chance to curate for this festival? ...and you definitely want for the next lineup or the next festival?
GP: Yes. Just now we had an artist on called Leron Thomas who's on a record label in Paris called Heavenly Sweetness which is a very good record label. There's been some really good world music labels recently, labels like Struts, labels like Soundway, Analog Africa, Subliminal Frequencies, labels like Nowagain Records in America, Innovative Leisure. There's so many people that are trying to create some sort of platform; and you know there's not enough room for everyone in this festival but I've picked certain groups, and we worked a lot of Brainfeeder in the past and of course they're a massive label now. Young Turks is another one.
IM: Yes. Definitely Young Turks.
Here's this: How do you make young spirit in music popular? So there's a lot of fantastic musicians out there and sounds and universe and emotions really. But obviously people seem to think that music that is unknown to them and unheard doesn't exist. So there's media channels that show just a certain part of a music. How do you open this appetite of emotions quest?
GP: Well you have to put on events and you have to make sure that you make it open to the general public because if you keep events too clique then in the end you're just preaching to the converted: people who are already into it. So the nice thing about this festival is that a lot of people might be coming here because of Motor City Drum Ensemble or because of Anderson .Paak and then when they're here they might hear Kamasi Washington and Geology. So for me is about to be able to create a platform which is going to bring people in and introduce them to new things.
IM: Nice one.
What would be your advice to generations of artists and people engaging in music now? So what worked for you and what didn't work mostly?
GP: Well, things mustn't work for them to work so success doesn't come immediately, success comes with failure and so for me is about just keep on going. So if you really believe and you're passionate and you want to play records and you want to share then you have to go to a bar and say 'I'm gonna bring fifty friends down!'.
And you have to agitate. Is about agitation, and energy, and communication.
IM: Thank you!