Beats 1 DJs reflect on 2 years anchoring Apple Music’s flagship station

As Beats 1 nears its second year as Apple Music’s flagship radio station, DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga reflected on their biggest moments so far in an Q&A session with High Snobiety. Lowe said he views Apple Music as a platform trying to take what it can from the old radio format and blend it with the “college, pirate, digital and blogs” model that’d driving much of new music discovery today. For Beats 1, that meant giving artists their own space to do things how they wanted. “We had to face up to the reality that the old expectations may not fit the artist anymore, Lowe said. “We have to trust the artists. Let them drive their own conversation. Trust that they know their audience.”
Darden, who also hosts his own morning show on New York City’s HOT97, said even though he’s known as “the hip-hop guy,” being at Beats 1 has expanded his worldview and turned him on to the idea that he can feel the message from a track even when he can’t understand the lyrics. “I’m amazed at how much great music is out there from all around the world,” Darden said. “I get put on to new sounds from a myriad of genres and countries every day.” Adenuga experienced the biggest change after uprooting her life at Rinse FM in London and starting over in the US, and admitted she’s still starstruck when she’s sitting in the booth with Britney Spears or Pharrell Williams. She’s has her share of tougher interviews as well—learning during a terse interview with Take That that “everyone isn’t going to entertain banter the way people like Vince Staples or Kyle do”—but when asked to compare her life today to the one she had a decade ago, the change was stunning. “This time ten years ago I was heading towards my 18th birthday, planning my first holiday away with my best friend at the time,” Adenuga said. “We went to Majorca. I had less to care about then, just wanted to make money working in IKEA and spend it on raves and holidays!”


Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.