SXSW '17: Zane Lowe | Keynote Speech

Photos: © Copyright Concentus Music 2017

Photos: © Copyright Concentus Music 2017

Zane Lowe gave the second keynote speech for the SXSW Music Conference, following Nile Rodgers the previous day. This Beats 1 presenter, and previously hugely influential tastemaker from BBC Radio 1 in the UK, did a good job of providing a different perspective on the industry, rather than from a performer, but from a business and a tastemaker. Lowe really built effectively on to Rodgers’ speech, providing audiences of SXSW a holistic view on the industry.


It was interesting to see the more personal side to Lowe, away from his radio mic. Hearing all about the isolation from the music industry he experienced growing up in New Zealand, it was hugely important to realise how much we take our instant access to music for granted. Lowe also expanded on his influence of Tom Petty, which was an interesting angle to hear.


Remembering the outcry that the UK music industry had when Lowe left Radio 1 and moved to LA to take on a role with Apple Music’s new streaming radio service Beats 1, I was highly curious to hear his opinions on this. Lowe really dug deep on to innovation and it’s place in the industry, really picking apart the format of Beats 1, comparing the innovation to that of artists’ revolutionary innovation that’s flooding the industry right now. He also explained the importance of the social media revolution, naming it "communication turned commerce" - a really sophisticated way to summarise how the uprise of social media has changed the industry.


It’s great to hear a perspective on the industry from a tastemaker who’s driven the emerging artist scene for so many years, at a festival for new music.