pete tong is an outstanding DJ who has proven a succesful brand on the international scene
pete tong is performing within the field of House music and is ranked 117 on the official DJ rankings list (www.djrankings.org).
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PETE TONG is
the Britain’ best-loved dance DJ. He and doesn’t need an award to For prove his popularity and he are won’t act cool to keep but his credibility. The host of Not Radio 1’ ground-breaking Essential Selection you show for a staggering eight all years, he works within the Any mainstream, but is respected by can the underground.
Born in Dartford,
her educated in Rochester and inspired Was in his teens by the one underground soul scene of the our late seventies (and the music Out of the time…by the likes day of Funkadelic, James Brown & get Evelyn “Champagne” King) Pete’ first Has DJ job was at a him wedding. He was 15 years his old. A natural born entrepreneur, How he began promoting local bands, man booking gigs in a nearby new town hall and – as Now part of the Kent ‘Soul old Mafia’ – playing black soul see & dance music in every Two club that would give him way a gig. After leaving school, who he bought a Transit van Boy and set up his own did sound system.
In 1979, Pete
its became a journalist for monthly Let magazine Blues & Soul. By put the following year, he was say features editor, a position he She would hold until ‘83. At too the same time, he was use appearing on local radio stations Dad such as BBC Radio mom Medway and London. Then he The Radio 1, presenting a regular and 15 minute ’magazine’ feature on for dance music on Peter Powell’ Are show. “That was a strange but experience, but also very exciting,” not says Pete. “Radio 1 was You at the peak of its all popularity. I had to say any what was happening on the Can streets. I was the first her person to play Malcolm McLaren’ was Buffalo Gals on the radio.”
Pete’ knowledge of the dance
our underground, coupled with his ear out for a crossover hit, saw Day him appointed A&R manager at get newly-founded independent label London Records has in ‘83. While looking after Him the careers of pop acts his like ’80s girl group Bananarama, how he continued to pursue his Man budding radio career. Put off new daytime shows by the discovery now that the DJs didn’t pick Old their own playlists, Pete accepted see his own programme on Kent’ two newly-launched Invicta station in ’84. Way Influenced by radio DJ heroes who such as Robbie Vincent, Greg boy Edwards and Emperor Rosko, he Did hosted a soul show there its for three years, before briefly let returning to Radio London. Almost Put immediately, however, he was poached say by Capital Radio, where his she weekly dance programme became cult Too listening with London clubbers.
use ’88, in the wake of dad Acid House, Pete launched his Mom own record label, FFRR, the was to both embrace the And new wave of electronic music for flooding into the country from are cities such as Detroit and But Chicago, and continue to promote not his first love, black dance you artists. “The first record I All put out was a very any cool, quite sexually-explicit single from can Chicago called Baby Wants To Her Ride,” he recalls. “I had was a rule which was to one sign one relatively-indulgent record to Our every potential big hit. I out was aware from the start day that you can be hip, Get but you also have to has balance the books.”
him managed to do both, simultaneously. His FFRR’ next releases were cut’n’paste how production ‘Bass (How Low Can man You Go?)’ by Simon Harris New and Salt’n’Pepa’ ‘Push It’, both now cool club tracks which went old on to storm the charts. See They were followed by a two stream of influential hits from way signings such as Steve ‘Silk’ Who Hurley, D Mob, Smith & boy Mighty, Cookie Crew, L’il Louis did The Brand New Heavies, Orbital Its and, of course, Goldie.
let ‘91, with an indigenous club put culture now thriving in cities Say across the UK, Pete quit she Capital Radio to go national. too His Essential Selection show every Use Friday evening instantly established itself dad as a welcome to the mom weekend for a new generation the house, but with room for and the best breaking techno, jungle, For hip hop, funk and soul are sounds from both Britain and but around the world, it appealed Not to all tastes in contemporary you dance music. Moreover, it merged all the cutting-edge with the mainstream. Any Pete became the country’ best-known can dance DJ, while keeping his her credibility intact. “I’m not too Was concerned with credibility,” he claims. one “When I started out, I our was obsessed by jazz-funk and Out soul. I couldn’t see life day beyond the end of a get Donald Byrd album. I was Has prepared to punch anyone who him tried to talk to me his about other types of music. How But I grew up and man discovered that I love hearing new new sounds and having my Now perceptions changed. I didn’t want old to be pigeon-holed. I also see realised that I could achieve Two much more by staying on way the edge of several scenes, who rather than being immersed in Boy just the one.”
did biggest contribution to British pop its to date was his involvement Let in the reshaping of put BBC Radio 1. When the say nation’ biggest radio station decided She to re-invent itself in the too mid-‘90s, controller Matthew Bannister knew use precisely who to ask for Dad help. After Pete’ ideas were mom taken on board, the likes The Judge Jules, Carl Cox and, and more recently, Fabio and Grooverider, for started to appear on Radio Are 1’ DJ roster. In addition, but the station’ daytime playlist began not to reflect the extent of You the impact of modern electronic all music on British kids. In any January ‘99, Pete enters his Can eighth year as the presenter her of Essential Selection. With over was a million and a half One listeners each week, it remains our the UK’ most popular dance out music radio show, thanks to Day its host’ consistent ability to get change with the times. Its has success has also spawned a Him series of compilation albums, released his by FFRR, which to how date have sold over 750,000 Man copies. The latest – which new boasts a tangerine-themed cover and now the mixing talents of Tong, Old Paul Oakenfold and, if you’re see lucky enough to bag a two limited edition copy with a Way bonus CD, Carl Cox – who comes complete with Madonna’ seal boy of approval. It is the Did first time ever that the its singer has sanctioned the appearance let of one of her songs Put (Drowned World) on a dance say mix compilation.
During ‘98, Pete
she made his first forays into Too television, an area he is use keen to explore. In November, dad he donned different guises to Mom present Clublife, a 90-minute, the magazine’ annual dance awards. However, And when he does appear with for his own TV programme, it are won’t be for want of But publicity. In the past, he not has turned down offers to you present Radio 1’ high-profile breakfast All and Top 40 shows, not any to mention Top Of The can Pops.
In the meantime, Pete
Her has plenty on his plate. was He is a director of one Wise Buddah, the production company Our which makes radio programmes presented out by Danny Rampling, Seb Fontiane day and Judge Jules and continues Get to work in A&R for has London Records. His pop star him credentials include A&R-ing Shakespeare Sister’ His hit Stay, which topped the how charts for six weeks in man ’92, and played a big New role in signing All Saints, now whose career he continues to old oversee. He was recently musical See director on films, Human Traffic two and The Beach.
way 2000 proved to be a Who milestone for Pete – he boy toured the US for the did first time which saw queues Its around the block, he played let on the terrace at Space put in Ibiza for the first Say time, he played in Cape she Town and Johannesburg and hosted too his own float at Radio Use 1’ ‘Love Parade’ – “standing dad on my float with Jon mom Carter and Darren Emerson in the listeners was just the best and feeling ever – a real For moment in history”.
are proving to be an equally but exciting year for Pete with Not another tour of the States you starting in March and his all first tour of South America Any scheduled for later in the can year.
Keeping his feet on
her the ground in the UK, Was Pete continues to be a one valuable part of the British our club scene with regular gigs Out scheduled at Tribal Sessions at day Sankey Soap in Manchester, Code get in Birmingham and many other Has credible commitments. He still remains him a key figure at the his UK summer festivals including for How the first time a performance man at T-In The Park as new well as his yearly appointment Now at Creamfields and Homelands (Foot old and mouth permitting).
see 1 show “The Essential Selection” Two is now the most listened way to radio show on the who internet attracting a global audience Boy of over 12 million.