ARIAS 2017 – Best Online Radio Station Winner

We’re thrilled to have been announced the winners in the Best Online Radio Station category in the Audio & Radio Industry Awards 2017, taking the Gold.

The judges said: “Worldwide FM is the perfect GOLD winner of this new category since what it’s doing can really only be done online. Judges found themselves at first intrigued and then pulled in the more they listened. It’s eclectic and authoritative, but with a welcoming tone for the audience that you don’t always find in genre-specific stations and the mix of new names (who can barely disguise their delight at being on air!) alongside the skilful touch of Gilles Peterson is a beguiling mix. As a listen, it’s confident and oozes high production values, while its harnessing of connections around the world is really refreshing in an increasingly isolationist world.”

Gilles had a few words to say too: “So picking up an award is always tricky. What to say, how to say it, what I should have said…

“It was the annual ARIAS (Radio Industry Awards) and I was nominated for two – one for my show on BBC 6 Music and one for digital station. I missed out on the Specialist Presenter award but was delighted to see Benji B pick up the prize with a terrific acceptance speech. I’m proud to have been a part of Benji’s journey to worldwide recognition as a broadcaster and musicologist. He remains a great friend and totally deserves this for his championing of so much essential music. Both Benji and I have been privileged to work in the music business for over 20 years now – in fact I’ve been at it for over 30! And to be recognised for my latest project Worldwide FM means a lot.

“We are at a very interesting period in culture. It’s a tricky time. Growing technology has meant the positives and negatives of data and algorithms have become more apparent, subjecting us to the lowest common denominator. But I feel there is a distinct reaction against this push of the algorithm amongst a growing number of people and its right now that music can help play its part in bringing a togetherness needed now more than ever.

“When I first started listening to pirate stations and going to clubs it was to meet like minded people, listen to jazz funk white labels and feel part of a musical community. And then I heard Art Blakey and McCoy Tyner records and discovered an even deeper avenue which had a significant effect on my appreciation of life. You could call it my illumination. Ever since I’ve been on a quest to bring that music and feeling to more people, and my own personal journey has continued to discover and be inspired by all sorts of art – from sculpture and poetry to music of all kinds. The algorithm is being employed in the interest of the mega brands and corporations, but there’s been a revolution going on for a while now.

“My travels around the world have proved to me that just like music, there’s good and bad in everything. But on the whole, it’s mostly good, and for me it is important to stay positive and focused and to do what you believe in and what you are passionate about. I truly believe that music can play a part in the togetherness that we are all gonna need to meet our future challenges.

“All said and done, during my time as a DJ I don’t remember a period of such creative force and DIY know how. Interviewing Archy (King Krule) last week on 6 Music was fascinating – he’s only 23 and has such clarity in his thoughts – a great role model, and just one of many artists pushing out the envelope and taking on the system. From Nubya Garcia to Shabaka Hutchings or Kojey Radical to Kendrick Lamar, artists are in control and the old media powers are playing catch up leaving an open space for new creative communities like Red Light Radio, Le Mellotron, Reform Radio, NTS Radio or Worldwide FM to grow with the artists. This is why I’m so thrilled to have been recognised by the ARIAS on Thursday night. Big thanks to Dave O’Donnell who has led the ship in our opening year.”

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