When all is said and done, whichever role Gilles is performing – DJ, broadcaster, producer, compiler, label boss or plain old record collector – the music is always the bottom line. 

Starting off life as a club DJ, Gilles continues to spin regularly around the world. As for the radio, his 3-hour Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 Music has seen him take his unique musical mix to a new and growing audience of music lovers, whilst the syndicated Worldwide radio show continues to spread his musical gospel… well, worldwide. From Sun-Ra to James Blake to Theo Parrish to Flying Lotus – if it swings in the right places, it’s in.

From Acid Jazz to Talkin’ Loud and now Brownswood Recordings, Gilles’s work as an A&R, as a producer; as a remixer and, of course, as the curator of compilations only seems to intensify. His longstanding love affair with Cuba and its musical subcultures has manifested itself in five albums under the auspices of the “Havana Cultura” project.

Gilles’ broadcasting roots lie with the burgeoning pirate radio movement in South London during the early 1980s. Inspired by the exciting blend of music broadcast on pirate stations such as Radio Invicta, he set up his own – Civic Radio – and went on to present on a string of pirate stations during it’s golden era – Invicta, KJAZZ, Solar Radio and on Horizon, before landing at BBC London with his show Mad On Jazz and a box of soul, jazz, Latin and boogie records.

Upon leaving BBC London in 1986, Gilles took up a new residency at Dingwalls in Camden, which ran for 5 years. Coinciding with the rise of acid house in UK clubland, the popularity of Sunday Afternoon at Dingwalls grew and grew, establishing itself as a legendary session. 

Gilles’ forays into the world of A&R began with Street Sounds, with whom he complied the Jazz Juice series. He then complied the first collection for Blue Note aimed at the new DJ culture and went on to set up his own BGP records and Hardback Recordings. It was 1986 when he co-founded the Acid Jazz imprint – releasing records by the likes of A Man called Adam, Galliano and Brand New Heavies. Then in 1989 Gilles was offered the opportunity by Phonogram to create an imprint label born out of Britains flourishing club culture: Talkin’ Loud. It was with Talkin’ loud that he really cemented his relationship with the new and the old, with innovation and heritage, releasing note worthy material by Omar, Incognito, Galliano and The Young Disciples. Talkin’ Loud became synonymous with Gilles’ own broad taste in music and with no less than 5 Mercury Music Prize nominations under his belt (4hero, Courtney Pine, Young Disciples, MJ Cole and Roni Size Reprazent – the winner in 1997). His reputation was assured. 

As a compiler, Gilles has put together over 100 compilation releases making him the undoubted world record holder! He always maintained that he wanted to score as many releases as his early hero Art Blakey… He still has a few more to go!

Having launched Jazz FM as one of the stations founders in 1990, Gilles found himself in hot water after he publicly condemned the first Gulf War on air and was subsequently sacked. Having kicked off his first show for them by playing ‘Fight the Power’ by Public Enemy, it was probably no surprise to them that they were in for an interesting ride.

However Kiss FM opened the doors for an 8-year residency where he built the foundations of his enduringly popular Worldwide radio show. The Worldwide name having been given to him by Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson of the Roots (who’s debut EP had just come out on Talkin’ Loud). Taking Worldwide to BBC Radio 1 in 1998, he has enjoyed 14 years broadcasting the “Worldwide” sound to receptive ears.

Today, Peterson is at the forefront of his own independent label – Brownswood Recordings – which launched in 2006 as an outlet for his favourite new discoveries.

Starting off life as a club DJ, Gilles continues to spin passionately around the world. From Kazakhstan to Hackney, Istanbul, New York, Beijing and beyond… he has always seen himself first and foremost as a selector of discs for the Dance!