Jem Aswad of Billboard interviewed Zane Lowe about Beats 1, and they covered a lot of ground. When asked about the genre mix — something that came up earlier this week — Lowe had this to say:
We’ve played country music, Mexican house music, South American EDM, German hip-hop. I’ve never been a fan of, “We’ve got to get 22 percent of rock, 17 percent of R&B; where’s our 16 percent of hip-hop and our 9 percent of country?” If you do it that way, you’re not basing it on the merit of the music. You’re basing it on some kind of obligation.
Maybe there’s just a lot more great hip-hop being made these days. It certainly seems like it: this year has been absolutely golden.
Lowe again, on working with Trent Reznor:
I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance to sit with Trent, but he’s one of the most intelligent, eloquent, passionate people I’ve ever met, not just for art, but also the way people can use it. He’s really committed to the user experience, so his whole thing was like, “People have been splintered off into individual experiences — let’s see if we can bring them back together and if so, what would that feel like for the user? What if they’re using it on a device in a music service, and not in the traditional places where radio is experienced?”
There’s no doubt in my mind that the collective and genuine appreciation for both music and pushing its distribution forward is a big reason why Apple wanted to acquire the Beats Music team.