Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Pete Tong: Always Essential

Pete Tong interview
Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview Pete Tong interview

In and around dance music for over four decades and still innovating every step of the way. That's very much what we expect of Pete Tong, whose enduring position at the very pinnacle of club culture has been built on a tireless succession of broadcasts, gigs, releases and, in recent years, classically-infused concerts and compositions. This month's new EP, “Pete Tong + Friends: Ibiza Classics”, arrives at the end of a corresponding UK arena tour and is a confident evolution of Tong's relatively recent relationship with conductor and orchestra. This time, alongside electronic peers including Tale Of Us, Riton and Kölsch, as well as long-term collaborator Jules Buckley.

Early on in his career, Tong worked for this very magazine. Exposure to Blues & Soul's taste-making agenda helped refine his ear for exciting new music. He subsequently managed A&R for London Records, signing early house hits by Steve 'Silk' Hurley and Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk & Jessie Saunders, as well as bands including New Order, before launching cult club sub-label FFRR (signing the likes of Mr Fingers, Orbital and Frankie Knuckles) and expanding his already significant radio profile.

In 1991, Tong joined Radio 1 and spawned the iconic Essential Mix and Essential Selection shows. He's still there now, whilst helming several other international radio shows, DJ’ing to all the key festivals and dancefloors around the world, running snappy new labels (Three Six Zero) and collecting industry accolades from Idris Elba (last month's Music Industry Trust Award for his 'outstanding contribution to music'). He's an MBE, founder of IMS (the renowned International Music Summit) and established producer, with releases for cult underground labels Pets and Suara alongside majors Polydor and Ministry of Sound. Talk of the latter two brings us nicely back to Tong's current classical endeavours, on which he's called 'home' to Blues & Soul to discuss some more….

How are you, Pete?

Well, thanks. I'm just out from the dentist but everything's fine!

Good to hear. No time to rest what with the new record landing…

I'm very excited about it. It's less than an album but more than an EP. It's my fourth project with Jules and The Heritage Orchestra and marks a shift from Polydor after the first three to Ministry. Having a new team around us and a changing market has prompted fresh ideas and forced us to dig creatively deeper.

Tell us more…

The first album [“Classic House”] spun out of a special concert we did for BBC Proms in 2015. The following two allowed us to experiment with Ibiza as a theme, and alternative tempos for classic tracks originally recorded fast or slow.

You can read more from B&S' Ben Lovett's interview with dance music DJ'ing legend Pete Tong, including more on his latest EP release “Pete Tong + Friends: Ibiza Classics”. Also his thoughts on playing sets on post-pandemic dance floors, his involvement with Brian Eno's EarthPercent climate change movement, staying relevant in this day and age and his time working at Blues & Soul Magazine. All in the latest issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

You can purchase Blues & Soul magazine at all decent magazine retailers, inc; WH Smiths, John Menzies + selected Euro Foods, Cost Cutters and independents everywhere! If by chance your preferred retailer does not stock Blues & Soul, just ask for a "B&S shop save" and they will order it in for you.



INSTAGRAM petetongofficial

FACEBOOK facebook/petetong


If you Tweet B&S and it's favourited by us at @BluesandSoul you could see your comments added to our "Soulful Social" area in the next B&S print issue.

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter