The only word that really captures the 2012 edition of Gilles Peterson’s worldwide awards is WOW!
It was the first year I wasn’t working during the awards so I wasn’t sure what to expect…
The line-up looked very varied – from electronic music to jazz to folky soul to you name it. Despite knowing how brilliant all the individual acts/DJs are, the line-up looked like it had the potential of being a massive hit or a massive miss, all depending on how the entire show was executed, but also on how the crowd would be handle the mixture of upbeat, quirky, soulful, spaced out and so on music.
However, despite my worries it has to be said that Gilles and the Brownswood / worldwide crew really pulled it off this year! They really went above and beyond, with extra gold stars sprinkled on top!
Before I go any further I have to give massive props to the amazing Peggy who I know works so hard on these events, and Saturday night was proof of her excellence, but also of how much she’s grown and developed and become super-duper good at her job! I can without a shadow of a doubt say that it was the best worldwide awards show I have been to so far!
So massive props to this insanely talented and driven lady, as well as the rest of the crew who made the night happen – Ems, Simon, Alex, Fawaz and the rest of the Brownswood crew plus all other people who I probably don’t know but who made the night a reality.
As for the music and the performances… I think I cried 3 times during the evening because it was so overwhelming. I don’t even know where to begin since all of it was so good, but I guess some of the many many many highlights were:
Another memorable moment was the Gil Scott Heron tribute with the two young and amazingly talented artists, Joey and J’Danna, from south London. They took my breath away – it was an incredible feeling seeing two stars being born on stage like that.
Hmmmm… what else? I guess my favourite DJs of the night were Hudmo, Kutmah and Lefto. Not because the others were bad, but probably because I am biased, because I was too drunk when the others were on to appreciate them, and also because I look up to these three gentlemen – especially Lefto who is like a slightly cooler version of superman (trust!). He even made this video below… Does he ever rest!?
Apart from the music side of things it was fantastic to meet so many new people, as well as seeing a lot of old friends who I haven’t seen for ages – Emanative, Thristian, KATE (!!), Dayo, Alex P, the Wah Wah 45s crew and so so many more.
I know a lot of people diss Gilles from time to time – haters gonna hate and all that, but honestly speaking – I don’t think a lot of people would have been able to pull off what he and the crew did on Saturday.
It really was a magical night (and no I am not just saying that because I used to work for him, if the night was shit I probably wouldn’t bother sharing it with you). I have so much respect for that man, the fact that he is still going from strength to strength, that he is taking chances when so many people in music like to play it safe, that he has big visions and he tries to make them happen with the help of great people and so on – it is very inspirational and if I can ever achieve a tiny bit of what he has in my own career I will be very happy.
So much love and respect to you Gilles! You keep pushing those boundaries and even if I don’t personally like all the music you play, I still very much appreciate what you do for people like me who represent and love independent and niche music.