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Pete Tong's Essential Selection

“Time is always my biggest battle,” states voice of the dance music nation, Pete Tong. “Finding the time to do it all and have the right head space to listen to so much music, you have to be on the case!” And he certainly was on the case again in 2012, picking up the DJ Mag gong for Best Radio Show for his tireless work on the Essential Selection each and every week.

It’s no mean feat to stick out amongst the competition nowadays, what with everyone and their mother hosting their own radio shows, and the rise of stations like NTS and Rinse, but still Tong’s taste cuts through the tripe and gives a much-needed voice to the best music of the day.

“[My show] is your trusted guide to new music from the world of dance and electronica,” beams Pete on the positioning of his Essential Selection. “It’s your companion on a Friday night as the weekend gets started. Being there for 20-plus years builds trust.” Of course, 2012 was also the year that saw the US finally fall in love with so-called EDM, a fact that has not escaped the man who looks for “soul, originality and balls” in anything he is to play on-air.

“The North American audience is growing fast and is very hungry for radio,” he considers. “We have always had a huge amount of interaction with the USA on Facebook and Twitter during the show, and now I am on a brand-new daily station, Evolution, part of I Heart Radio, and it’s very exciting…” Citing personal highlights as the shows from Ibiza this year, Tong also acknowledges that sometimes culture accelerates a little too fast in dance circles, before confirming that he still can’t foresee a day when he won’t be doing this each week.

“The UK scene is in a very creative place and is making a significant contribution to the underground right now. That makes putting the show together that much more satisfying.”

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