Zane Lowe kicked things off with in-depth interview with Elton on Apple Music 1.
Elton on his Rocket Hour show…
“What it’s brought me is it’s brought me into contact with so many great new artists who’ve become friends. It’s kept me so up to date with what’s going on. In fact, I think I look better now than I did six years ago when I started it. So it’s like, good music makes you look younger. I don’t know. But it’s just, I’ve had such a great time and I’m indebted to you and to Apple for asking me to do this because it’s a dream. And every week we find something new and something great to talk about. I’m 74 now. And I just think I’m just as excited now as I was when I was a kid buying records with my record tokens.”
“And I love old music and it just, it’s fantastic. But when you hear someone young and someone who’s doing something for the first time, like when I played Lorde on the show for the first time when she was 16 or something, whatever. Or I played Billie Eilish or Channel Tres, or Rina Sawayama, or Dua Lipa. It’s wonderful because you think, “God they’re 16 or 17… 15 years of age. How do they do that?” And so it’s just it keeps me animated and it keeps me so happy. Music makes you happy. And in the last few years it’s not been a particularly wonderful political climate to go through. Then we’ve had a pandemic, and we’ve had a lot of violence and racial problems.”
Elton on the UK government and live touring…
“And one of the big bees in my bonnet now is trying to work out with the government and with the European Union and trying to get these ridiculous laws changed so that young artists can go back to Europe they earn the money from playing live. And it’s such an important thing, which the Rocket Hour has instilled in me is that these artists need to get out there and play that.”
Artists call into the show and discuss Rocket Hour…
Dua Lipa: “I’ll never forget when you played “Levitating” onHowell Davies
Rocket Hour. I absolutely lost my mind. I was so happy that you liked the song and you were willing to play it on your show. I know you know how much I love you because I’m obsessed with you. I just think you’re absolutely incredible, but I also love how incredibly supportive you are of so many new artists and artists from all over the world and how much you champion and love and respect artists all over. It’s just been an absolute dream, getting to know you and getting to see all the magic that you are. I love you and congratulations.”
Elton John: “She’s [Dua Lipa] amazing. As you say, David and I have only got to know her very recently because she did our Oscar party for us and was brilliant and professional, modest, humble, incredibly on the money, all the songs, and phenomenally beautiful in the most beautiful, natural way. We had dinner with her in Los Angeles and she walked into the restaurant and everyone just stopped when she walked in. She just has this inner beauty and an outer beauty, but she deserves every success that comes her way.”
Arlo Parks: “I mean, I’m still gobsmacked, but what I love about Rocket Hour is the fact that you are using your platform as such an innovator and a force in music to uplift young artists who are beginning to develop themselves and kind of getting to grips with their identity and gaining confidence in their work. And you kind of let them know that what you’re doing is amazing and keep being yourself and to have that kind of recognition from someone such as yourself is really lovely. So I’m very grateful.”
Sam Fender: “Congratulations on your 300th episode of Rocket Hour. Jesus Christ. That is mental. That’s a lot of episodes. I just want to say thank you so much for the first time that you played my song on Rocket Hour. It was such a big moment for me as a young artist, because I remember not many stations playing our stuff at the time. I think we’d had a couple of plays on Radio One, and that when you picked it up, that for me was a really big moment and a massive confidence boost for when I was very, very, very, very new to the scene. And I just think it’s amazing that you’ve done that for so many other artists. Just keep on trucking on it. You’re an absolute legend. And I love you a bit. Take care. Send love to the family. Bye.”
SG Lewis: “I grew up in a house that played Elton’s music, as most people did. It was a huge formative part of growing up and my music education. So I feel very lucky now to be able to call him a friend. Thank you for supporting the music as well. I really do appreciate it.”
Rina Sawayama: “I remember the first time you played my music on your show and you gave it such a glowing review and I just could not believe it because it’s Elton John. You’re Elton John, for God’s sake. Yeah. You did change my life. It’s incredible, the support that you’ve given me, so many times on the show, even before the record came out. You’re just supporting new and up-and-coming artists and helping boost their profile and it’s just incredible.”
As part of the festivities, Apple Music 1 will host Rocket Day and will encore several of Elton’s favorite episodes of Rocket Hour leading up to the big 300th episode, which will feature guests Yola, The Weather Station and Jake Wesley Rogers. Spotlighting the new talent Elton John has continuously made a point to champion — from Teyana Taylor to Channel Tres, Lorde and Billie Eilish — Rocket Day’s retrospective programming will include Rocket Hour’s Dance, Soul or Disco Specials, and episodes co-hosted by Brandi Carlile, Q-Tip and more.
Apple Music 1 and Apple Music TV will also encore additional Rocket Hour episodes, and Apple Music Hits will play Elton’s biggest songs across Friday and Saturday, with an Elton John Essentials special airing just before Rocket Hour’s 300th.