Nabihah Iqbal

Nabihah Iqbal

"A pop auteur and songwriter of impressive emotional heft. ~ Pitchfork

Many musicians like to speak of versatility, but Nabihah Iqbal has better grounds than most. She boasts an MPhil (focused on African history) from Cambridge, experience working in human rights law and a black belt in Karate. Formerly known as Throwing Shade, she has ditched that moniker to embrace the name she was born with. The London-based musician, producer, DJ and broadcaster released her debut album, ‘Weighing of the Heart’, via Ninja Tune in December 2017 and has since garnered huge critical acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Pitchfork, Dazed, The Observer, Q Magazine, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6Music. She is currently working on her second album at Somerset House Studios in London, where she is an artist-in-residence.

Nabihah recently presented a show of unreleased materials, meditations and ideas on NTS, listen back here. Ahead of her work on her follow-up album.

Nabihah studied a joint honours BA in History and Ethnomusicology at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and it was during her time as an undergraduate that her musical horizons widened further. She took classes in various music styles including Gamelan and the Turkish classical tradition. Her main performance instrument was the Sitar. After SOAS she moved to Cambridge to study a postgraduate MPhil focused on South African history. She then moved back to London, where she did a law conversion degree, passed the Bar and simultaneously started getting more involved in throwing parties and making music.

Nabihah is also very interested in music from an academic perspective and she has been invited to give lectures and participate in discussions, including at the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the Royal College of Art and the London Documentary Film Festival. She has also written articles for various publications including Dazed and Vice.

Aside from working on her own music, Nabihah has hosted a bi-weekly show on NTS Radio for the past 7 years, exploring the musical traditions of different countries. She was presenting regular Saturday night shows on BBC Asian Network during 2018-19 as part of her BBC Radio Residency. Recently, she also presented her first few shows on BBC Radio 1, covering for Benji B on the UK’s largest music radio station.

Between 2013 and 2017, Nabihah released a string of EPs on labels such as Ominira and No Pain in Pop, as well as Ninja Tune. She has received several commissions from other corners of the arts, where she has collaborated with Chinese artist Zhang Ding, been commissioned by Tate to compose music for the Turner Prize, collaborated with Wolfgang Tillmans as part of his Tate Modern exhibition and was recently involved in a group performance at the Barbican as part of its major Basquiat retrospective.

Live highlights include performing at both the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Barbican, K11 Art Institute in Shanghai, Synthposium in Moscow, SXSW in Austin, TX. Key DJ dates include Glastonbury, Warehouse Project, Printworks, Lost Village Festival, Citadel Festival, Boiler Room, Worldwide Festival, Bestival and Meredith Festival in Australia. Nabihah spent much of 2018-19 touring and performing live, following the release of her debut album. To date, she has already played across the world in countries including Canada, Australia, Japan, South Africa, China, Dubai, Russia, Bahrain, South Korea, Morocco, Georgia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, as well as all over Europe.

Through her work as a musician and DJ, Nabihah has acted as a brand ambassador for Fred Perry, Merrell, Levi’s, Urban Outfitters and Adidas, among others.

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