Festival of
Contemporary
Music & Arts

Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan, India

28.3036° N, 75.2853° E

Nabihah Iqbal

Charting the waters where dance music and pop meet, she melds moody, propulsive basslines with shimmering synth atmospheres.

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 ditched that moniker to embrace the name she was born with. Readying her debut album for Ninja Tune, ‘Weighing of the Heart’ is a big statement in two ways: first, because she’s taken her real name to stand proudly as a female British Asian artist making music and, secondly, because she’s moved her music in a bolder, more expansive direction.

Born in London in the late 80s, Nabilah is the daughter of parents who moved to the UK from Pakistan. Growing up, she was encouraged to play music and had lessons every day, learning the recorder, the flute and the piano, and studied Ethnomusicology during her studies at London’s SOAS.

Her first release for the 90s-born, Coldcut-founded label saw dance production weaved through with an alt-pop sensibility, and her debut full-length ‘Weighing of the Heart’ in 2017 took her sound in a different direction, with more focus on live instruments.

Charting the waters where dance music and pop meet, she melds moody, propulsive basslines with shimmering synth atmospheres. It’s the product of self- directed, freely-evolving recording sessions; with a more confident, inclusive approach to her influences, it’s a complete picture of where Nabihah stands as an artist.

"A Sensitive Plant in a garden grew, And the young winds fed it with silver dew, And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light. And closed them beneath the kisses of Night."
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