CREATIVE TO KNOW: THROWING SHADE
CREATIVE TO WATCH: THROWING SHADE
Just releasing her first EP on German label, Ominira Records – London-based producer Nabihah Iqbal aka Throwing Shade will be taking over the radio-waves soon. Literally she already is, gracing us with her presence each week on cult radio station NTS (which has also seen a positive progression itself, worldwide).
Mystic Places and Lights, the two tracks on the 12″ EP, take the listener on a dream-like, upbeat and sensual journey through various instruments and tools, analog and digital.
The vinyl is an artwork for the collection in itself, with the white-marble body and colourful paradise-musing illustrated centre (by artist, friend and collaborator Boudicca Collins) to complete the complimenting visuals.
Now embarking on her first supporting tour of Germany, 2013 sees things moving quickly and organically for the 26-year-old Londoner, with the players in the music industry already taking note. 2014 will no doubt ensure Throwing Shade is on everyone’s watch – and of course listen – list.
First and foremost, how would you describe your music? We encourage everyone to take a listen, but in your own words – what genres does it fall under?
I still haven’t quite figured out what to call it. The music I make is pretty weird but at the same time accessible. Lots of people, from all different music camps seem to be having a positive reaction to it, which is really nice to know. I guess for now I’ll call it cosmic r’n'b. That’s what it’s being described as. Outer-space jams.
What is it about London that keeps you here?
London is the best place I know and having spent time away from it makes me appreciate the city even more. Home is where the heart is, right? I love how busy and diverse it is, and how much there is going on, especially in terms of music and creativity. Everyone’s doing something, working together, helping each other. The community built up around NTS Radio is a good example of that. It’s all very organic and that is what makes it feel an amazing thing to be a part of.
What are the tools that you use to make your music?
It’s hard to place, but there is a certain familiarity to each sound on your songs.
I definitely have a certain sound but I think that it has emerged quite subconsciously. I don’t really approach my music with a particular sound in mind – it just comes out sounding like it does. I use both digital and analogue sounds, as well as voice. Studying Ethnomusicology at university really broadened my palette for different sounds, rhythms and musical techniques and I feel that somehow this all filters through my music-making too.
Kassem Mosse of Ominira Records, approached you to release your first EP with him.
Can you tell us how you met the German record label owner?
He sent me a message after hearing some of my tracks on soundcloud. He actually initially contacted me under an alias so I didn’t know who it was. It was only later, when he sent me a link to the Ominira website, that I realized it was Kassem Mosse whom I was in contact with! It pretty much blew my mind because he’s an artist that I look up to very much and for him to like my music enough to put it out on vinyl made me feel so crazy and amazing! I’m still not over it- it all seems so surreal.
Your cover artwork for your 12″ EP is done by artist Boudicca Collins. How did this collaboration begin?
Boudicca is one of my best friends. We met when we were about 14 years old because we used to go to the same music school every Saturday. Having known each other for such a long time, and having seen each other develop creatively – her with art and me with music- makes the collaboration feel particularly special. She’s so great at painting and I think her aesthetic really suits my music. I love how colourful and garish (garish in a positive sense) her work is. That’s why, when I started plaaning for the EP, I asked her straight away if she would do the artwork for me, and I’m so happy she agreed because she’s done such an amazing job.
Why the choice to create a vinyl? What are your thoughts on this classic item, and what record stores do you recommend we support in London (and worldwide)?
Well it was Kassem Mosse’s idea from the start to have Mystic Places out on vinyl. There’s a strong vinyl revival happening at the moment and for me, having my first release in a tangible format, rather than just on mp3, has made the whole process more exciting. Receiving the test pressing and listening to my record for the first time was such a crazy feeling! Record stores in London… My favourite ones are Sounds of The Universe, Phonica ans Sister Ray, which are all in Soho. Kristina Records in Dalston is also great. And then Honest Jon’s and Rough Trade in West.
What other artists or producers worldwide are you listening to?
Ana Caprix, Popul Vuh, Miles Davis, Piff Gang, Usher, Wolf Eyes, Hawk House, In Aeternam Vale, Arvo Pärt. That’s a motley crew of musicians off the top of my head from everything I’ve been listening to lately.
Photo by Shin Okishima
Champ Family Dinner at The Wapping Project 2013