NEWS: Nabihah Iqbal announces upcoming album 'DREAMER' and 'This World Couldn't See Us' single

NEWS: Nabihah Iqbal announces upcoming album ‘DREAMER’ and ‘This World Couldn’t See Us’ single

Nabihah Iqbal returns with DREAMER , her long-awaited new album out 28th April on NinjaTune. Five years on since the London-born artist, curator, broadcaster and lecturer’s debut Weighing Of The Heart was released and its Nabihah’s rawest and most reflective work to date. Alongside the announcement Nabihah shares shoegaze inspired single ‘This World Couldn’t See Us‘ – the first track to be released from the album, which finds Nabihah’s voice shimmering above an infectious melodic beat.  Watch here:

The record arrives at a pivotal time for Nabihah who has made her prolific work rate look effortless with a resume as varied as her music having recently collaborated with artist Zhang Ding, been commissioned 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. She has also contributed to Serpentine’s recent book ‘140 Artists’ ideas for Planet Earth’ and has given guest lectures at the Royal College of Art. In 2022 Nabihah was announced as a guest director for Brighton Festival, England’s largest multi-arts festival, in 2023, her “biggest, most challenging and exciting curatorial position” to date.

DREAMER sees Nabihah reflect on her experiences during the early months of 2020, when her studio was burgled. All her work was lost, including her long-awaited album. Already suffering from a broken hand and a severe case of burnout, she felt helpless. While the forensic police looked for fingerprints in her studio, she received a call. It was her grandmother; her grandfather had suffered a brain haemorrhage. Nabihah got on a plane to Karachi, Pakistan the next day. “Going to Pakistan turned into a blessing in disguise,” she says. “It affected my perspective on music. At the time, being forcefully removed from the whole scenario of the burglary felt frustrating, but it was the best thing that could have happened.” Nabihah spent those months remembering why she made music in the first place. She went back to basics and bought an acoustic guitar and a harmonium. 

“For the first time ever, I’ve made music where I’ve been more patient with it,” she says. “Normally, when you’re an electronic music producer, you go into the studio, switch your computer on and start working on Ableton or Logic and then build up from that. Whereas, I decided not to go near all that for ages, and I was also forced into this approach in a way, because of the studio burglary and then being in Pakistan, away from all my equipment. Instead, I had to let the ideas develop in my head.” During those initial months in Pakistan, she continued her creative practice through her “herbalist sessions” where she learned about plants and herbal remedies from her grandparents, espousing her learnings to the world via Instagram. 

Using broader concepts, DREAMER is “more introspective, because it’s about things that I’ve been through over the last few years,” she says. The album is an intimate journey through snapshots and memories of Nabihah’s life. Exploring personal identity and grief through the soft-focus lens of melancholy, the album is not one specific sound. Her left-field lo-fi aesthetic twirls itself throughout as she manages to skate between tracks without ever sounding disjointed. Back in the UK, she embarked on residencies in Scotland and Suffolk to finish the album where she switched off from the internet, discovering “all my emotions and feelings. I was so sad and unwell before that but hardly anybody knew.” 

It is a wrenchingly intimate and sweetly playful project. There is a pronounced melancholy underpinning the album, but cracks of sunlight make their way out. Ultimately, ‘DREAMER’ signals a shift, elevating Nabihah’s work to new heights as she adds new colours to her palette.  

Nabihah has hosted radio shows on NTS and BBC networks like Radio 11XtraAsianNetworkWorldService and 6Music since 2013.

Nabihah Iqbal will release ‘DREAMER’ on the 28th April on NinjaTune and will play a special album launch show at the ICA on the 13th May

Nabihah will play a special album launch show at London’s ICA on 13th May. She has also been announced as a guest director for England’s largest multi-arts festival, Brighton Festival, happening 6th-28th May 2023. 

Pre-Save / Pre-Order ‘DREAMER’ – here

2023 Live Dates

13- Album Launch show @ ICA, London (Live)

01- Los Angeles, CA – The Echo 
03- San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord 
04- Seattle, WA – Barboza
07-Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
08-Toronto, ON – Baby G
10- New York, NY – Public Records

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