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Whitechapel is home to one of London’s oldest South Asian communities. Nabihah Iqbal pays homage to this history with her curation of The Hickman for Nocturnal Creatures, bringing together South Asian creatives working across disciplines to showcase their work through DJ sets, talks, film and performance. Hear from artists including Nina Manandhar, Sofia Niazi (OOMK) and Vivek Vadoliya, as well as DJ sets from Anu and Manara. Nabihah will also be performing live as part of her latest music project ‘SUROOR’ – a shape-shifting experimental music trio, together with Raheel Khan and Imran Perretta.
The Hickman’s bar will be open during the course of the evening.
Nocturnal Creatures at the Hickman:
6 – 10pm DJ sets by Anu, Manara and SUROOR
6pm Visuals by Nina Manandhar
7pm Artist talks by Nina Manandhar, Sofia Niazi/ OOMK and Vivek Vadoliya
7.30pm Film screening by Vivek Vadoliya
10pm Performance with SUROOR
Nabihah Iqbal is a musician, producer, DJ and broadcaster from London. Her debut album, ‘Weighing of the Heart’, was released 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 6Music. She is currently an artist-in-residence at London’s iconic cultural institution, Somerset House, where she is writing and recording her second album.
Aside from working on her own music, Nabihah has hosted a bi-weekly show on NTS Radio since 2013, exploring musical traditions and cultures without boundaries. The success of this show, and the following that Nabihah has built up as a DJ and tastemaker, caught the attention of the BBC and she has frequently appeared on their networks since 2018, presenting shows on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network, World Service and 6Music. In December 2020, Nabihah launched a monthly radio show, ‘New Music Energy’, which is dedicated entirely to new artists and new music.
She has toured extensively around the world, both as a live act and as a DJ. Performance highlights include the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Barbican, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, K11 Art Institute in Shanghai, MoMA PS1 in New York, Synthposium in Moscow, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Inner Varnika festival in Australia and SXSW in Austin, TX, Glastonbury Festival, Warehouse Project, Printworks, Boiler Room, Worldwide Festival, Bestival and Sonar.
Inter-disciplinary projects form an important part of Nabihah’s work. 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. Nabihah is currently working with Libby Heaney, a visual artist and Quantum physicist, on a project exploring the relationship bewteen artificial intelligence and music. They performed the international debut of their first presentation, ‘The Whole Earth Chanting’, at Sonar Festival in 2021.
1n 2019, Nabihah launched her ‘Glory To Sound’ project at Somerset House in London. She has been curating a series of events (talks, live music, club nights) which explore the reasons why we love music. Guests include Wolfgang Tillmans, David Olusoga, Gilles Peterson, SOPHIE and Kassem Mosse. You can find out more here.
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. Mixmag invited Nabihah to act as Guest Editor for their September 2021 issue, which she dedicated to spotlighting South Asian talent from the UK diaspora and beyond. She interviewed key South Asian figures within the cultural scene including Riz Ahmed and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. You can read the whole issue here.
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 University 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 sits on the board of trustees for the Institute of Contemporary art (ICA), Hand Of, an arts and education charity dedicated to enriching the education of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK, and she is also on the advisory board of Making Tracks, an international music residency programme that explores strategies for music-based environmental engagement.