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(CMW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #109: Throwing Shade

 
By on Wednesday, 27th April 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Hard to believe but I’m just days away from my first Canadian Music Week (CMW) in just a few days, so leading up to the event, we’ll be previewing some of the acts I’m keen on seeing while I’m in Toronto. We’ll be asking some of these artists to answer a special list of Quickfire Questions tailored specifically to CMW 2016. Today, we’re being graced by the presence of DJ / producer / artiste extraordinaire Throwing Shade (real name Nabihah Iqbal), who showcased last month on our continent at SXSW 2016. Given her hard-working musical ethic at home, I was very curious to see what music inspired her as she grew up and what continues to inspire her. Read on…

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Cosmic. Dreamy. Textured.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word ‘Canada’?
Drake.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Toronto? Have you been before?
Never been before, so just looking forward to exploring a completely new city

Of the bands who have already been announced (https://cmw.net/music/artists/), do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Just wanna try and see as much new music as possible.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase for your time at CMW that we might find weird or unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Chocolate wafers.

You are receiving funding from PRS for Music Foundation to make the trip over to the pond to showcase at CMW. Tell us about how you got involved with PRS Foundation and what their funding means to your trip / your career.
PRS for Music Foundation have a strong reputation for supporting new music in the UK and a few people recommended to me that I should apply for funding with them. So I did… And I was lucky enough to receive it! Without their support, my trip to CMW wouldn’t have been possible.

After CMW, what’s up next for you? Writing and recording? TGE / summer festivals / etc.? Do tell!
I’m DJing in Prague straight after CMW. Then back to London where I’ve got quite a hectic schedule of DJ and live dates over the next few weeks. Need to make time for making music too though… So I’ll see how it goes.

Tell us about your time in Austin for SXSW 2016. What were the highlights and lowlights? What was your favourite moment?
SXSW was incredible! It was my first time there. Highlights would have to be my three performances, being part of the Ninja Tune party, meeting Moodyman, seeing SOPHIE play, and meeting lots of great people. Not many lowlights, except the fact that I spent way too much on Uber :-/

We’re going on to our usual list of Quickfire Questions now…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Michael Jackson – ‘Smooth Criminal’.

What was your favourite song as a child?
Anything by Michael Jackson.

What song makes you laugh?
‘OAR 003-B’ by Oni Ayhun.

What song makes you cry?
Right now, ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ by Prince.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l6G2WI8gTo

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Dunno… maybe something off Joanna Newsom’s first album ‘The Milk-Eyed Mender’.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Joanna Newsom’s second album ‘Ys’.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Isis’ by Bob Dylan.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Herman Hesse (but I have more than one).

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Human rights barrister.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
‘My Favourite Things’ by John Coltrane.

Many thanks to Nabihah for her time in answering our questions.

 

SXSW 2016: evening rain with Neon Gold and with Clash and PPL at the British Music Embassy (Friday night, part 1) – 18th March 2016

 
By on Friday, 8th April 2016 at 4:30 pm
 

At my first SX in 2012, the only things me and my British and Irish friends were fending off were minor: sweat and sunburns. Rain seems to have only been a recent pest to SXSW and Friday night, thunder and lightning again threatened SXSW 2016’s showcases. When Carrie and I set out for our evening plans, rain fell hard and lightning streaked through the sky. Not eager to put punters into danger, outdoor, open air venues like Stubb’s and the pop-up McDonald’s Loft on E. 3rd Street chose to temporarily close their spaces or cancel their shows altogether. I crossed out my previous plans to see Everything Everything and DMA’s (at Stubb’s) and Banners (at the McDonald’s Loft) once I learned from Twitter that the venues closed, then reopened to allow bands to only perform shortened sets.

I began my night at our ol’ standby, the British Music Embassy, where Clash Magazine and UK music rights and licensing agency PPL were hosting an evening showcase. Throwing Shade was the first act on their bill. London-based producer Nabihah Iqbal has her own show on NTS Radio every fortnight and puts on a hip-hop night with fellow Londoner Felicita. However, she’s also released plenty of her own music, her use of beats suggested by many to represent the next emerging wave of London electronic music.

Throwing Shade at the Clash and PPL showcase at the British Music Embassy, Friday at SXSW 2016

Prior to SXSW, her latest release the first week of March was the ‘House of Silk’ EP on Ninja Tune, filled with phat beats and glittery synths. Throwing Shade offers a unique perspective on life, too, because she has to be the only London producer (or one of the very few) with a master’s in philosophy. She chose to start with a spoken word piece with very little instrumental backing (that I could detect, anyway), essentially freestyling to begin her set before she truly got going. With my love of electronic, I expected to have loved Throwing Shades’ beats, but for some reason I wasn’t impressed. Perhaps we can blame the weather for keeping people set wherever they were until the storm blew over and that’s why the venue wasn’t full, but this kind of music feeds off of audience response and energy. I would imagine my feelings towards her music would have different if I’d seen her in London in a rammed venue full of her adoring fans.

Back out into the rain, my intention was to rejoin Carrie at Empire Control Room on E. 7th Street, where both the Control Room and main Empire Garage venues were to play host to two Neon Gold Records showcases. However, the Empire was another venue that wasn’t taking any chances with their visitors’ safety, herding everyone who had planned to see bands on the only partially covered Garage stage outside and forcing them inside. That meant that the Control Room reached maximum capacity before it should have, and those of us who were stuck outside were looking at an empty Garage stage until stage management decided it was safe enough for a band to take the stage.

After a significant delay, Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore took to the stage, with their updated lineup of Lauren Zettler having replaced Deirdre Muro on vocals and synths. After a period of darkness, the Garage stage’s light show was impressive but epileptic seizure-inducing, distracting me from Savoir Adore’s upbeat synthpop. However, they had plenty of fans down the front who were going mental over them, well pleased they’d finally been given the green light to start playing and reveling in the overenthusiastic light show. To each their own, I guess!

Savoir Adore at Neon Gold showcase at Empire Garage, Friday at SXSW 2016

We’d only previously been inside Empire Control Room during daylight hours, so I was eager to see how the vibe felt after the sun had set. Declan McKenna was the first name on the indoor bill, and I’ll Carrie tell you what she thought of him, as I’d seen him play already and to a room of new converts at Huw Stephens / PRS for Music showcase Tuesday night to officially begin the British Music Embassy’s week at SXSW 2016. He was followed by Will Joseph Cook, who Consequence of Sound calls an “English wunderkind”. The young Tunbridge Wells native and his band have a perfectly serviceable, if not entirely inspiring pop/rock hybrid sound that top 40 fans will bop their heads along to.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my Friday night soon on TGTF.

Will Joseph Cook at the Neon Gold showcase at Empire Control Room, Friday at SXSW 2016

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Clash in association with PPL, and NME in association with UK Trade and Investment at the British Music Embassy – 18th-19th March 2016

 
By on Friday, 4th March 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

The British Music Embassy will return to Latitude 30 at 512 San Jacinto Boulevard, right by the heart of the action off 6th Street during SXSW 2016. On Monday and Wednesday, our editor Mary previewed the talent on show on Tuesday night (Huw Stephens with PRS for Music showcase) and Wednesday, then Thursday (Output Belfast and PIAS in association with AIM), respectively. This year’s showcases on Friday the 18th of March are set to include a host of artists from around the UK, including hotly-tipped acts from Wales and Scotland. The Welsh artists will be highlighted during the daytime show, presented by British Music @ SXSW in association with Cerdd Cymru: Music Wales. A pair of Scottish acts will feature on the evening showcase, presented by UK pop culture magazine Clash in association with music rights and licensing agency PPL.

The Friday afternoon show will feature a delightfully rich lineup of female artists, beginning with alt-folk singer/songwriter Rozi Plain and continuing with two Welsh acts, pop singer/songwriter Violet Skies and electronic musician Gwenno. Both Welsh women will be introduced in more detail in editor Mary’s upcoming preview of Welsh artists at SXSW 2016 later today.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/H4S0ME8Xyc0[/youtube]

Closing out the afternoon are two alliterative acts, our recent Band to Watch #372 Fickle Friends, followed by fellow TGTF alumnae Stealing Sheep. Fickle Friends vaulted to popularity in the UK with their debut single ‘Swim’ back in 2014 and have been on an upward trajectory ever since. Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep are sailing strong on their April 2015 release ‘Not Real’, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a hint of something new from them in Austin as well.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqVYDRM842s[/youtube]

The Friday evening Clash showcase is set to begin with DJ/producer/all-around-Renaissance-woman Throwing Shade, whose soon-to-be released EP ‘House of Silk’ features the above reflection on pop culture and social media called ‘hashtag IRL’. Scottish pop songstress KLOE and avant/experimental trio Hælos will fill in the middle part of the evening lineup, ahead of a rather intriguing To Be Confirmed notation at 11 PM; bets are open as to who might fill that coveted slot.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/vKakNhz2ToA[/youtube]

Playing at midnight will be Glasgow electro musician The Revenge, followed by London-based soul pop duo Honne (read more of our coverage on Honne here). The Revenge will feature in our upcoming preview of Scottish artists at SXSW 2016, along with the aforementioned KLOE.

On Saturday, the 19th of March, the afternoon show at Latitude 30 will start with Sheffield slacker punk pair Nai Harvest (read more about them on TGTF here) and Leeds goth-punk band Autobahn. Falling square in the middle of the docket, Liverpool indie rockers Sugarmen are sure to win fans with their psychedelic recent single ‘Plastic Ocean’, while grunge rockers Fizzy Blood and Demob Happy finish off the daytime slate.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/qVkdCG_tfvk[/youtube]

Latitude 30 will be taken over by recently retooled and relaunched pop culture magazine NME in association with UK Trade and Investment on Saturday night, the final event at the British Music Embassy for SXSW 2016. Leicester brothers Andy and James Stone, known onstage as synth-rock duo Lusts will open the show (Rebecca’s introduction to them is here), to be followed by rap collective Section Boyz. London five-piece Pumarosa have already announced an autumn 2016 support slot for SXSW 2015 hit act Gengahr and will feature in the middle of this final night lineup.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/XA97m6L2-Dc[/youtube]

Deep-voiced Americana singer/songwriter Barns Courtney could easily follow in the successful SXSW footsteps of Hozier and James Bay before him. He’ll round out his trip to Austin with an appearance at the British Music Embassy, ahead of dance duo Formation (Rebecca’s introduction to them is here) and another tantalising to-be-announced special guest for the evening’s final set.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ckNWtmkA2_g[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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