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Ages: – 16+, under 16 admitted with ticketed guardian. In the early months of 2020, Nabihah Iqbal’s 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.
As the Covid-19 pandemic surged, Nabihah spent the global lockdown finding resilience amidst the turmoil. “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. Alongside a loop pedal and voice notes, she spent the next two years crafting her album, ‘Dreamer’, a high-water mark for the London-born artist.
“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.”
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