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Nabihah Iqbal is a musician, producer, DJ and broadcaster from London.

She returns with ‘DREAMER’, her long-awaited new album out 28th April 2023 on Ninja Tune. Five years on since the London-born artist, curator, broadcaster and lecturer's debut ‘Weighing Of The Heart’ was released and two years in the making, ‘DREAMER’ is Nabihah’s rawest and most reflective work to date.

It 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 England’s largest multi-arts festival, Brighton Festival, in 2023, her “biggest, most challenging and exciting curatorial position” to date.

‘DREAMER’ see’s 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.

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.

“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 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network, World Service and 6Music since 2013. Since her debut album was released on Ninja Tune in 2017, Nabihah has toured the world extensively as both a live act and DJ. Performance highlights include the V&A Museum, MoMA PS1 and SXSW as well as Glastonbury Festival, Warehouse Project, Printworks, Boiler Room, Worldwide Festival and Sonar.

Scroll for Press and Timeline


‘Best of 2023’

‘End of Year Review 2023: Top 100 Albums’

‘Staff Picks: Best of 2023’

‘Nabihah Iqbal's shoegazey new album is both deeper and dancier than we're used to’

‘Dreamer’ album review

‘Nabihah Iqbal: Dreamer review – between dream pop and the dancefloor’

‘Dreamer’ album review

‘Dreamer’ album review

‘10 Questions with Nabihah Iqbal as she releases her sophomore album, ‘Dreamer’

‘The 10 Best Global Albums of 2020’

‘Nabihah Iqbal: The London musician who got locked down in Pakistan’

‘My name is Nabihah Iqbal and I make guitar music’

‘Weighing of the Heart’ album review

‘Nabihah Iqbal: 'What's the point of being me if I'm going to keep quiet?'’

‘Music needs more 'undefinable talent' like Nabihah Iqbal'

'Nabihah Iqbal shakes off expectations of what it means to be an Asian-British musician'


June 2023: Co-comisssioner of Art Night Dundee. 
May 2023: Guest director of the Brighton Festival. Find out more here.
April 2023: DJ set at Printworks closing season. Find out more here.
April 2023: Release of second album, ‘Dreamer’. Find out more here.
July 2022: Event curator for Nocturnal Creatures at Whitechapel Gallery. Find out more here.
June 2022: Part of the curation team for the first ever Pakistan Boiler Room. Find out more here.
Feb 2021: ‘The Whole Earth Chanting’ – collaborative project with artist Libby Heaney working with Artifical Intelligence sound – live show is coming soon. Find out more here.
Jan 2021: Joined ICA board.

Dec 2020: Live performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Watch here.

Dec 2020: Discussion on ‘Nightlife Architecture’ at the Design Museum, London. More here.

Nov 2020: An exploration of Jimi Hendrix’s record collection at his flat in Mayfair, London. Watch here.

Nov 2020: Release of ‘Blue Magic Gentle Magic (lost songs)’ – a collection of tracks which were salvaged following a burglary of Nabihah’s studio. Listen here.

Nov 2020: Release of ‘Chalo’ compilation, featuring ‘Is This Where It Ends?’ by Nabihah Iqbal. Listen here.

Sep 2020:
Mini doc about making field recordings in nature, in collab with The Face Magazine. Watch here.

Feb 2020: Hosted an episode of Music Life on BBC World Service. Listen here.  

Feb 2020: Live performance of film score at Royal Northern College of Music, as part of Video Jam.
Feb 2020: Discussion about William Blake’s creative legacy at Tate Britain, London. Read here.

Feb 2020: DJ set at Printworks, London.

Nov 2019: Glory To Sound takeover of Skate Lates at Somerset House.
Nov 2019: Live performance at Café Oto, in association with Bagri Foundation.
Nov 2019: DJ set at V&A Museum, Dundee.
Oct 2019: Japan DJ tour.
Sep 2019: South-East Asia DJ tour.

Sep 2019: DJ tour in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Aug 2019: North America DJ tour.

Aug 2019: Interview with SOPHIE for Glory To Sound. More here.

Aug 2019: Russia DJ tour.

April 2019: First show on BBC Radio 1, covering for Benji B.

April 2019: Live session for KEXP. Watch here.

April 2019: Interview with Gilles Peterson for Glory To Sound.

April 2019: Campaign for Merrell – mountain-hiking in South Africa and making field recordings. Watch here.

March 2019: DJ set at Art Dubai.

March 2019: Soundtrack for ‘TRIGGER WARNING’, a film by Superflux Studio. Watch here.

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