Throwing shade

Getting a taste of the nightlife vibe in London, that was the plan for the night. Meeting Nabihah Iqbal or as we know her; throwing shade for the first time was when I had an impulsive idea to go to a random concert, no info just go. That buzzing feeling you don’t know what the night is going to bring you is the best. It’s like putting yourself on undiscovered ground that brings you the most pleasant surprises.

Enjoying the rush in which London seems to be in all the time, accompanied with the city noises during a luxury ride in a bus to the concert that was held at Scala.  An impressive building that was hard to miss, but due to construction work (what an excuse) we could not seem to find it easily.

So there I was, a big room that was dark and still cold due to the fact that I was too early and one of the first to arrive. The memo being fashionably late is something I never seem to have received.

A soft voice breaking the silence saying “good evening guys, thanks for coming out early, my name is throwing shade” Throwing shade, she said?  I thought it was quite funny since I linked it to literally throwing shade, so I was a bit unsure what kind of music I could expect. Maybe this is just me overanalyzing names though. The inspiration behind her name actually came from a film called Paris is Burning, a film about the New York ballroom scene.  For her, the film coincided with the first trip she had to New York, so for her gave a lot of meaning to the name.

She was taking a few minutes to start up, but then calm and serene sounds started to come out of the speakers on high volume, hypnotizing you right away. Slowly people gathered around in front of her. The room all of a sudden looked quite packed. It’s odd to say but the music she made brought you in a really mellow and relaxed vibe. Not for long though, it vastly takes you into a more upbeat tempo to which you can’t stand still.  Clearly hearing she takes her inspiration from all over the world and mixed that into her music, she had all my attention.

One of her inspirations is Indonesian music – it relies on oral traditions, there are no notations, the musicians have to learn everything by heart therefore making it so highly skilled she says. The rhythms are incredible. The melodies, too. It’s just a completely different approach from learning music in a Western context, where you read sheet music.  What she describes is something that I must admit also reflects in her music. She gives a creative twist to her sound, taking you on a rollercoaster ride on soundwaves.