April 29, 2015

If the experience of summer in 2015 was to appear in musical form- run with us on this one- we think it would sound a lot like Throwing Shade’s latest offering. Building on the cosmic R’n'B that won her first two EPs critical acclaim, Fate Xclusive is a feast of lush synths, rich soundscapes and enticing beats; a gently hallucinatory affair that seems made for repeated plays on warm afternoons.

Filmed in collaboration with Urban Outfitters, Honeytrap feat. Emily Bee is the latest track from her EP Fate Xclusive. We caught up with Nabihah on set to talk ethnomusicology, the homogenisation of cool and everything in between.

UO: How would you describe Fate Xclusive? Where does the name come from?

Throwing Shade: I’d describe it 50% ecstatic and 50% melancholic. Everyone shares one exclusive fate.

UO: What ideas and moods have inspired this record?

Throwing Shade: Heat. Hanging out with people. Being alone and thinking about things. Dancing all night and hearing songs in clubs that give you that crazy feeling. The feeling of being a teenager and lying on your bed, listening to music, with the window open, on a still, summer evening.

UO: How has your sound developed since your previous EPs?

Throwing Shade: It’s still cosmic, just more layered, and more textured.

UO: How does your songwriting process work? Does a song come to you complete or does a song come into being more gradually as you write it?

Throwing Shade: Usually, if I’m on to something good, it comes to be straight away, and I get the main ideas down all in one go. Other times, I’ll be working on stuff for ages and in the end I just delete it all because I’m not feeling it. So basically I rely on these ‘epiphany’ kind of moments. All the songs I’ve released so far have come into being in this way – just sporadic bursts of good creativity, which mostly happen at night. There’s definitely something special about working on music at night.

UO: You’ve got a degree in Ethnomusicology. Are there any particular countries whose music has inspired this new record?

Throwing Shade: Nothing consciously – but maybe subconsciously. I guess everything which comes out of my head is influenced by everything that goes into it. Maybe people will pick up different sound elements after listening to my music – I’ll wait to hear what people’s interpretations are.

UO: As well as being a recording artist, you’ve been a pretty prolific radio DJ and live DJ. Do you think of those platforms in very separate terms, or are they more like different facets of the same creative process?

Throwing Shade: I guess they are more separate than together, because I approach each task in quite a different way. Preparing my show on NTS Radio is a very ritualistic process. When I DJ out in clubs I just want to play the best music for people to dance to, but I also want to make it as interesting and fresh as possible by mixing unlikely tracks together. When I’m making my own music I need to have a really clear head, with no distractions. I guess thinking about it more, even though I perceive each platform as being separate from the next, there is definitely some overlap in terms of discovering new sounds and thinking up ideas.

UO: What do you think music will sound like fifty years from now?

Throwing Shade: I feel daunted just thinking about it! I think music will reflect moods and feelings much more explicitly. And I think people will choose what music they want to listen to based on how they want to feel, not by what sounds they want to hear. If they want to feel happy, they’ll be able to tune into music which will make them feel happy etc. etc. I think music will be categorised by the feelings it induces, rather than the characteristics of its sound.

UO: Let’s talk about clothes – how important is personal style to you?

Throwing Shade: Clothes are important to me because what you look like is the most fundamental and innate way in which you communicate with the world around you. I don’t get it when people say they don’t think about what they wear. Style is also very important to me, but it seems like it is becoming¬¬ a rare currency these days. Instead of style, there are just trends now. People follow these ‘trends’ blindly, and wear clothes because they think that is what they ‘should’ be wearing if they want to come across in a certain way i.e. ‘cool’. I think it’s indicative of a lack of confidence and I’m totally against this homogenisation of ‘cool’. I like seeing people who dress with conviction and stand out.

Video to be released soon.

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