Q & A
NABIHAH IQBAL talks to RUPERT HOWE about how identity, teen jams and Ancient Egypt shaped her first LP.
Why did you choose to use your real name for this album?
“I guess what it comes down to is thinking about identity. I know that the place I occupy is quite special. Over the past few years I’ve received a lot of messages from ethnic minority people saying that it was inspirational to see me doing what I’m doing. It got me thinking that maybe I should just be really upfront about who I am because it could be quite a powerful thing.”
You sing and play all the instruments – was that making a statement, too?
“When I was writing and recording it was just me – there was no other option. I like collaborating, but with this project, I wanted to do it all myself. I really wanted my debut album to be a testament to that.”
There’s a post-punk feel, which is quite different for you – how did that come about?
“When I first went into the studio I was conscious of not thinking too much about how I wanted it to sound. I knew I wanted to incorporate the guitar more, but it took me by surprise when it started sounding like the music I was influenced by as a teenager.”
Where does the title’s Egyptian reference fit in?
“I’m interested in ancient belief systems in general, although I didn’t come up with the title till the last day. One reason I wanted the weighing scales as the artwork is because the oldest example of those scales was found at an archeological site in Pakistan, which is my heritage. They’re from 10,000BC or something, which is pretty crazy.”