We caught up with the DJ and creative polymath, discussing maintaining her multifaceted nature, and her Glastonbury performances.

Photography by Gobinder Jhitta

Photography by Gobinder Jhitta

Swiftly rising through the creative ranks and blessed with a multi-faceted artistic nature, Nadī is a DJ, host and freelance creative producer/curator who stormed the stages of Glastonbury four times.

One of these sets came as part of the iconic footwear brand Dr. Martens’ initiative with Keep Hush,(check out the set here). The partnership is part of the Dr. Martens All Access campaign; a summer-long series of live music activities, as the brand continue to incentivise and aid the next generation of creatives, prioritising support, access and inclusion. An official partner of Glastonbury this year, the Dr. Martens led initiative gave the chosen artists access to resources and funding to able them in their performance. The initiative includes a support fund of £10,000 to support artists in the Keep Hush community, provided by Dr. Martens. This funding will offer industry and financial support to the wide network of Keep Hush artists + DJs performing at this year’s festival; offering artists from the trailblazing dance community’s roster a range of support to help them make the most of their Glastonbury experiences.

It’s been a huge year for the emerging polymath; on top of the aforementioned Glastonbury performances, which saw Nadī take to the stages of one of the world’s leading festivals, Nadī has played at some of the most prominent cult venues in London’s underbelly. Her sound feels effortlessly raw and authentic, merging the stylistic tendencies of dub, R&B, dancehall into an Eastern-driven DnB bonanza of bouncy baselines and razor sharp mixes. She also volunteers in the community of DAYTIMERS, celebrating South Asian creatives.

As Nadī looks poised to experiment with her sound further, pushing stylistic boundaries and playing shows across Europe and India, we caught up with the creative, discussing her musical roots, maintaining her multifaceted nature, her Glastonbury performances, and what’s to come from her this year.

Read the full interview…

Who and what inspires your creativity?
I’ve been forever obsessed with cinema and sound design, I studied film at Uni, mostly so I could spend hours listening to the music and film scores. I also used to go out to ALL the Fade to Mind and Hyperdub nights in London so these labels inspire me to this day and really shaped my early taste and love for club music genres. Growing up in Croydon also meant that I was always exposed to the inspiring grassroots music and culture.

How did you first develop an interest in DJing?
I learnt how to beat match on Traktor turntables – some mates would live stream these sessions and parties to Facebook for fun. Eventually I asked a mate, Eliza Rose, who was was smashing it in the DJ scene where I could invest in lessons and get on club standard CDJs. She suggested Hub 16 in Dalston. I ended up buying a controller off eBay on my credit card after the first lesson with my teacher Sam and never looked back. I paid off that controller across 4 months, I’d never invested money on a passion up until that point.

How would you describe your sound?
‘Bouncy basslines’: my sound is rooted in UK bass. It’s bouncy because I blend it with what I want to dance to, frim dancehall that I used to listen to in Croydon to Eastern inspired drum and bass from the 90s Asian Underground scene.

How do you maintain your interest and multifaceted nature as a DJ, host, producer and curator?
I think most people are polymaths and multi talented and for me pushing multiple passions and seeing how far I can take them helps motivate me. Immigrating to the UK from Bangladesh with my parents and being from a working class family made me see first hand that working hard pays off. I’m an over achiever and also super goal orientated. I don’t know how to do less but I’m an advocate for time away for self reflection and rest in between jobs and busy periods. I’m currently on a solo trip in France to reset after Glastonbury and Twisted Festival.

We loved your four sets at Glastonbury – how did it feel for you?
They were all incredibly fun and made me realise how amazing my friends are (we’ve all been coming to Glasto together for years), they came to listen to my set in 30 degree heat under the rave tree at Greenpeace field! I worked really hard to get my sets. Most stages blanked my emails. I played Glade bar last year and really wanted to play a stage this year. I’ve never received an artist pass and really hustled to find a way in through guest pass. No one tells you the lesser glamorous side, I don’t have an agent so have been working out my musical path for myself.

Photography by Moon Immisch

Photography by Moon Immisch

How did you first become involved with Keep Hush?
I met Maya at Sainsburys (who works with Keep Hush) because they were wearing the DAYTIMERS x keep hush scarf, and so was I. Maya listened to some of my mixes and understood my sound almost immediately and asked to book me for the keep hush Xmas party last year. That’s changed my life and general self confidence and got me so many bookings since and even helped me get noticed out in India for a tour next month.

What stood out to you about their ethos that made you want to be involved?
Going to their nights and knowing how respectful and engaged the audience is.

Talk us through your work with DAYTIMERS?
I’be been one of the minds behind the platform for the last 3 years (we amplify south Asian creatives). When we started out there was only 6 of us and we had a handful of followers. It’s been a huge honour to volunteer to curate events, run projects and operations. The people I’ve worked with along the way are my family now. We’ve all watched our community grow from strength to strength and come through some challenging times together too and learnt how to adapt and re-write procedures. These are the bonds that make us strong. I’ve decided to take a break from my work with the DAYTIMERS for the foreseeable team to focus on my creative career for the rest of this year. I’ll still be affiliated and around to help advise the team if they need me. I’m excited for a new generation to come on and help elevate our wonderfully warm scene even further. I’m so proud of how much we’ve raised via our charity work through events and compilations and I know the team plan to carry that on.

Why is community so important to you?
When I refer to my community I am talking about my personal relationships with ethic and gender minorities / marginalised people. These relationships are just as important to me as its through these relationships that I’ve gained the confidence from and been able to embrace my identity through, especially after experiencing a lot of internal and external racism and Islamophobia growing up. I’m going to keep on running the run club I started with DT called Saath. That’s provides me and my small South Asian running community a lot of health and happiness.

What are your career goals? What’s to come from you this year?
I’m heading to India in August for my first international tour. I’ll be headlining 4 cities across 2 weeks. Then after that I’m going to go to Japan to do some agricultural work. I didn’t have a passport for half my life so I’m really keen to experience new cultures and always keep learning new skills.