Interviews

Q&A: Nadia Sheikh

Fast-rising indie rocker, Nadia Sheikh, recently shared her latest single ‘Toxic’. To celebrate, we had a chat with Nadia about music, her upcoming tour, and more.

Hey Nadia, thanks for speaking to LOCK. Your latest single ‘Toxic’ is out now. The track is produced by Nigel Walker, who’s worked with the likes of Kate Bush. What was it like working with him?

It was great! I’d already worked with him when I was younger. He produced my first EP. He’s got an incredible ear and he’s straight to the point and he’s really professional, plus he’s got vast amounts of experience and he’s always got a good story to tell!

Your music blurs a number of different genres, tell us about the artists that influence you the most.

Since I was little I remember listening to the Beatles and the likes of Queen, ABBA and the Eagles but it was falling in love with Oasis that did it for me! So definitely them and the Beatles. When I became a teenager I started listening to bands like Nirvana, Avril Lavigne, Green Day, etc  I’ve also sung jazz and I love acoustic music and pop, but main influences would be them and bands like Stereophonics, Arctic Monkeys, Bowie…

You’re half English, half Spanish – what kind of music did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening mainly to British and American bands and artists at home but I did also listen to a lot of the current pop music that was on the radio in Spain. In fact, the first gig I vividly remember attending was a Spanish pop singer called David Bisbal. I was about 6 years old and my dad had me on his shoulders throughout cause I couldn’t see anything!

There’s some very strong female icons in rock music, who inspired you to become an artist?

It has to be Avril Lavigne! My parents took me to see her in Manchester when I was about 11 and I just decided I wanted to do what she was doing, so I picked up a guitar and never looked back.

You’re heading off on tour with This Feeling very soon, are you excited to be touring  around the UK?

Yes!! We’ve played around the UK and Spain before but this is our first headline tour with This Feeling and we’re super excited! Plus we’re playing in Cardiff and Bristol for the first time, so that’ll be ace!

Do you have a favourite venue that is close to your heart?

I love The Water Rats on London and although I haven’t played there yet, would love to play KOKO. That’s where I saw my first gig in London!

In Spain I hold Veneno Stereo very close to my heart, it’s a small venue and I’ve had a few sold out shows there, plus the people who run it – Tonico and Aroa – are the loveliest people!

You’re based in London, where are the best places to discover new music?

Anywhere! There’s so much on offer in London. If you’re into guitar music, definitely get down a This Feeling night. Also places like Rough Trade Records do free gigs by bands releasing new material, so definitely worth paying a visit. But here’s hundreds of small and independent venues in London, and it’s super important to go to their gigs and support them because without those small places bands wouldn’t have the opportunity to perform and grow.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I’d love to be headlining festivals! Hopefully with an album out (potentially two) and a solid fan base globally.

What can we expect from you throughout 2019?

There’s lots of exciting things coming up this year. ‘Toxic’ just came out and the band and I are going on tour with This Feeling. We’re playing The Water Rats in London on 1st March, The Moon in Cardiff on 3rd April, The Mother’s Ruin in Bristol on 4th April and Jimmy’s in Manchester on 6th April, so pretty excited for that! We’ve also got some festivals and more new music underway!

Band photo credited to Nadia Sheikh.

Tour dates:

1st March: This Feeling Presents Nadia Sheikh @ The Water Rats, London

4th April: This Feeling Presents Nadia Sheikh @ The Moon, Cardiff

5th Apri: This Feeling Presents Nadia Sheikh @ Mother’s Ruin, Bristol

6th April: This Feeling Presents Nadia Sheikh @ Jimmy’s, Manchester

Stay up-to-date with Nadia Sheikh:
Featured image by Javier Nomdedeu Lopez.
Q&A: Nadia Sheikh
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