#2: Nadeem Din-Gabisi


Visual artist, filmmaker and poet Nadeem Din-Gabisi’s new single ‘Wear’ is as funky and playful as it is sinister, proving Din-Gabisi to be an adventurous musician with a curiosity to match.

Nadeem Din-Gabisi on ‘Wear’:

Songs are never linear processes and I would be lying if remember how ‘Wear’ emerged precisely but I do remember the first line… It came to me whilst in a fast food establishment with a friend. A homeless man was sat down and he had a fluorescent green radio by his feet. He dozed off as my friend and I were eating and was woken by the staff who wouldn’t let him sleep. He could sit but not rest and his sitting was predicated on his purchase of half eaten fries. 

“I began to think about how harsh Free Market Capitalism can be to people who slip through the net and how weak that net can be depending on the circumstances of your origin. Then the song spiraled into ruminations on memories of the civil war in Sierra Leone witnessed via television sets and newspapers and the disturbing obsession with wealth and acquisition that has gripped anyone wanting to change their material circumstances.”

“The Chorus is taken from MTMBO’s song Worse For Wear and for me reflects the infantile nature of capitalism and its empty pursuit.”

“Collaborating with Chiminyo (Tim Doyle), Tara Cunningham and Richie (MTMBO) was a breeze. Helped along by the adept ears and hands of Rollo Smallcombe.” 

Nadeem Din-Gabisi’s music radiates a determined and un-rescinded energy. Its message, immersed within a cocktail of grime, hip-hop, highlife and jazz – akin to punk in its fervent cries, charged lyrics and refusal to subscribe to any particular lane – deftly takes the listener through his personal journey, examining moments of trauma and happiness in childhood. It uses those moments as a diving board to explore mental health issues and coping mechanisms of many young black men, born in inner and outer London. It questions and attempts to answer why some of these men swim, why some sink and why some others don’t enter the POOL.

Croydon based Nadeem Din-Gabisi’s previous musical explorations have involved touring with jazz-collective Steam Down and featuring on Sampa The Great’s 2018 track ‘Energy’.

Nadeem draws on the influence of a potent collaboration between himself and fellow musicians Coby Sey and MettaShiba, with the waters they navigate expertly helmed by producer Beni Giles (Lianne La Havas, Oscar Jerome). The musicians’ credits span an astute list; beat maker and composer Coby Sey has toured with Tirzah and collaborated with Mount Kimbie, whilst multi-instrumentalist MettaShiba is a 2020 Brownswood Bubbler with her project An Alien Called Harmony.