Interviews

Published on May 7th, 2018 | by Tariq Peters

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WE ARE FSTVL: MEET NATHAN DAWE [@NATHANDAWE]

Season festival is upon us! With weeks to go until WE ARE FSTVL 2018, we caught up with fast-rising DJ Nathan Dawe.

Taking place on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May, the upcoming We Are FSTVL will be the go-to festival this summer.

Featuring over 255 artists across 20 bespoke stages, We Are FSTVL combines leading club brands and labels for 60,000 FSTVL fans.

Nathan Dawe is a multi-genre DJ who will be playing on one of the worlds biggest clubbing brand stage, Disturbing London at We Are FSTVL. In 2017 he headlined his first ever #0121 show at the O2 Institute in Birmingham as well as a confirmed residency at Plus Club in Zante. With an extensive catalogue of mixes on his Soundcloud, we are offered an array of mixes showing his musical talents from Hip Hop, UK Rap, R&B, Grime, House & Baseline.

We had the opportunity to chat with Nathan Dawe to learn more about his experiences as a DJ, his career-defining moments and playing at WE ARE FSTVL:


Hi Nathan, let’s start from the beginning. When did you start DJing and who or what was your early passions and influences?

I’ve always been DJ’ing since I was a young kid, literally like primary school days doing school discos and then when I was 14/15 I was doing local birthday parties and then started doing local bars and clubs when I was 15/16. It was from then I started doing it professionally doing regular nightclub gigs from 16,17,18 onwards but my early kind of influences as such was probably Tim Westwood and DJ EZ.

 

Growing up what music did you listen to?

Just hip-hop, I’ve always come from an urban background so hip-hop was all that I listened to back in the day.

 

Is there a possible way to describe your style?

It’s completely multi-genre so during a set, I can mix from anything from hip-hop to bassline, house, drum & bass anything that sounds good, I don’t usually rule out a genre, It’s just a mix of popular, good music.

 

What do you consider to be the career-defining moments that make you feel like you are living the dream?

Probably two recently, there was Disturbing at Ushuaia Ibiza, last year which was pretty mental to be there, it was mad to be on the line-up with all these acts and the way I got on the line-up just through Soundcloud mixes compared to people who have multi-selling albums.

In December just gone we did the first ever headline show at the O2 in Birmingham and that sold out which was pretty good as no other DJ without a single or radio show has ever done that, so that was quite sick.

 

What’s the best part about being a DJ?

You get to see a lot of d places that I wouldn’t probably see if I wasn’t doing this job, I get to travel to lots of lovely countries and places in the UK, it’s great to be involved in music and playing music that you enjoy and seeing others enjoy it as well, giving them some of the best nights of their life, it’s quite rewarding.

My favourite place I’ve travelled too probably all the Greek islands and Marbella was nice as well, pretty much in the summertime I get to travel to all these exotic nice islands and if you do a bit of travelling you can see a nice spots and landmarks, if we have some time before the set we usually go out for a nice meal and see the sites, a lot of the free time is pretty decent.

 

Would you say you are faced with any challenges being a DJ?

There have been loads! When I first started to breakthrough you got to think to yourself how long is it going to last, and there are lots of people telling you, you’ve got 6 months just go rinse it and do the best you can and just enjoy the moment but obviously the challenge was not just 5 minutes of fame but turning it into a long-lasting career and establishing your name in the music scene.

Luckily I’ve done that now, but that was probably the hardest thing, transitioning from everyone talking about it to solidifying your plans and name in the scene.

 

Is there a DJ that is your biggest inspiration or someone you have a lot of respect for?

Like I said any inspirations that I’ve had throughout the career Westwood for his longevity, he’s been around for ages and doesn’t seem to go away which is sick to see. EZ for his teachable ability he does so crazy things, so they are the two that I would say I look up too.

 

Is there a standout track that never gets old no matter how many times you play it?

Good questions, music changes quite a lot and with me being multi-genre I’ve got so much to choose from. The tunes I kind of always play are old school, bassline, urban, hip-hop tunes, like really old school Drake and then, of course, your old school certified bangers and classics that really set the night alive.

 

You will be playing at the Disturbing LDN brand stage at We Are FSTVL this year, how did that opportunity come about and are you excited?

I obviously really look forward to playing the festival, I’ve always wanted to play We Are FSTVL, so it’s nice to tick it off the bucket list, we do a lot of work with Disturbing in Ibiza so it’s going to be sick to play at their stage, it’s going to be a nice moment.

 

Can you tell us more about your event in the near future ‘Nathan Dawe Live’?

We are doing a load of festivals this year, kind of all the main ones that I’ve wanted to do and managed to secure this year which is sick. I’ve got a full summer ahead doing the islands again which is always good. I also have a debut single and compilation album coming out soon which is exciting.

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