ASBO Meets: Nathan Dawe


Nathan Dawe makes house music. His career started at age 15 with a DJ residency in his hometown, Burton. The eight years since have been quite a ride, playing major UK Festivals such as Creamfields and shows in Ibiza, Marbella and Ayia Napa.

Last year, Nathan released his debut single ‘Cheatin’ with Atlantic records. His established deep house style works wonders with a classic RnB sample from Deborah Cox, it was too catchy to miss and held the #1 spot in DJ City’s UK Top Downloads’ chart for three weeks.

We caught up with Nathan ahead of his next appearance at SW4 Festival in London, here’s what he had to say;

You've played at big festivals and internationally, do you ever go back to Burton to play sets in the pubs and venues which got you started?

 I haven’t done that for years just because I’ve been so busy doing shows across the country and abroad. Burton will always be home though, nothing can change that.


How did you go from DJing/mixing to producing? Did you always plan to get into production too?

 This has always been something I’ve done from an early age. Making music and DJing have been the two constants in my life. When I’m not performing, I’m in the studio making records or doing remixes. Obviously performing live and making music are two completely different feelings but they both give me similar rushes. There’s no better feeling then DJing in front of an amazing crowd but equally that feeling of finishing a record and hearing the end product exactly how you like is incredible.

During 2019 you supported Craig David on his tour, now at the upcoming SW4 festival you're on the same lineup as him. Do you feel like you've come far, what do you have to thank the most for your success?

 This industry is all about endurance. There’s highs and lows on a weekly basis. The highs are really high and the lows can be really low. Therefore, it’s so important to try and just stay neutral. Never let anything get you to over excited and just make sure you stay humble and keep your feet on the ground. Equally, it’s so important to not let any bumps in the road make you to depressed. I’m still working on this but I feel like I’m quite a level headed person and I think this is a big reason on why I’ve had a few wins along the way. I still have a LONG way to go. I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet but I definitely think the progression has been constant and I just need to keep going.

I read that Hip-Hop is your favourite genre to play, do you like the direction that hip-hop has taken in the UK? Do you think the classic Hip-Hop sound and beat has a future?

 I love playing all kinds of genres in my sets and Hip-Hop is something that features a lot. I think a lot of Old-school hip-hop lovers get frustrated in the direction it’s taken over the last decade or so. People are loyal to that classic production and storytelling that featured so heavily especially in the 90s. All music has to evolve though and because now anyone can release music, you end up having a saturated market which consists of loads of different sounds flying about. I’ve always thought this is quite a good thing though because it keeps things interesting and means new genres are constantly developing. Music genres always come back round so I definitely think that classic hip-hop sound and beat has a future. Take garage in this country for example. It was huge in the 90s and early noughties. It then went away for a considerable amount of time and now look you have AJ Tracey with a garage tune having a massive top 10 hit. The same will happen with golden era hip hop.

Your style since 'Cheatin' has been described as an 'ultra-effective lowslung blend of garage rhythms and house textures', are you cool with this description, are you doing anything specific to create a whole new sound or are you building on what you've worked on already?

I don’t feel like you can create a new sound by thinking about it. You need to just go into the studio and make music that you on a personal level love. If you make music with the aim of creating a new sound, I believe you’ll hit a wall in your creativity because you’re thinking too much about it. Equally, you shouldn’t make music to fit on certain playlists because then you’re just going to be making music that sounds like everything else out there. The most important thing is that you like your own music and that you have fun with it. If you lose that side of it then you risk falling out of love with what you’re creating.

james may