The formation of the Nation Records Limited music label in 1988 brought to the forefront of the British-Asian music scene the distinctive concept of World-Dance-Fusion, through the cross fertilisation of traditional, multicultural sound tracks fuelled by the rhythms of dub, hip-hop, techno and house. Nation Records, established in Ladbroke Grove, south west London, was the brainchild of long-time friends Katherine Canoville and Aki Nawaz. Having previously faced rejection from major record labels unsympathetic to their musical philosophy, the label was conceived in an effort to provide a space to express and promote the originality and creativity derived from fusing world music. Nawaz describes the principle of Nation Records: ‘It has always been based on an idea from the punk era, be radical musically and politically, never work by the book, re-invent the rules and then re-invent them again when those rules become the norm.’
Essential to Nation Records is the belief in the synthesis of cross cultural melodies and rap with politically motivated communication, a developed consciousness of global politics, equality and freedom from oppression. Through this belief, Nation Records present opportunities for bands to join the ground-breaking label and articulate their own identity and issues of concern such as anti-racism and outrage at the grass roots effects of international politics. Collaborations have ensued with many artistes of South Asian descent, in addition to those of Algerian, Bosnian, Gaelic, Hungarian, Khazak, Moroccan, Native American, South African and Siberian cultures, to name a few. The bands which have evolved from this unique interplay between diverse musical traditions and political consciousness are spearheaded by the label’s pertinent slogan – ‘Creative, Innovation and Uncompromising’.