Nathan Dawe might just be one of the hardest working DJs in the UK right now.
For the past decade and a bit, Dawe has taken his craft from small local nightclubs in his hometown of Burton to stages all over the world. Recently, he’s been stepping out as a producer, conquering the mainstream with tracks like “Flowers” with Jaykae and MALIKA (his take on the Sweet Female Attitude anthem of the same name), “Lighter” with KSI, and most recently, “21 Reasons” with Ella Henderson.
With deep roots in and connections to the Midlands’ longstanding grime, bassline and club scene, there are almost two sides to Nathan Dawe: there’s the chart-invader side, but on the flip, he has always kept one foot in the underground, working regularly with local heroes Jaykae, MIST, and Lady Leshurr.
For the latest edition in our Complex Sessions series, we hit up the Staffordshire-raised DJ and producer to get a mix that tapped into both ends of his repertoire, veering from Jack Harlow and his recent Ella Henderson collab right into house music, garage, and D&B. Press play below and enjoy.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
I’m a multi-genre DJ, so when I’m performing live, I play a variety of different genres and I wanted to reflect that in the mix— taking you on a journey through different feels, from hip-hop to house to D&B.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
It’s gotta be the new one by Jack Harlow, “First Class”. It’s a banger first off and I’ve been starting my clubs with it recently. As soon as I hit play, the crowd’s already singing it back at me and the sample is so nostalgic. It kinda hits two generations of people, so he’s done a really good job with it.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Cat Burns’ “Go”, which is one of my favourite songs right now. I’ve seen it doing the rounds for months and I had it on my playlists when people didn’t necessarily know it. The journey reminds me a bit of my tune, “Flowers”, with Jaykae, because that took quite a while to move as well, but it’s finally got the commercial success. It would have made the mix if I hadn’t decided to go so high-tempo with the selection, for sure.
What’s the first single or album you ever bought?
The first single ever bought was Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day”.
What’s the last physical record you bought?
The latest NOW! compilation was the last physical record I bought. My track “Goodbye” with T Matthias is on there, so I grabbed a copy at the airport if I remember right.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
Would love to get the No. 1 record in the country and to get back to touring because we’ve been locked away for too long.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Throwing drinks in the club needs to stop. Since reopening, everyone is throwing drinks about.
1. Jack Harlow – First Class
2. Belters Only – Make Me Feel Good
3. Nathan Dawe f/ Jaykae – Flowers
4. Jax Jones f/ MNEK – Where Did You Go?
5. Nathan Dawe & KSI – Lighter
6. Sigala – Melody
7. Nathan Dawe Feat. Ella Henderson – 21 Reasons
8. Acraze f/ Cherish – Do It To It
9. David Guetta, Becky Hill & Ella Henderson – Crazy what Love Can Do
10. Disclosure & RAYE – Waterfall
11. Bad Boy Chiller Crew – BMW
12. Charlie XCX f/ Rina Sawayama – Beg For You
13. D-Block Europe & Central Cee – Overseas
14. Liilz Feat. ZieZie – Glad U Came
15. A1 x J1 f/ Tion Wayne – Night Away
16. Hazey – Packs and Potions
17. Jnr Choi & Sam Tompkins – To The Mon
18. Glass Animals – Heat Waves
19. Wilkinson – Used To This
20. Men At Work – Down Under (Luude Remix)
21. Aitch – Baby