Ekali is more than just an alter ego for musician Nathan Shaw. It’s not only the name for an electronic production project that -- just a few months after posting his first track -- brought a level of recognition that most artists spend a career dreaming about. It’s also a reflection of a remarkable musical journey that’s led him far outside the crowded beat-making field.
Although only 26 years old, Shaw has already been playing music for almost half his life. Growing up bouncing between Vancouver, British Columbia and tiny Mayne Island (just across the Strait of Georgia from the city), Shaw absorbed his parents vinyl obsession early before picking up a violin when he was 12. Within a couple years he’d moved on to guitar, then to bass, which he played in his school’s jazz program before dropping out at age 15 to pursue music full time. He was a session bassist and touring musician, playing indie rock, folk, jazz, hardcore, and posthardcore -- and along the way won a Juno award his work with Vancouver indie group Said the Whale -- before setting out on his own four years ago.
Ekali has given Shaw the chance to show off the stylistic flexibility he picked up from years playing across the musical spectrum. His breakthrough single “Unfaith” mixes Ciara samples and jazzy piano chords with the sonic and emotional intimacy of the indie rock and classic singer-songwriters he grew up on. (Which might explain how the track ended up being sampled not once but twice on Drake’s If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late.) He’s made apocalyptic trap music with rapper Denzel Curry (“Babylon”) and transcendent electronic pop with ZHU (“Blame”).
But while the self-taught musician draws from a sprawling set of influences -- from Burial to Joni Mitchell to progressive metal icons Dream Theater -- one constant in Shaw’s music is its commitment to analog-era ideals like warmth and texture that often go missing in modern beats. In an era of music tuned to computerized precision, Ekali’s tracks resonate with a defiantly human touch.
Jackson Leech Nurković (born 4 November), known professionally as Nurko, is an electronic dance music producer, musician, and DJ.
Leech has work on numerous notable remixes, such as on fellow producer Illenium's remix album of his 3rd studio album, Ascend, remixing 'Take You Down (Illenium song)'.Additionally, Leech remixed 'American Spirit' by duo Meg & Dia in July, the latter of which he had previously worked with in his track 'Faith' released in March of 2020. He then went on to remix 'Need Your Love (Gryffin and Seven Lions song)' by EDM artists Seven Lions and Gryffin.
In December 2020, Nurko was highlighted as one of a few 'Artists to Watch in 2021' suggested by Dancing Astronaut following a very positive 2020.
Rich in Rhythm and melodies, Nurko’s sound is profound and robust in bold drops, emotional Chord progression, and often accompanied by ethereal female vocals. Since his first big release “Goodbye” in 2015, Nurko has been elevating his sound from inducing Goosebumps through earbuds to sending chills through crowds from his stage’s speakers.
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