Featured Base DJ – Nabeel Zuberi

Born in 1962 in Karachi, Pakistan, this week’s featured Base FM DJ is quite possibly the oldest DJ here. An epaulette he wears with pride.

Nabeel Zuberi has been co-hosting The Basement with Nick FitzHerbert since 2004 but has an extensive background in radio and music journalism from all over the globe.

He spent his first few years in Aden (now Yemen), then as a five-year old refugee migrated to the UK with his family. He grew up listening to Radio Luxembourg, John Peel on the BBC, and Dave Fanning on RTÉ. He was introduced to freeform college radio when he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan as a graduate student in 1988. Nabeel hosted Roots and Routes from 1994-95 on KVRX 91.7 FM in Austin, Texas. Nabeel has also had a hand in music and arts journalism for local newspapers in the UK and US, including the Michigan Daily and Detroit and Ann Arbor Metro Times from 1988-1991.

Nabeel moved to Aotearoa from Austin, Texas in 1997. He researches, writes and teaches about music, media, film and the politics of culture in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland. He teaches the undergraduate courses Popular Music on Screen and Bollywood & Beyond, and a graduate course Media, Sound & Music, as well as supervising MA and PhD student research on a wide range of topics.

Nabeel has a BA Hons in American Studies from the University of Nottingham in the UK, where he wrote an Honours thesis about Sun Records of Memphis. He has an MA in Communication Arts from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he learnt film and video production, and screenwriting as well as academic approaches to film and other media. UM-Ann Arbor also provided his first experiences as a teacher. He went on to get his PhD in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996.

Nabeel is the author of Sounds English: Transnational Popular Music (University of Illinois Press, 2001), a book based on his PhD research, which explored how music was an arena for debates about national identity and Britishness during the 1980s and 1990s. He has co-edited two editions of Media Studies in Aotearoa New Zealand (2004, 2010) with Luke Goode. Nabeel has also written academic journal articles and book chapters on cultural nationalism and music in New Zealand, Indian popular music and cinema, British multiculturalism, and black music genres and technology in the US, UK and Jamaica.

Nabeel is also an editor of Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture, and on the editorial boards of several academic journals: Popular Music; Perfect Beat: The Pacific Journal of Research into Contemporary Music and Popular Culture; Screen Sound: The Australasian Journal of Soundtrack Studies; and IASPM@journal, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Nabeel is currently working on the following projects: a book about popular music studies in the age of digitalization; a book about the way the ‘Muslim’ has appeared in ‘western’ popular music genres such as punk, hiphop, and various kinds of electronica and DJ culture in the last decade; and co-editing a book with Jon Stratton entitled Black Popular Music in Britain since 1945.

Tune in to The Basement with Nabeel and Nick every Monday night from 8pm – 10pm.

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