Contemporary dubstep queen SICARIA speaks beautifully chaotic live sets, kickboxing with Denzel Curry and future musical manifestations.  

SICARIA is like Sicaria Sound but on steroids,” says Lou Nour with a passion. It’s a quote that doesn’t downplay the success of her previous DJing endeavours, but instead comments on the tunes that make her tick. Referencing her former pairing with Sancha Ndeko, Lou found someone to balance the electronic equilibrium with, offsetting her brain rattling selections with more sonorous and sonically sparse 140. Now going solo, Lou’s ready to treat crowds to more fiery performances, and if her recent Keep Hush set is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.   


Carrying on their dubstep legacy by supporting the genre’s most forward-thinking sounds, SICARIA is fuelled by an innate devotion to the scene that made her. But before she became one of its most poignant figures, the London-raised artist was a shy child unexposed to the wonders of electronic music. Wide-eyed with amazement, and a giddy naivety, SICARIA first heard those spatial swings and low-end frequencies at a legal rave played by the likes of Skream, Skepta and Benga.


Determined to fly dubstep’s flag, an unrelenting commitment to bass music has entailed since those adolescent ventures. In 2023, as she goes deeper into the freeing but solitary world of a solo music career, the selector of Moroccan descent wants to push the culture in disparate directions, breaking the bones off dubstep’s skeleton and adding to it the otherworldly sounds that influence her today. Inspired by her South West Asian/North African identity, incorporating North African sounds into SICARIA’s productions has become a very natural part of the creative process, while helping to achieve the hybridity contemporary music craves.  


The last few months have seen SICARIA take the global clubbing circuit by storm. From multiple North American tours to celebrating HVYWGHT’s fifth birthday with Mala, the appetite for Lou’s personality-driven selections is only getting stronger. Earlier this week, she announced a debut solo live stream for the revered DJ platform HÖR Berlin, while taking part in their panel discussion with Foundation FM, reflecting on the scene’s success so far.


As she embarks on this new chapter, we spoke with SICARIA about her beautifully chaotic live sets, kickboxing with Denzel Curry and future musical manifestations.  

Let’s start by talking about one of your latest Instagram posts, where you’re doing some kickboxing sparring with Denzel Curry. How does a situation like this come about?  

I used to work at Radar Radio and Denzel came in to do an interview. I remember thinking that I really want to say hi, but I didn’t want to fangirl because we were supposed to be cool with the artists. But Ollie, who was the head of Radar at the time, said ‘Just go and say hi, stop being weird. So, I did! He’s a really open-minded guy. He said that he wanted to go out that night and, asked if I take him somewhere, so we ended up at The Nest in Dalston of all places. Anytime we see each other we’re always just like play fight and sparring. 

And recently you were over in America on tour. UK dubstep and bass music now, thanks to Fred Again.., Skrillex and Flowdan, and their rumble tune, seems to be becoming a point of interest for the American audience. Did you notice this while you were out there?

UK dubstep over there is being seen as the more up and coming genre. People are getting bored of EDM and they’re wanting to find the next thing. Skrillex is why it’s come to the forefront, which is hilarious. This is contested, but from a global perspective, Skrillex is one of the reasons why dubstep got in the charts in the first place. I’d say that it’s becoming big in America right now, which is nice. 

On the flip-side, it feels like there’s a growing British curiosity in bass movements from SWANA countries. Being from Morocco, how do you think the growing underground music scenes are evolving in these regions and why is interest peaking here in England? 

I think it’s only just coming to the forefront, because a lot of people from the SWANA regions are starting to step into the spotlight and become DJs. Whereas it’s not something that was natural before, mainly because of societal assumptions. Now we’re able to access this community, were starting to bring our own culture and heritage into the space. And that’s why you’re hearing the prevalence of our sounds; it’s something that’s new for people. 

Even in the early productions from people like Mala, there’s a North African feel to some of the melodies. So it’s nice to see the sounds gaining even more notoriety… 

I’m not saying that those DJs didn’t come at it from an authentic angle, because they obviously did a lot of research to fall upon those samples. But we’re bringing a lot to the table that maybe western artists wouldn’t have been able because there’s only so much that they’d be able to find out, especially in an age where the internet wasn’t so big. 

Since becoming SICARIA, have you noticed your selection process changing at all? Do you tackle your DJ sets any differently?

It’s a bit of the same, but also quite different. SICARIA is like Sicaria Sound on steroids. When I was doing Sicaria Sound with Sancha, it was more balanced in the sense that she came at it from a very minimal angle and I prefer the louder and more danceable sounds. So, the sets are higher in energy. My shows have been very chaotic recently, there have been people jumping up on stage and dancing with me, there’s been people crowd surfing, it’s insane.

What would you say is the most chaotic thing you’ve seen behind the decks since going solo? 

I was playing in Brugge recently and the decks were on a little table. I remember playing a track and the crowd were really getting into it and they almost tipped the table over. One of the CDJs got unplugged and then we had the sound engineer coming in and trying to replug it all whilst I was trying to mix. I just thought okay, we need to all collectively calm down.

Why did you want to carry on the SICARIA legacy? You could have rebranded, but you didn’t. Why?

I still have so much to say with dubstep. As Sicaria Sound, we’d released our first and second EPs in 2020, and 2021. And I haven’t yet been able to release my own 140 productions. Honestly, I saw the dubstep community dying down in the UK and I thought, if I rebranded, it would be like pulling out of a scene that I feel such a huge affiliation with. 


Dubstep became such a dirty word for a long time, to the point where if you did enjoy it you wanted to gate-keep because it was really isolating. I think Sancha would agree that we found it really hard in the beginning, telling people that we played dubstep because we weren’t taken seriously at all. A lot of people used to stereotype us. There are so many producers coming up and it feels like they’ve got no one to send their tunes to. I still wanted to be able to provide that for them. 

What was your introduction to electronic music? Did you hear it in a club, find it online or even just hear it when walking down the street and hearing it out of a car speaker? 

Growing up, I listened to a lot of Moroccan, North African or Middle Eastern music, because that’s what my parents played in the car. So, it wasn’t until I turned 15/16 and I went with my friends to a legal rave where I heard it. That’s where I discovered dubstep, it was my first time seeing DJs like Skream, Benga and Flux Pavilion. And these times I was going to raves in a dress and heels because I didn’t know what they were! 

 When you’re making music now, what gets the SICARIA seal of approval? 

If I don’t have to overthink it, I know it’s going to bang because I’m going in with no insecurities and fear. If I’m pouring positive energy out, then hopefully it will be received in the same way. I speak to a lot of my peers and they say the same. 

At this early stage, what’s the music sounding like? Is there that North African influence we’ve been talking about?

You can hear a very prevalent North African influence and that’s because it’s a sound that I’m familiar with. There’s a track called Fifth Gear that we released as Sicaria Sound and I remember a lot of people saying, ‘wow, these drums are insane, I’ve never heard anything like it.  We made it in literally two seconds, because we grew up with that drum pattern. Without trying to reveal too much, I’m drawing from different influences in my life as well: other genres that I really enjoy listening to and would like to fuse with the North African influence.  

To wrap up, you’ve got loads of festival and club dates coming up this year. Is there anywhere that you’re excited to play that you haven’t before? 

Hopefully, I’ll be in Australia and New Zealand at the end of the year, which will be exciting because I’ve never played that side of the world. I like meeting people and different dance communities and seeing what resonates with them. But also, from a traveller’s perspective, it’s nice to be able to explore different sides of the world, so I’m really excited for that. 

Watch SICARIA's Keep Hush set below:


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