"Nishla's original ballads sound like standards.

with a skewed, haunted quality" Opera North

Maudlin moments shoulder ecstatic reveries." London Jazz News

"The silenced room said it all."

Bebop Spoken Here.

Nishla is a singer and writer driven by a desire to tell stories. Her unique musical sensibility, along with this preoccupation with narrative is recurrent throughout a diverse array of musical projects. She's recently made work for Opera North, Lancaster Jazz Festival and Manchester Collective.

353 b&w med not retouched Nishla Smith CMF 24sep20.jpg

staged work ↴

julian 1_edited.jpg

dates ↴


projects ↴

the quintet ↴

friends with monsters ↴

about ↴

watch + listen ↰

"Nishla creates vivid, enigmatic stories through

sound, her voice stretching from melancholic sweetness

through to dark intimacy." Whirlwind Recordings

"Classic songwriting worthy of the Great American Songbook,suffused

Nishla is a City Music Foundation artist, and is currently part of Jazz North's Northern Line artist roster. She is one third of cross disciplinary arts collective Ulita, and leads an original jazz band, the Nishla Smith Quintet, who will release a debut album this Autumn on Whirlwind Recordings. She is currently working on a set of music for the Manchester Jazz Festival originals commission, as half of Night Porter with saxophonist Emma Johnson, and making new music for East Neuk Festival: ‘Aether’, a five movement song cycle exploring environmental crises in partnership with St Andrews University department of Earth Sciences.



Nishla 2_edited.png

jazz singer/writer