"Nishla's original ballads sound like standards.

with a skewed, haunted quality" Opera North

Maudlin moments shoulder ecstatic reveries." LJN

"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.

"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

 "She creates a darkly gorgeous interior sonic world."

Downbeat, USA

"Her voice is exquisite,

a symbol of unreachable beauty." The Guardian

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 release a debut album last 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. This Spring, Nishla will appear in the stage production 'Kes' directed by Atri Banerjee, and co-produced by The Octagon Theatre Bolton, and Keswick's Theatre By The Lake.


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jazz singer/writer