Nishla is a jazz singer/composer, based in Manchester. She is currently working on a staged song-cycle, 'What Happened to Agnes'. Developed by Opera North Projects and Leeds Playhouse, 'Agnes' will tour the UK from Jan - March 2020, thanks to support from the Arts Council of England. Her other original project, the Nishla Smith Quintet have recently joined Jazz North's Northern Line artist roster, and will be releasing new music this year.

Over the course of the 2017/18 season, Nishla wrote, performed, and produced a major commission for Manchester Collective — ‘Cabaret’ received a national tour, was performed live on BBC3 In Tune, and featured at Home MCR’s PUSH festival. She rejoined the Collective last summer as part of the Cubitt Sessions, a set of live shows produced by Kings Place in London. 2019 also saw Nishla release a debut single, 'Blue Dream’. The track, and accompanying music video was supported by Manchester Jazz Festival's Hothouse, and described by Staccatofy as ‘stunning…a sheer delight.’

"nishla smith’s original ballads sound like standards… maudlin moments shoulder ecstatic reveries."

london jazz news

“classic songwriting worthy of the great american songbook, suffused with a skewed, haunted quality…” 

opera north

“the silenced room said it all...”

bebop spoken here


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hello friends! unfortunately, due to the coronavirus  my upcoming tour dates have been postponed. check back here or follow my instagram for updates as I have them. in the meantime, you can check out my collab with visual artist Luca Shaw for the manchester city council's cultural covid archive, listen to this beautiful new song from emma johnson I had the pleasure of singing on, or watch this socially distanced livestream with tom harris for manchester jazz festival 2020. stay safe x n

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manchester, united kingdom


photo credits: chiara terraneo

+ ian west at sage gateshead

tour artwork by luca shaw.