||The following was
"borrowed" off the 94.7 Highveld Stereo (best radio station in
SA!) site the day after the Nianell interview with Tové Kane......
In the desert land of Namibia there is space…lots of it… and stillness. And no more so than in the sleepy town of Umaruru, where Nianell was born - in fact, she was the only baby in the hospital. Nianell remembers that "nothing much ever happened there" and that her passion as a child was always music. Her entire family shared that same passion: "My family loved to play and sing, my parents played instruments and sang, my sister sings, I sing… that's all I ever wanted to do."
Born in 1971, Nianell's earliest influences included Abba and Barbara Streisand, but she has always had an open ear (and mind) to music from other cultures. After school, she studied music and classical voice training through London's Trinity College, earning a diploma in music, all the time penning her own songs and demoing material. She won several music awards, including the prestigious Crescendo prize for "tonesetting," and has performed as far afield as Ireland, Belgium, Botswana and France. Capping it off was an appearance for Mr. Nobel (yes, the one of Peace Prize fame), a live showcase at the international music trade fair MIDEM and a concert at the International Music Festival in Riga, Latvia in 2000. Over the last 2 years, Nianell wrote and
demo'ed nearly 40 songs for her debut album.