English Bio


Diverse Creative Entrepreneur Nianell is a platinum-seller vocal gymnast, who dazzles with ease through four octaves. She includes elements of Folk, Pop, R&B, Country, Classic and Celtic music in her song-writing, and accompanies herself on piano and acoustic guitar. Vocally she creates her own musical language, where words are sometimes unnecessary, allowing every soul to interpret the message for themselves.

She is a South African and international success story; with many of her songs playlisted on radio stations worldwide. She is a gifted singer, a talented musician and songwriter, as well as an author and now also sharing her message as an inspirational keynote speaker. “Awareness is the birth of new beginnings, the beginning of a life worth living, the beginning of actually being alive,” she explains.


Nianell – The Musician


Nianell has been a trailblazer for female singer-songwriters in South Africa ever since the release of her widely acclaimed debut-album, Who Painted the Moon? (2001.) The title track swept listeners across the country away and Nianell quickly became a household name. Nianell also achieved international success with this song when Hayley Westenra did a cover version of it and sold over 2 million copies worldwide.


Back on home soil, Nianell has delivered consistently beautiful, inspirational and hugely successful albums, including the lustrous double SAMA-winning, Angel Tongue (2004), Life’s Gift (2006); I Know I’m Lucky (2008) the sprawling Sand & Water (2010); My Heart (2012).


Add to this her compilation albums with the operatic quartet, Romanz (‘n Duisend Drome – A Thousand Dreams; 2011); the beloved South African artist, Dozi (It Takes Two (2009) and You’re the One that I Want – Take 2 (2012); and it soon becomes clear that Nianell is one of the busiest South African artists – managing effortlessly to remain critically relevant and commercially successful.


In 2011, seven of Nianell’s greatest hits were repackaged for American audiences on Who Painted the Moon – U.S. Compilation. This compilation was met with resounding critical success, much like Sand & Water – that also garnered critical acclaim. The publication, Billboard Discoveries sums it up best: “The collection’s beautiful melodies and inspiring instrumentation are surpassed only by the vocalist’s angelic cum saucy execution. Simply, every song is an emotional triumph: affecting, inspiring and blissful. No doubt, Nianell is a world-class performer, and Sand & Water is a consummate CD on all accounts. Connoisseurs of finely crafted pop melodies and a vocalist free of gimmicks—simply loaded with natural talent—are destined to discover their new favourite singer”


In September 2014, Nianell releases her most introspective and soul-bearing album to date, Just Be – the album sees the artist coming full circle as she returns to the sound of her first two albums with a tempered wisdom and more than a decade of life experience poured into each track.

Nianell – The Author


Apart from her hugely successful music career, Nianell is also an accomplished author. Her debut book, Knowing Who I Am is published internationally by Hay House Publishing, and continues to fly of the shelves. The Afrikaans version Om Te Weet Wie Ek Is was a South African bestseller and similarly continues to sell like hotcakes. Nianell is currently putting the finishing touches on her follow-up to this message of inspiration and learning to love oneself.

Nianell – The Motivational Speaker  

In line with the success of her books, Nianell has created an extraordinary keynote speech entitled Knowing Who I Am that combines the spirit of her wisdom with the beauty of her voice.  This hour-long presentation includes an equal combination of inspirational messages with many of her well known songs such as Life’s Gift’, I Hold the Sun, Who Painted the Moon and her song Finally, which won first prize in the 16th annual USA Songwriting Competition for best inspirational song.

Nianell –  Career Highlights

  • Nianell’s song “Who painted the moon?” was covered by the internional songstress Hayley Westenra and it featured as a single on her album, “Pure”, which sold in excess of 2 million copies worldwide.
  • Nianell performed at the Unite the Stars event held at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg, 9 November 2005 which also included artist like Christina Aguilera, Westlife and Diana Ross.
  • 2006 – Won the Global Song-writing competition with her song “We’ll find a way”
  • In 2008, Nianell took the first step to worldwide distribution, by releasing a compilation album called “Shining in your light” in Singapore and Indonesia through Platinum Records.
  • In 2009, she was awarded best female vocalist at the Vonk awards.
  • In 2010, she won the Vonk award as top female vocalist, as well as best DVD with Dozi – It takes two.
  • In 2010 Nianell was a finalist with two of her songs in the International Songwriters Competition and received and honourable mention. 15 000 songwriters from all over the world entered this competition.
  • In 2010 Nianell was chosen to sing with the legendary Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli at the Celebrate Africa event, also held at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg.
  • In 2011, Nianell won the category for best Gospel/Inspirational song in the 16th annual USA Song Writing Competition
  • Nianell shared the stage with performers like Shakira and Freshly Ground at the closing ceremony of the finals FIFA Soccer World Cup, which was televised worldwide.
  • Nianell took hands with Romanz (four young men who do exceptionally well in South Africa) and their first CD topped the charts.
  • Nianell sings on the Jock of the Bushveld movie released in 2011 in South Africa. Tim Rice wrote lyrics for this production and other artist include Craig Hinds from Watershed, Johnny Clegg and Bryan Adams.
  • In 2011, she was presented with an Afrikoon for her contribution to enhance Afrikaans, by the ATKV, Namibia.
  • Her debut book Knowing who I am has been released in Afrikaans (Om te weet wie ek is) and in English and is already a best seller in the Afrikaans market.
  • The album Angel Tongue won two SAMA (South African Music Award) awards:
  • Nianell is an honorable ambassador for Team
  • Nianell is a director of Proud Partners proudpartners.co.za -They team up with selected charities to help them reach their goals.
  • 2014 – Nianell releases her most honest and introspective album to date – Just Be.


For more info on Nianellm kindly visit her website at www.nianell.com; or visit her social media platforms:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nianell

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nianellmusic