Reviews

Nianell sê dankie op jongste CD, “My hart”

Nianell sê dankie met hierdie CD, wat getuig van optimisme en die tel van seëninge.

‘n Mens kan byvoorbeeld nie anders as om biografiese gegewens raak te sien nie in persoonlike lirieke soos “Three little angels ­dance / Given to me by chance / And a man who loves me for who I am” in die snit All That Is True. 

Nianell hou by haar suksesresep van skryf oor goed wat sy self ervaar het in dié 14 snitte, waarvan die helfte Engels en die res Afrikaans is.

Met haar kombinasie van ‘n kenmerkende, sterk stem en oorspronklike liedjies behoort Nianell weer met hierdie CD die kol te tref.

Marius Brouwer en Sean Butler was die bekwame hande agter die goeie vervaardiging van hierdie CD.

Lees artikel op JIP

Nianell sings for Jock

Afrikaans songstress and star Nianell has always dreamt of singing in an animation film, and her dream has come true!

Jock of the Bushveld” is the first locally-produced 3D-animated film. It has achieved international stardom for garnering talents such as Donald Sutherland, Helen Hunt and Bryan Adams for the cast. Even our very own Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has a special role.

Nianell was asked by Marius Brouwer to sing a song for the film called “Too Close to Call” with Watershed’s Craig Hinds. The song is written by Craig and Tim Rice, and features in the scene when Jock’s mom dies when she rescues him from a leopard.

Johnny Clegg and Bryan Adams also worked on songs for the film, and although the soundtrack can still only be heard in the film, a music video is in the making.

The film opens in South Africa on July 29.

Read article on ZAlebs

Nianell the 4 octave wonder !

Nianell is definitely one of our best singers in South Africa. Singing in almost any style : folk , pop , rock , country, celtic , jazz , blues , classical , r&b… Welcome to the mountain !

In South Africa, Nianell is known as the girl with the angel voice. Her versatality is remarkable. She dazzles with ease among 4 octaves, excells in any musical genre, writes and composes all her own music and accompanies herself on the piano/ keyboard or acoustic guitar. This platinum selling artist has made 5 CD’s and 2 DVD’s as solo artist, 2 CD’s and a DVD with Dozi, and a CD with Romanz.

 She is currently recording her 6th album. Nianell’s prodigious talent has won her numerous local and international awards. She was bestowed with the big honour to perform with the legendary Italian tenor, Andrea Bochelli as well as at the big farewell function of the fifa Soccer World cup 2010. Several of Nianell’s songs are playlisted worldwide and recently she hit the top on an American radio station.

Her debut book: “Knowing who I am” was released this year and contributes to another talent and passion of hers – to motivate and inspire people. Hayhouse International will distribute this book, with a bonus CD, worldwide. Nianell’s wish is that her message will soar into souls and embrace them with love.

Read more on BMMag

Nianell gee liefde

 

Baie van die jong, hoopvolle musikante wat droom van kitsroem en oornagsukses kan gerus by Nianell leer. Dié talentvolle musikant het verlede jaar haar 40ste verjaardag ge­vier en die pad wat sy tot nou gestap het, is een van toewyding, harde werk en ’n onwrikbare geloof in haar eie vermoëns. Suksesvol, dié is sy gewis. Sy het ’n rits platinumalbums op haar kerfstok, haar liedjie “Who painted the moon black” verskyn op ’n album van Haley Westenra waarvan daar meer as 2 miljoen kopieë in die internasionale mark verkoop is, en sy het al die verhoog met die sangsensasie Andrea Bocelli gedeel.

In haar motiverende outobiografie, Om te weet wie ek is, lees ’n mens meer van Nia­nell se uitdagende reis as jong musikant. Dié boek het in September 2011 plaaslik verskyn, maar is nou bestem vir internasionale uitreiking nadat die groot Amerikaanse uitgewers, Hay House Publishers, ’n ooreenkoms met Nianell gesluit het.

Al die opwindende dinge wat voorlê ten spyt, is Nianell steeds die plat-op-die-aarde-kaalvoetkind wat in Namibië grootgeword het. Vriendelik, opreg en met ’n intense belangstelling in haar medemens. Sy weet wat haar lewensdoel hier op aarde is, sê sy onomwonde. “Dit is om liefde te gee, en liefde te wees.”

Die internasionale deurbraak met haar boek is alles te danke aan ’n geskenk wat Nianell verlede jaar, ter viering van haar 40ste lewensjaar, aan haarself gegee het. Sy het saam met ’n groep mense op ’n tien dae lange spirituele reis deur Italië, Frankryk en Kroasië gegaan. Hierdie geestelike reis het by verskillende katedrale, kloos­ters en heilige plekke aangedoen en die motiveringspreker, dr Wayne Dyer, het by verskillende geleenthede van sy inspire­rende boodskappe gebring. Nianell het hier­die reis gekies om ongemerk in te skakel by die groep van 160 mense van reg­oor die wêreld. Só wou sy die erva­ring geniet, sonder om raakgesien te word. Dinge het egter heel anders uitgedraai.

“Die eerste dag van die toer het dr Dyer een van sy praatjies in ’n katedraal gehou en dit het my ongelooflik geroer. In sy gesprek het hy iets gesê wat as ’t ware ’n vibrasie binne-in my veroorsaak het. Dit was asof Iemand my van agter gestoot het om vorentoe te gaan en iets te sing. Ek het hard teen die gevoel gestry. Toe dr Dyer sê hy gaan ’n kort breuk van vyf minute neem, het ek meteens saam met hom op die verhoog gestaan. Eintlik is ek ’n skaam mens, maar hier staan ek toe voor dié 71- jarige man en al wat ek vir hom kan sê is: ‘Mag ek asseblief ’n liedjie sing?’ Hy was verstom. ‘Wil jy nóú sing?’ het hy gevra. In daardie stadium wou ek net uit verleentheid begin huil. Hy troos my toe en sê ons kan later sien of dit moontlik sal wees.”

Die geleentheid het toe wel opgeduik, en sommer kort daarna. Dr Dyer het ná die onderbreking voortgegaan met sy praatjie, maar toe hy begin afsluit, het hy meteens baie emosioneel geraak. Dit was baie vreemd, want gewoonlik is hy ’n spreker wat ten volle in beheer bly. Hy het meteens nie woorde gehad nie, maar het die situa­sie gered toe hy van Nianell se versoek onthou. Hy het haar vorentoe geroep en binne sekondes was sy langs hom op die verhoog. Die liedjie wat sy daar in die katedraal voor al die mense begin sing het, was “Finally”. Hierdie liedjie gaan daaroor dat sy uiteindelik vry is van al haar vrese en dat sy nie langer gaan toelaat dat haar vrese haar beheer nie.

“Na die tyd het die mense vir my gesê hulle bewonder my omdat ek so braaf was. Dit was nie ek wat braaf was nie; die Heilige Gees het my vorentoe gestoot en dit was presies hoe dit moes gebeur het. Ek glo nie aan toeval nie, want ek het juis gedink ek gaan op ’n vakansie waar dit nie nodig gaan wees om te sing nie. En toe gebéúr dit net. Van daar af het hulle my meer en meer gevra om te sing, en selfs uitgevind dat ek ’n boek geskryf het. Nadat die uitgewers van Hay House my boek gelees het, is ek ’n wêreldwye kontrak aangebied om Knowing who I am internasionaal te versprei.”

Dit is hierdie boek wat ’n geleentheid vir haar geskep het om self te doen wat sy ander aanraai om te doen: Nadat haar boek in September verskyn het, het ’n plaaslike tydskrif alles in hulle vermoë gedoen om ’n sappige storie daarvan te maak. In ’n artikel onder die opskrif: Nianell, my lewe was hel, het hulle van haar depressie vertel. “Dit het my ontstel, want ek sou nooit self daardie woorde gebruik het nie,” sê sy. In haar vroeë twintigerjare het sy deur ’n donker tydperk gegaan, maar in die boek vertel sy hoe sy geleer het om dit reg te bestuur. Nianell het besef hierdie tydskrifartikel is ’n groot toets om te sien of sy kan regkry wat sy in haar boek sê: “Om te wees wie ek is – ander se oordeel en siening van jou, bepaal nie wie en wat jy is nie.

“Soos enigiemand anders, was my lewe by tye moeilik. In my familie is daar ’n geneigdheid tot depressie en selfs angs­aanvalle. Ek het toe in my boek ’n klein stukkie geskryf oor depressie. Daarmee wou ek net vir lesers wys hoe belangrik dit is om beheer en verantwoordelikheid te neem vir jou emosies en jou siekte. Jou depressie kan ’n baie donker pad raak en wanneer jy daar beland, moet jy partykeer medikasie gebruik om die wanbalans reg te kry. Die oorsprong van die probleem is gewoonlik ver in die verlede en jy moet die wortels gaan uittrek en verstaan hoekom jy in daardie donker plek is – eers dan sal jy ’n verandering kan maak.”

Deesdae is daar natuurlik geen tyd vir enige donker gedagtes nie. Daar is immers drie helder sterre in haar lewe wat alles die moeite werd maak. Nianell spot en sê dit help nie om ’n beheervraat te wees nie: “As jy altyd in beheer wil wees, gee God vir jou ’n drieling!” Tayden, Kaeley en Jade het op 30 Julie hulle vyfde verjaardag gevier en daar was genoeg rede om spesiaal vir die voorbladsessie ’n heerlike teeparty te hou. Hierdie driedubbele seëning van God is vir Nianell en haar man, Andrew Thompson, ’n besondere geskenk wat hulle lewe vol maak. Sy sê laggend dat dit nie net ’n wonderlike geskenk in die vorm van drie babatjies was nie, maar ook in die sin dat dit haar geleer het om ’n bietjie te laat gaan. “Ek moes leer dat ek nie alles op een slag kan regkry nie.”

Lees verder in die Augustus-uitgawe van LIG: http://www.lig.co.za/lig_nuut/Voorblad.asp?number=3


 

Nianell: Knowing Who I Am

Moira de Swardt
11/24/2011 08:46:07 

Nianell is a popular South African entertainer who believes that if you love yourself it will make a difference.

Nianell’s autobiographical book softened my hardened old heart and there were tears in my eyes that overflowed once or twice.

Nianell is a wonderfully gifted performer and I have enjoyed several of her performances over the years, which is why I chose to read this book. Her live shows are marked by the message that we should love ourselves, and her personal journey along this path, shared with great honesty, reflects this. It is not surprising that the back cover of “Knowing Who I Am” revealed that this love was the theme of her first book.

I am a devoted Nianell fan so I was delighted that this book included a bonus CD which I immediately slipped into the CD player as I read the book. This is not a review of the CD but I love her magnificent eclectic musicality so I enjoyed this. At times I was unsure if the gooseflesh was because of the music or because of the book. I think it was the former, although the latter was stunning. I was a third of the way through the book by the time the CD ended.

The book is dedicated to her famous triplets, Kaeley, Jade and Tayden and starts with recommendations from Nataniel, Steve Hofmeyr, Ashley Hayden, Rina Hugo and Shaleen Surtie Richards, inter alia. The foreword is by Luis Miguel Falcao.

Nianell’s retelling of her life starts with her confidence and low self-worth and includes the story of her working in restaurants as an entertainer, but hiding in the kitchen when she was on break: “It’s ironic that I was confident enough to sing for people but not enough to mingle with them.”

The story of “Veldskool” made me angry that a school system can inflict that on a child. By the time I reached page 7 where our heroine quotes Nelson Mandela at his inauguration there were tears in my eyes. They fell as she says: “In 2010 I was chosen to perform with the legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli at the grand finale of ‘Celebrate Africa’, held at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg in celebration of the FIFA World Cup being hosted in South Africa. After the performance we were called onto the stage for a final bow. We hadn’t rehearsed this, so no-one was really sure where to go, or what to do. I really wanted to stand next to Andrea Bocelli because he’s such an amazing human being and I wanted this special moment to last a little longer. When we were called, I walked on without hesitation and stood right next to him!“

The next chapter documents her early career. There were more tears as she describes expressing milk for her three babies while wearing a ballgown because she was performing again two months after their birth. I enjoyed reading some of the anecdotes I’ve heard her relate on stage and reading the words of her songs.

The third chapter is entitled “Body, Mind and Soul”. She describes the punishment her body took during and after her pregnancy with triplets, exercise, diet, alternative methods of handling these, and her Myers Briggs personality type (ENFJ – Extrovert/Intuiting/Feeling/Perceiving) as well as her battle with depression. I learn from letters from those closest to her that “Nia” is short for “Sonia”. Interestingly the section which I thought would be the longest, that of the soul, was the shortest.

The next chapter focuses on relationships with parents, siblings, friends, romantic life partners, children, colleagues and fellow human beings.

The fifth chapter speaks about the miracle of three with “Ps” – Prepare and plan, patience and prayer, parenting, please and, finally, play. This is really the story of the triplets. I loved the take on property law by a child – twenty rules each ending with “It’s mine!” Nianell’s account of Antoinette who lost all four of her children in an accident is moving and once again my eyes tear up.

The next chapter, on love, is a compilation of what other people say about love, celebrities and children and seniors and people close to Nianell. Finally we have her conclusion on the chapter.

The last chapter is on music. And then “Finally” she ends with a section which ends with the words of a song on the CD – “Finally”. No! She still has more to say. “Thank you” to Struik and to schools and old age homes and friends and celebrities and to her parents and to her husband. And a prayer of thanks to God.

I was wonderfully uplifted by the book when I put it down after a single sitting.

Title: Knowing Who I Am
Sub-title: Love yourself and make a differnce
Author: Nianell
Publisher: Struik Inspirational
Year: 2011
Recommended selling price: R160
Bonus CD with sixteen tracks
ISBN: 978-1-4153-1278-0

Moira de Swardt
Freelance Journalist
moirads@wol.co.za
011 482 7320
082 553 2457
www.struikinspirational.co.za

 

 

“With a chameleon voice so versatile that she conjures the likes of Sarah Brightman, Tori Amos, Marcella Detroit, Lara Fabian and Bonnie Tyler all in one potent package, singer, songwriter and musician Nianell has earned household name status in her native South Africa, with five award-winning platinum and gold albums, major label support and a rabid following.

Her new set, “Sand & Water” is the jewel she hopes will reward her global acclaim—and by all indications, the world is indeed her oyster. The collection’s beautiful melodies and inspiring instrumentation are surpassed only by the vocalist’s angelic cum saucy execution. There’s no way to pick out a handful of consummate tracks here; simply, every song is an emotional triumph: affecting, inspiring and blissful. “I Hold The Sun,” the obvious launch hit here, is a grandiose life-affirming power ballad, plumped with a cascade of sweeping strings as Nianell’s voice grows increasingly passionate until she’s grazing the clouds. “Until I’m Home” demonstrates her four-octave operatic savvy, with a melancholy farewell to a departed lover, as she sings with grace, “How I wish I could stroke your hair before I kiss you gently, lay you down to sleep just one more time.” Switching gears, “I’m So Tired” offers a funky, sexy plea of “begging you for love,” a la Shakespears Sister; while both “Till You’re Gone” and “What Is Hurting You” gallop with fervent midtempo gusto, showcasing anthemic choruses and beautifully layered vocals. In addition to co-writing all of the music here, Nianell adds to her cache by playing piano and acoustic guitar. What can she not accomplish? 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 favorite singer.” -Billboard

Celine Dion via Facebook
Just heard about you. Compared to Celine Dion…I can’t wait to hear you, she’s my favorite.You’re beautiful and your boys are, too!! Can’t decide which one is my favorite!!LOL- The most gorgeous gowns I’ve EVER seen, Good luck to you…but I doubt you’ll need it!!!! – Barbara, From New York

Bringing Back The Romance via iTunes
*****5 Stars
Nianell’s bringing back the romance in this collection of timeless tracks.
I love this album cause it reminds me of music from THE TITANIC
Romantic and timeless!!

Beautiful Songwriting! via iTunes
*****5 Stars
Nianell writes with undeniable grace and her voice puts me in a special place.
I love “Who Painted The Moon”, and can’t get enough of it!
I recommend this music and hope Nianell continues to create more great music!

Most incredible artist on iTunes via iTunes
*****5 Stars
Im so excited to see Nianell in the U.S. I am from south africa and I LOVE her music, these are all my favorite songs, Im so excited, you have to listen to her, I have heard that she is so inspirational live, I cant wait to see her live here! Come to NY Nianell! Your voice is the best on iTunes so please please release more.

An Easy Listen via iTunes
****4 Stars
Ninaell’s music is so easy to listen to. Some might think it’s more women’s music but I beg to differ. It’s classic and will never go out of style. Perfect for a date night!

Sweet and Timeless via iTunes

****4 Stars
Sweetly produced, written and arranged, Nianell has all in order with this release. Not lacking in any area. Wonderful to hear and looking forward to more. Thank you Nianell for this wonderful collection!

LOOVE IT via iTunes
*****5 Stars
This is music unlike todays mainstream. Perfect to listen to in the car or at home in bed. The arrangement and vocals are nicely put together. I also agree with the other review. It would sound nicely on a The Titanic Soundtrack or with any good love story!!

New Fan via Facebook
NIANELL, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I EVER LISTENED TO UR MUSIC, I JUST WANT TO CONGRATULATE YOU, YOUR VOICE IS BEAUTIFUL!!!! MAY UR CAREER BE AS SUCESSFUL AS GOD PERMITS, MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND BE WITH YOU AT AL TIMES,HUGS ACROSS DA MILES. -Amy In Chicago