Self-identity has always been an important part of NISHA’s artistry. As a Nigerian-born Indian American immigrant and genderqueer singer-songwriter, they’ve never fit into a certain box until they began to work independently from any confines.
From a young age, NISHA was surrounded by song and dance having come from an extroverted and musical family. “My dad wanted to start a family band, so he would put my brother and sister and I together,” they fondly recalled. “I was the lead singer and we used to perform for people’s weddings.”
Once they moved to the United States, NISHA found a true kinship with music after being exposed to different genres throughout their time at school. In college, NISHA discovered Nina Simone and became inspired by her liberating artistry, leading her to drop out of school and move to Paris in order to find who they were as an artist. Soon after, they moved to New York City and began writing their own original songs to perform at open mics.
NISHA ended up moving to Los Angeles after writing the gold-certified “Feel Good” with Daya and Grammy Award-winner Toby Gad, and signed with Universal Music Group as a songwriter. However, NISHA got to a point where they wanted to tell their own story. “I felt like I was an artist that the music industry didn’t really know what to do with,” they revealed. “Because I didn’t fit into any box.”
They went on a five-year hiatus before releasing their first batch of songs since becoming independent, including the hit song, “Midas.” Coming back to the industry, they found success in taking ownership of their own identity and have been met with support from their community. “If you take the risk of putting out whatever you’re making,” they said, about creating art that is representative, “there’s a group of people just on the other side of that who are also looking for you.”
NISHA’s journey to self-love has seen its fair share of ups and downs but now that they’re on the upside of the curve, they’ve been given the freedom to explore their artistry to the fullest.
Watch NISHA’s full performance and interview above, and make sure to visit their GoFundMe page to help support their work!