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Mix the soft vocals of Corinne Bailey Rae, the girlish uptempo of Katy Perry and the electric spunk of Hayley Williams and you’d get Nila Kay.

I have always been the last to speak up in class or in a group setting. If you see me at a party with no dancing going on (what a boring party) I’ll be the one standing awkwardly on the wall, not knowing how to force myself into conversation with someone. My best conversations are at the chip bowl talking to the chips.  I’m most comfortable watching everybody else and listening or just hanging out with one or two of my besties. But there are times when I have wanted to speak up and say something…and then I just can’t…my throat closes up and I start sweating.

And then somehow I find the courage to get up on stage in front of a room full of people and sing my thoughts to them. When I first get on the stage I feel like I’m at the top of a roller coaster that’s about to go down a huge hill, it’s scary! And then I always feel like I’ve accomplished something like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro when I get off the stage.  It’s adrenaline, excitement, and relief. Aaah, I’m braver than I thought I was when I was standing over there at the chip bowl (and also aah its over)!

Girly Girl, Superhero!

When I write a song it creates a space for me to feel brave, courageous and comfortable in. It’s challenging and fun. I know I’ve written a good song when I can completely lose myself in it on stage, just like I lose myself when I’m dancing and singing in the mirror to my favorite song in my bedroom. I hope that some of those feelings rub off on you when you hear my music. Maybe you’ll  be braver than you thought you were three minutes ago.  Maybe you’ll even be inspired to write your own song and rock your wallflower power!

I have never stopped being the shy girl awkward girl in class… I just stopped worrying about it and started workiiiing iiiiit!

Based in DC- her fun and funky pop rock lights up a variety of local stages from dingy dive bars such as Velvet Lounge to upscale listening rooms such as The Hamilton. Nila is becoming known for her high energy performances and carefully crafted songwriting. One reviewer says “…She showed about as much diversity as possible in her 14 minute 3-song set starting off with a quirky pop/power-pop oddity that had fascinating hooks twisting in and out. Next was a loungier blues and to finish if off, there was a ripping Bo Diddley beat for the final rocker. She is certainly someone to watch if this is any indication of the diverse and creative directions she is capable of.”(- DC Rock Live)

For the past 8 years, Nila has also been a guitarist with the band “The Players” –backing band for the annual DC Loves Dilla tribute concert, which has sold out such venues as 9:30 Club and most recently The Howard Theatre.

When she’s not rocking out on stage Nila conducts songwriting workshops for pre-teen girls. The workshops are focused on fun, inspiration, and building confidence in young girls. As a graduate of Berkleemusic and George Mason University she brings her wealth of writing knowledge and enthusiasm for the craft of songwriting to each workshop.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Completed successful college and independant radio campaign with Tinderbox Music, with airplay on over 30 stations across the country
  • Earned a Master Songwriting/Guitar Certificate from Berkleemusic.com
  • Featured artist on Berkleemusic.com’s CMJ Playlist 2009 and 2010
  • Guitarist for the band “The Players” backing band for the annual DC Loves Dilla Tribute show, which features special guests such as De La Soul, The Pharcyde,Talib Kweli, Pete Rock, Slum Village, and Raheem Devaughn. This event sells out leading DC venues, most recently The Howard Theatre, The Fillmore, and the 9:30 Club.
  • Creator of “Fierce”- a girls’ songwriting workshop with Nila Kay
  • Released 11 song album “Serial Love” available for sale on itunes, and www.nilakaymusic.com