Nesrin Asli
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Nesrin Asli

Columbus, Georgia, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

Columbus, Georgia, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Diverse Bands Rock the Stage"

From the Crowd to the Stage

Matt Schafer

Last year Nesrin Asli watched bands like Citizen Icon from the grass in Piedmont Park, but this year she will open up the Bud Light stage on Sunday after the parade.

“I was at Atlanta Pride last year, but I didn’t perform” Asli says.

A part-time bartender from Columbus, Asli is chasing her musical dreams after losing her job last year.

“For the longest time I wondered if I should do this or not, so I went to school and got my degree and managed a restaurant for a while,” she says. “Then I got laid off and I was very happy about that because that meant I got to do music.”

She reduced her work load to a few nights bartending in Columbus so she could focus on her music and creating her first album.

“This CD hasn’t even been released yet and I’m already thinking of the next one,” Asli says.

The adoptive daughter of an American serviceman and a Turkish mother, Asli split her formative years between America and Turkey and performs in both languages.

She names her musical sound as “a little Neo-Soul and R&B” and “a little like Erica Badu.”

Spending time in both cultures has given her a unique view on how the world views her sexuality, but she tries to make her songs inclusive.

“I usually don’t like to label myself but in this society you kind of have to. The kind of music that I write is not gender specific and I did that on purpose so when you listen to the songs everybody can feel what they feel,” Asli says.

Top photo (clockwise from top): Antigone Rising, Citizen Icon & Nesrin Asli (courtesy the artists)

- The GA Voice

"Nesrin Asli Serves Columbus Her Recipe for Neo-Soul"

Hidden between the Columbus, Georgia side of the Chattahoochee River and Columbus State University's Schwob Music school campus, something is bubbling beneath the surface. It is an organic musical brew of acoustic folk, contemporary rhythm and blues, and classic jazz. One night a week, if you take a walk along Broadway at 12th Street and listen closely, the future of Neo-Soul can be heard, seeping out into the evening from The Fat Cat night club. It is the smokey, velvet voice of twenty-six-year-old, Turkish-born Nesrin Asli.

Nesrin has earned some flattering references to her credit as a singer/songwriter, and "a Turkish Lauryn Hill" seems to be the most notable as it drfits through the crowd murmur after her Wednesday night performance. Open mic night has provided her a platform from which to reshape the direction (and perhaps the very definition) of Neo-Soul and RnB, particularly as it emerges from the Columbus music scene. RnB radio favorites mingle with orginal tunes for a twenty minute set that propels the predominantly female audience to its feet. If they're not shouting for an encore, they're dreamily swooning in the afterglow of "Listen", an original ballad about love's patience, typically performed acapella. She then switches quite effortlessly from the breathy ballad vocal into powerhouse mode, belting a cover of RnB divas En Vogue "Don't Let Go" to rattle the rafters.

"Yeah, she's definitely got some pipes on her," says one club-goer between songs. "We haven't heard that from anyone [at Fat Cat's] in a while."

Nesrin is currently working with local producer Cyryus on material for her debut album entitled Something From Nothing. The project features luscious acoustic guitars, warm string arrangements by's Pete Whitfield, and provocative Middle Eastern percussion, all simmering beneath head-nodding drum tracks that will make international fans of Hip-Hop heads and Jazz lovers alike.

When asked of her influences, Nesrin takes a deep, thoughtful breath and drops the names of RnB and Rock legends Janis Joplin, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Billie Holiday. But she is cautious and unassuming, careful as not to appear to be arrogant for the association with such monster talents. The Wednesday night crowd at Fat Cat certainly doesn't mind the comparisons, however. Nor do the audiences at Columbus' SOHO Bar and The Vault, as they are the ones who've elevated her to such local distiction.

"Though I love their voices and their music," she notes of her vocal heroines, "I can really only aspire to that talent. I'm just glad to be able to do what they've done--sing because it makes people happy."

Modesty is as strong a suit for Nesrin Asli as singing, and it is easy to understand why she might keep her ego grounded; she's got the very talent that has made legends of women who, like Nesrin, once aspired to make music their life's work. She is definitely in great company, even at the outset of what could be another brilliant singing career.


Something From Nothing, released October 3rd 2010



Nesrin Asli Bio
Nesrin Asli was born in Izmir, Türkiye (Turkey) and raised in an American military community where she attended Izmir International School until coming to the United States at the age of nine. Her mother is Turkish, and her stepfather is an American contractor for the Army. This cultural duality gave her a broad and diverse perspective, not only on music but with theatre and dancing as well. As a child, she plundered through her older brother’s and sister’s CD collections and was introduced to such artists as Metallica, Seal, Madonna, and Turkish singer Sezen Aksu.
After spending two years in the United States, her family returned to Izmir where Nesrin found a niche in theatre and drama, performing in Izmir International High School productions such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Mighty Roman Pan-Galactic Arctic Players. It was during this time that Nesrin’s singing voice was noticed by friends, family, and teachers, and so she took a rightful place in the school chorus. This afforded her the opportunity to sing solo for various military functions, graduations, and school productions. Already a trained pianist from the age of thirteen, Nesrin’s musical identity was beginning to take shape. She graduated from high school, set her sights on Ann Arundel College in Baltimore, and returned to the United States on her own to pursue a life in entertainment. While working on her core subjects, she amplified her skills with additional vocal training and jazz dancing classes. It was then that she discovered the likes of Alicia Keys, Blu Cantrell, and Jill Scott and found their sultry, breathy vocal styles to be very much like her own.
In 2003, Nesrin Asli relocated to Columbus, Georgia, from Izmir Turkey to attend Columbus State University. By this time, the financial realities of student life began to change her perspective, and she opted away from entertainment and toward a more ‘grounded’ career as a business/marketing major. Nesrin got her Bachelor’s in Marketing in 2007 and had all but abandoned her dreams of being a professional singer. But destiny had other plans. Not long after graduation she befriended Cyryus, a former Hip-Hop MC from Philadelphia who had produced her own CD in 1998 and who was still doing music production for local artists. Inspired by Cyryus’ story and the courage it had taken to pursue her dreams, Nesrin’s goals to be a singer/songwriter were revitalized. She committed herself to music and hasn’t looked back. She has since performed at several nightclubs and singing contests and has been compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Sade. She has also captured the respect of Columbus singing legend Peggy Jenkins who has invited Nesrin to sing with her on stage at The Loft on several occasions.
Nesrin Asli worked with The Loft Studio and Gr8 Trakz Studio, to release her debut album entitled “Something From Nothing” in October 2010, with producers such as Cyryus, Steve Meadows, and Kevin Lamar. The album consists of several warm, sultry Neo-Soul tracks that talk of love found and love lost, as well as two Turkish language tracks, and two tracks that feature the rapping skills of Cyryus. She’s caught the attention of Columbus music greats and Berklee graduates such as Marshall Ruffin (guitar), Sam Phillips (bass), and Kevin Lamar (drums), all of whom make cameo appearances on the album. In a musical age where new artists flash and burn out, Nesrin Asli brings a timeless sound and classic vocals that promise to endure.