Nina Ferro
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Nina Ferro

London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 1990 | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 1990
Band Country Soul


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"Into The Light Album Review"

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

There is no doubting the honest sincerity and vocal intensity that Nina Ferro gives in her latest album Into the Light. The heartfelt plea, the authenticity that surrounds the vocals supplied by a selection of musicians who seem to have fallen completely under the spell of the quite remarkable vocals and play as if that spell will never be broken is more than enough to make sure that this album is regarded with high esteem amongst jazz, rhythm and blues enthusiasts.

There is a natural tendency for the listener to focus on the voice when presented with someone whose vocal expression lends its self to an unforced and uncomplicated sensual display but without the contribution of Sam Hawksley and Rob McNelley and the rest of the very adept musicians, the voice, in other hands, might just have been lost in the abundance of thought and lyrical consideration. That lyrical consideration is captured wonderfully on tracks such as Plutonic Delirium, Look Speak Fall, Dangerous Move and Finish What You Started.

It is perhaps in the albums last track in which the voice of Nina Ferro comes completely into its own. All In The Name of God is a track which comprises the subtly of soaring vocals and the anguish of femininity, the question of male hierarchy within religion and what it turns female devotion to, both of the men in their lives but also the question of what deity would want their followers to ever suffer abuse in such hands. All In The Name of God is a track of honesty, of reflection and of a simple devotion to get a message across, in all aspects Nina Ferro succeeds wonderfully.

It may be the times we find ourselves in but 2013 has been a great year for jazz, the way it captures the feelings of many in times of hardship and suffering and their one chance to take themselves out of the way of adversity, even for just a short while, should be acknowledged. The effect it has on the conscious is enough to ensure that Nina Ferro joins the legion of 21st century jazz greats.

Ian D. Hall - Liverpool Sound and Vision

"Nina Ferro comes into the Light"

“There are only two kinds of people in this world,” Nina Ferro tells me. “There are men and there are women.”
Taking to the stage alongside her exceptional band at Sydney’s 505 on Monday 13 January, songstress Nina Ferro launched her soulful new album Into the Light.

Written in Nashville – 16 songs in 16 days which were then whittled down to 13 and recorded on days 17 and 18 – the album is a wonderfully listenable collection of tunes with country pulsing through its veins and soul at its very heart. Lyrically, Ferro sings “goodbye to the ghosts and fears” and moves “out of the darkness and into the light”. ”Turn to Stone” is beautifully-felt and affecting, while striking soul number “Cry Cry Cry” feels like an emotional release of sorts.

Described by Tony Bennett – who she supported in 2001 – as “a fabulous performer with a knockout voice”, Ferro’s vocal ability is truly masterful. The Melbourne-born singer was operatically trained before turning to jazz, R ‘n’ B, soul and pop, sharing stages with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Ricky Martin, Chick Corea, Tina Arena, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and The Blues Brothers Band and eventually settling in London.
Catching up with Ferro two days after the launch, she is bright and chatty.

“I wanted to make sure I was being truthful and open. I wanted the album to feel like a real collaboration but still with my essence and my energy,” she tells me.

Stylistically, Ferro describes her album as the musical melding of Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt, marrying the “simple but lovely, lush, beautiful writing” of Jones with the “pop rock, soul edge” of Raitt.
For me, the most strikingly honest performance on the evening of the launch was pared-back original “All In The Name of God”.

“I’m a western woman living in a world where I’m free to go places without having the fear of violence being used against me,” Ferro says.

“Women are treated so badly in so many places around the world and I wanted to do something. At the time I had no idea what I wanted to do. For me it wasn’t about bashing anything. It wasn’t about religion bashing or man bashing or anything like that.”

Instead, she turned to music. The result was “All in the Name of God,” of which Ferro is immensely proud.
The song is being released as a video clip with proceeds going to the Aschiana Foundation, which seeks to help children living in Kabul, Afghanistan by providing education, vocational training, arts programs, and recreation. Ferro is of the belief that “we need to educate young boys so they can treat women differently to the way their fathers and grandfathers did.”

And reflecting on her latest album and triumphant launch at 505, Ferro is eternally grateful for everything that has brought her to this point.

“I can stand on stage with all my years of experience and feel like I’m coming into my own,” she confides. “Music is the longest-standing relationship I’ve ever had. Music never lets me down. Music is always there for me.
“I can’t imagine my life without it.”

Nina Ferro’s album Into the Light is out now. - Megaphoneoz

"Review : Nina Ferro Into The Light CD Launch at St James Studio"

Nina Ferro
(Into the Light CD Launch. St James Studio, SW1. 1st November 2013. First night of two. Review by Sebastian Scotney)

Who likes a story with a genuinely happy ending? The sequence of events which has led to Nina Ferro's new album and to a joyous launch, is exactly that, but there is only one night left to catch it: tonight, Saturday.

Ferro and her extremely classy band are at St James Studio in the basement of the St James Theatre close by Victoria Station, just a few corgi-steps from Buckingham Palace.

Back to the story, are you sitting comfortably? Australian-born guitarist Sam Hawksley says he had admired Nina Ferro ever since he heard her hitting the high notes so perfectly as a regular breakfast singer on the TV show Good Morning Australia.

Eventually their paths were to cross - he is now based in Nashville, she in London - and earlier this year he made Ferro a simple if completely improbable invitation/suggestion:"Why don't you come here to Nashville and do an album?" She found more reasons - and presumably the cash too - to say yes rather than no, and in the sixteen days she spent there, she says, "you just get into an artistic vibe and you make it happen". The result is Into the Light, her first album since Waiting for the Sunset from 2008. The songs are mostly co-written with Hawksley. It was recorded as recently as mid-July this year.

The songs - with one exception, I'll come back to that - are of the kind to bring an instant smile to the face of the every member of the audience. They are hooky, they're catchy, and optimistic. What are they? Amazon has the album curiously classified as "Blues/Country" but there is also funk and soul in the mix. Each one just launches itself easefully into a groove, sunroof off, cruise control on. I wrote down Crusaders, I also wrote down Reba McIntyre. Take a lyric like "(Everything's gonna be all right) When I Find You," and you get the picture. Others are sassier - I enjoyed Plutonic Delirium, in which a man who has failed to pick up obvious signals that he had been assumed to be in a relationship gets his failings pointed out to him. Ferro did take the trouble to warn the audience in her chats between the songs that the dangers of dating a songwriter should be obvious. 'Saturn' gets rhymed with 'holding pattern', 'Lover' with 'Supernova'. It has a tricky push-pull ending - most of the songs depart with a fade, in every case perfectly executed by the band.

The exception among the songs is All in the Name of God a powerfully emotional condemnation of the degrading of women which happens in some non-Western societies. Its seriousness and focus caught the audience unaware - people seemed genuinely to be moved by it.

One of the joys of the evening is quite how tight,slick, professional, characterful, and punchy the band are. Pianist/ keyboardist Grant Windsor -another Australian expat alongside Ferro herself and Hawksley- was appearing earlier this week with Gregory Porter in the Albert Hall, and it felt a privilege to hear him on this smaller scale. His duet with drummer Tim Weller on the Ferro-Tom Cawley funk excursion Deals with the Devil was a highlight. Hawksley took every guitar solo well, always expressive rather than attention-craving. Bassist Simon Little was just on the money all evening.

All band members with the exception of Tim Weller were on duty as backing vocalists, but a constant unfailing delight of this live gig was the understanding, the telepathy, and the musical rapport between Nina Ferro and her backing singer, Ulster-born Niamh McNally. The two have worked together as fellow backing vocalists for Gilbert O Sullivan. They evidently get on well, and their vocal blending and support of each other, the instinctive matching of phrasing, timbre, was - I don't think it's overstating the case here - unsurpassable perfection. The McNally/Ferro duetting is a very good reason - but in reality just one reason among many- to get to this uplifting show on its second and only remaining night. - London Jazz Review

"Album Review – Nina Ferro – “Into the Light”"

The Vocal intensity that Nina Ferro gives in her latest album ‘Into the Light.’ is so infectious, delivering an album of great Jazz, with a Rhythm and Blues flavour.. outstanding, creative and polished performance.
nina_ferro_Into the LightThe contribution of Sam Hawksley and Rob McNelley, Dan Baird and Gary Nicholson lift the amazing vocals and ensure that Ms Ferro vocal expression is never hidden within over polished production and lyrical content. When listening to the tracks ‘When I find you’ we see Nina edging into the Funk … Nina Ferro’s soaring vocals on ‘Plutonic Delirium’ clearly demonstrate her capability and honesty a singer who can sing without oversinging.. ‘All in the name of God’ the final track clearly discuss the issues surrounding the ‘social order of the male and female divide, within a religious context..Wearing the hat of executive producer Ms Ferro knows perfectly how to guide her team to create a perfect balance for her audience.
This infectious Jazz, Blues Album should be in every collection, the emotive singing and superb songwriting collaborations, production work together well without overpowering this Incredible vocalist.
Nina Ferro was classically trained from and from the age of 14 to 20 she trained as an Opera singer, working professionally touring in USA, Europe, Australasia, and the Middle East. Her love of Opera, Soul, Rock and Roll Rhythm and Blues allowed her to cultivated a versatile career that has seen her perform alongside many International performers including Tony Bennett, Dave Sanborn, Jose Feliciano, Billy Ocean, Ricky Martin, Curtis Stigers, Monty Alexander, Sharon Jones, and the Dap Kings, and Imaani Saleem.

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"Into The Light Album Review"

Night Creatures Records– [Release Date: 01.11.13]

The trick with a singer songwriter is always to finds a suitable niche with which to build their profile. In the case of Anglo Australian Nina Ferro things are slightly different. She’s already a multi award-winning vocalist, songwriter, session singer and recording artist, but the question remains how best to market a voice that can make ice melt at 20 paces?

The answer of course is Nashville. Not the Grand Ole Opry model of old, but the contemporary music scene that houses the likes of Dan Baird and Gary Nicholson, who contributes to this album. Then there’s the essential vision of guitarist /producer and project collaborator Sam Hawksley who has placed Nina’s versatile vocals within a roots rock, song-driven environment.

The assembled muso’s apparently nailed 16 songs in as many days and the 13 that made the cut are carried by a sense of purpose that permeates the album as a whole. Thereafter the subtle production emphasizes the harmony heavy hooks, and Nina’s occasional spine tingling phrasing.

And yet there’s still the question of how to label her? After all, there’s blues, jazz, soul, alt- country, and funk. Nina navigates a delicate balance between polished and by turns emotive singing, on a batch of songs that derive their equilibrium from carefully chosen song styles, and the consistency of her performances.

The outstanding thing about this album is that Nina brings such presence and authority to the material through her phrasing and interpretive skills, that the closing ‘All In The Name Of God’ comes as less of a shock than it might do. She shifts her focus from relationship songs to the lack of woman’s rights in different parts of the world and imbues the heartfelt lyrics with a spiritual quality that lifts the whole album beyond its mere commercial possibilities.

‘Into the Light’ is simply a magisterial album, and both her singing and the accompanying musicianship would be difficult to better. Whether Sam Hawksley heard something special before extending his invitation for her to go to Nashville, is something only he will know, but other than the rather formulaic opening track ‘To Get To My Heart’ – a predictable pedal steel guitar line meets a telegraphed chorus – and the radio friendly funk of ‘When I Found You’, this is an album that sparkles with her eloquent phrasing, pristine diction and intuitive timing over nuanced backing vocals.

The album builds subtly by degrees and flows naturally into the one of the album highlights, the percussive funk and ironic message of ‘Plutonic Delirium’. The title track in contrast, is a more relaxed funky groove with an uplifting chorus flecked by guitar and keyboard splashes.

And almost to order, she wraps her warm vocals round the slow blues of ‘Cry Cry Cry’ and hovers, swoops and soars magnificently on the piano led ‘I Turn To Stone’. On the funky ‘Dangerous Move’ the tightly wrapped rhythm section underpins Sam’s brief ascending guitar break to cut through the tension, before Nina’s second vocal attack takes things up a notch with some startling phrasing, on a song that could easily find a home on blues radio play list.

And it is the crossover appeal that makes ‘Into The Light’ more than just another MOR vocal album. There’s a nice ‘live in the studio’ feel, counterweighted by a polished production and Nina’s impressive interpretive skills to push the songs to their potential. And I guess it wouldn’t be Nashville without a brace of country tinged outings, with ‘Finish What You Started’ being the kind of relationship song that fits the old Nashville mould perfectly. And then there’s the confessional ballad ‘Let You Go’, on which she fills the track with a Karen Carpenter style vocal, except for the spiky lyrics given emphasis by a sudden tempo change: I’ve moved all the furniture around, I took all your pictures down, but I still feel the ghost of you, Erased your number from my phone, got use to sleeping all alone, I’ve been putting off the hardest thing to do’.

Sandwiched between the two, there’s the undulating funk of the rockier ‘I’m In’, which gives the album a notable lift at the three quarter mark, as she soars over a sweeping baking vocals in a perfect match of voice, song, and production. It’s also the track on which the session really sparks and nicely frames what has gone before.

‘Into The Light’ is full of good songs, well crafted musicianship and is shaped by Nina Ferro expressive vocals, which much like Amy Winehouse before her, makes light of any stylistic considerations. ****

Review by Pete Feenstra - Get Ready To Rock


Still working on that hot first release.




fabulous performer with a knockout voice!"


Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and singing by the age of six,
Nina Ferro made her stage debut as a munchkin in a school
performance of the
of OZ
One wonders if the audience had any inkling that this pocket dynamo
in orange face paint and striped overalls would go on to enchant
audiences worldwide, performing at festivals, clubs and concerts and
appearing on television and radio throughout the USA, Europe, Asia
and Australia.

As a child, Ninas influences came from the records played by her
music-loving Italian family. Classical (especially opera, as her
paternal Grandmother was a mezzo-soprano), Soul, Motown, Rock and
Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz and Pop meant that the young Ninas
idols ranged from Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder to Elvis Presley
and Maria Callas.

lessons commenced when Nina was eight and classical singing training
started at the age of 14. All the while, her passion for Soul and
Jazz bloomed and she began singing at gigs at the age of 15. At 20,
Nina was touring the world and performing at festivals, clubs and
concerts, and appearing on TV and radio throughout the USA, Europe,
Australasia and the Middle East.

move from Australia to the UK in 2005 presented a world of
opportunities for Nina, among them, an 18-month residency at the
world famous Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London. With Europe and
the USA so close, Nina was quickly in demand across the Northern

based in the UK, Nina is a regular performer at all of Londons
premier live music venues and her unmistakable voice is frequently
heard gracing the BBC Radio airwaves.

has appeared alongside the following musicians and bands:

Bennett, Hugh Jackman, Jose Feliciano, Michael Buble, Billy Ocean,
Ricky Martin, Curtis Stigers, Chris Botti, Jessica Mauboy, Guy
Sebastian, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Kyle Eastwood, Chick Corea, Dave
Sanborn, Jimmy Scott, Monty Alexander, Les Paul, The Commitments,
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Blues Brothers Band, The Cat
Empire, and The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and many more.

place for
& Turnin

(Rock/Metal/Indie category) Australian Song Writing Association
Competition, 2006.

place for

(Contemporary Pop/Dance category) Australian Songwriting
Association Competition, 2008.

Jazz medal for Best Up and Coming Jazz Artist. 1992

Recording Industry Award (ARIA) Featured vocalist on The Cat
Empire album

Band Members