Sparlha Swa
Gig Seeker Pro

Sparlha Swa

Band Alternative Acoustic


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




"In giving physical life to [Fela] Kuti’s songs of political rage, sorrow and satire, [Bill T] Jones and company offer exciting music and its social context in one breath...the smashing Sparlha Swa is featured as Fela’s great love."

- A review of the critically acclaimed Off Broadway piece "Fela!" directed by Bill T Jones. - New York Times


As Sandra, the personification of sexy femininity, Sparlha Swa sings and moves to perfection and dazzlingly looks the part.

- Review of the critically acclaimed Off Broadway piece "Fela!" directed by Bill T Jones. - Bloomberg News

""Possesses a very unique gift...dignified musicianship.""

Sparlha Swa
Live From NYC
(Uprising : 2008)
Posted on 07/03/2008
If there is a way to gage authenticity in music credibility, it is unquestionably done so in the realm of the live performance. Many singers have often won or lost it in front of an audience, and to put one’s self out in that setting is not only interesting and entertaining, but also essential to growth and longevity as a professional. Throw an instrument in the singer’s hands (of course, in addition to said singer plugging it in and playing it), and you might surprise some people.

For those who are familiar with Sparlha Swa’s music, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that she could create a solid live effort, and she certainly has on her latest album, Live From NYC. Swa’s music is full of interesting progressions (though sometimes redundant), and very unique melodies. She also possesses a very unique gift for a vocalist: an attractive non-vibrato. So, yes, think Sade, but think a more versatile Sade with an acoustic in her hands, rocking a Joni Mitchell vibe.

Regardless of how many people ever discover Sparlha Swa’s music, her dignified musicianship alone will undoubtedly keep her moving forward in her journey (and, without question, her lyrics reflect such a journey—be it spiritual or other). Live From NYC sounds and feels like the soul of the city—the dark struggle, the beautiful lights, the smells, the heat, the cold, the skin, the love. Not bad for a Kingston girl. - OkayPlayer

""Soulful lyrics...Enchanting”"

Live albums should do two things: provide an accurate portrayal of what the group/artist sounds live and make the listener want to see them perform live. Having not previously seen Sparlha Swa, I can assert that this is a live album that makes you want to see this enchanting singer live. Her singing will rekindle thoughts of Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman and Sade. Her words are as moving as the beautiful notes that she sings. This is the sort of music that easily transports the listener to a seemingly far away land where artists were able to sing without the help of technological aid. Being that this is a live album, questions of her ability are unnecessary. For lyrics as soulful as the voice singing them, Live from New York is a can’t miss effort. - Jive Magazine

""A very capable performer""

Swa CAN sing and play. And for those of us not familiar with In the Distance - Swa's 2004 record - Live From NYC serves as audible proof that she is a very capable performer. Swa is a singer with wide vocal range with a grown-up voice. The raw emotion of Swa's voice is one thing that comes across on this live album. - Soul Tracks


Uprising (the home recordings), '03
In The Distance, '04
LIVE from NYC, '08



The genre-splitting vocals and lyrically-potent songwriting of rising artist Sparlha Swa offers us an alternative/folk/soul music that is truly honest and evocatively so; sparse, powerful and to the point.

Sparlha’s songs are simple yet profound, soulful and resonant on the level of spirit. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the artist pulls her inspiration from around the globe with mentors like Sade, Astrud Gilberto, Miriam Makeba and Ravi Shankar.

With solo tours to Hawaii, Canada, the UK, Paris, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and all across the US, Sparlha has headlined with a full band at NYC's Blue Note Jazz Club, Joe's Pub, and BAM Cafe all to audiences of standing room only.

Notable musical landmarks include being signed to Japanese label Village Again for her debut album In The Distance, 2 songs licensed (Love Addiction, Too Late) to the TV show Girlfriends, and having her music video aired on BETJ globally for 6 months. She has written score music for several independent films, including the award winning short "Pariah" which went to Sundance in January 08, and which will be developed into a feature film in the summer of ’09. In the summer of 2008 Sparlha co-starred in the Bill T. Jones production of Fela! Off Broadway, which won rave reviews and 5 Audelco awards.

Sparlha has opened for or/shared the stage with Bilal, Fertile Ground, DJ Giles Petersen, Wumni, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Zion I, Tamar Kali, N'Dea Davenport, Anthony David, Imani Uzuri, Angela Johnson, Maya Azucena, Martin Luther, Cody Chestnutt, Burnt Sugar, Junior Kelly, & Slim Kid (Pharcyde).