On Sunday, Feb 27, The Parlour will present a masquerade party hosted by the dynamic performer known as NiLa78 (pronounced with a long I, like ice). The name comes from a combination of the first two letters of her first & middle names, and the number, while it coincidentally is her birth year, actually represents something special to her. “[It’s] the level that I believe that I’m on,” she explains, although she says the name won’t change, no matter how many levels she achieves. We’ll say it’s the level at which she started keeping track of levels. It’s also the level at which I started keeping track of her, & it’s the level at which you’re going to want to start keeping track of her, too.
NiLa78 is a singer-songwriter originally from PVD’s South Side. Her music is “a fine meshing of all of my influences.” The daughter of a Pentecostal bishop and a professional musician, those influences started in churches with her mother and practice rooms & concert halls with her father. Then, she discovered The Dead Kennedys, which led her to punk, alternative, metal & other forms of rock. She also credits artists like Björk, Tori Amos & other “wonderfully eclectic people” for helping her realize it’s okay to be weird. She feels her music reflects the influence of all these artists.
Broadway was also a secret goal during her childhood; she admired Ethel Merman for both her voice and her performance skills, which NiLa tried to mimic as a child. Between that and “the performance & pageantry of the Pentecostal Church,” NiLa learned and loves to not just sing but perform for you. Her shows feature an array of other artists, from poets to MCs to actors, presenting craft that she feels showcases the best of RI. Then, the night ends with a performance of original songs that sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before, as well as covers that run from jazz standards to Ronnie James Dio, all of which is done with amazing ease behind a masquerade mask. NiLa78 seeks connection with her audience. “I’m there to have a good time,” she says, “and I want you to have a good time, too … but I want to take them through all the shades of the reality of being human.” If you want to connect with her and a one-of-a-kind musical experience, bring your own mask & join in at The Parlour Sunday, Feb 27th at 8pm.
(ed. note, the author is a previous manager of NiLa78)