Nicole Smede is a multi-disciplinary artist of Warrimay Birrbay, English and Irish descent, living and creating on Gummēya Darrawal & Wodi Wodi Country. Proud of her lineage, she works with language reconnecting to ancestry and culture in song, sound and poetry. A classically trained Mezzo-Soprano, she ran away from classical music early on to pursue wider artistic interests. Now, Nicole uses voice, song, sound and poetry to explore ideas around landscape, connectedness, and ancestry.
She has performed at Parliament House and the National Multicultural Festival, and her voice has been heard globally on award-winning film scores. Nicole has received commissions from PWC and Amex for meditations, songs and poetry, created soundscapes and music for podcasts and plays and is regularly commissioned through Red Room Poetry. Her poetry can be found in journals, on ferries, visual and sound pieces, exhibitions, publications and anthologies, including Australian Poetry Journal; Mascara Literary Review; Never Heard of Them, Baby Teeth Journal (2019); Guwayu: for all times, Magabala Books (2020); What we Carry, Recent Work Press (2021); and 20x20x12 Sensing Place, Manta Publishing (2021). In 2020, Nicole was the co-recipient of the 2020 Shoalhaven Arts Board Grant, a finalist in the Meroogal Women's Art Prize and shortlisted for the 2020 Red Room Poetry Fellowship. Nicole was a finalist in the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2022 and a recipient of the South Coast Writers Centre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writing Mentorship. Her work is acquired and held in national collecting institutions.
A passionate advocate for arts education, Nicole has conducted workshops for The NSW Department of Education's Arts Unit, The Song Company, Bundanon Trust, Red Room Poetry, Wollongong City Council and local schools in the Shoalhaven.
A versatile performer with experience spanning diverse genres, Nicole has performed and recorded repertoire from classical, theatre, rock and contemporary music through to film and other media. Her voice has been heard on National youth broadcaster Triple J, globally on award-winning film scores, and graced the stages of Parliament House, City Recital Hall, Mona Foma Festival, and galleries and venues across Australia. Nicole's vocals are featured in a number of soundtracks, including Ivan Sen's ‘Goldstone’ and APRA award-winning film score '1919'. In 2022 Nicole was a recipient of the inaugural Space to Create residency through Australia Council, Yil Lull Studio and ANU. Nicole is an APRA AMCOS Women in Music mentee in 2023 and a participant in The Ngarra-Burria First Peoples Composer program.