Nieve Malandra by Steve Catanzaro

“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” says vocalist, model and mother Nieve Malandra of her new hometown, Las Vegas. “But for me, it’s a perfect city. It’s got that friendly, small town feel which is great for raising my daughter, but it’s also got a very exciting entertainment scene which is as good as any place in the country.”

Born and raised in San Francisco, Nieve spent years working as a singer in Los Angeles before moving to Sin City in July of 2012. She quickly established herself as one of LV’s most versatile vocalists. On weekends, she can be heard singing jazz standards early evenings at Marche Bacchus in Summerlin. Those sophisticated sounds are followed by late night, high-energy appearances with Chris Phillips’ Zowie Bowie band, a long time Vegas institution, at Rocks Lounge in the Red Rock Casino.

  “People often ask me what kind of music I like singing best, the older music or the contemporary songs, but the truth is, I like both,” she says. “I appreciate the classics and I love singing Cole Porter, Gershwin, and Jobim, but I also love the high energy of the current hits and connecting with the crowds at Rocks Lounge, Fremont Street, Blue Martini, or wherever Zowie Bowie plays.”

  The multi-lingual chanteuse, who sings in French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, started with Zowie Bowie in November, after receiving a text that Phillips was looking for a replacement for long-time partner Marley Taylor. “I was visiting New York City when I heard about the opening” she says. “After the first few gigs, Chris told me that I was ‘part of the family’ so it was all very natural and unforced. I didn’t find out till later that over 700 girls had auditioned for the band.”

  In addition to her busy singing schedule, Nieve’s stunning good looks keep her working as a model as well. “I’ve done everything; trade shows, conventions, spokes-modeling, print ads, fashion shows, and calendar shoots. One gig I’ve recently started doing that I really enjoy is ring-girling for Corona on Showtime Boxing.” In fact, she might be pulling off an entertainment industry first; “Next week, I’m going to ring girl and sing the National Anthem at the same fight! I don’t know if that’s been done before, but I’m excited to try it!”

As a seasoned entertainment business pro, Nieve is not usually star struck, but one person who’s talent she stands in awe of is her four year old daughter Gigi. “She is my love, my heart” she says, “and also an amazing talent.”

Like her mother, little Gigi has perfect pitch and has memorized a wide variety of songs. And just like Mom, she is a working model. “She just got her first gig modeling Halloween costumes. She is such a natural; she is totally blasé until they say action, then she lights up! The photographer was shocked and told us “She’s so good, I’m intimidated by her!’”

Nieve’s commitment to children and the arts doesn’t end at home, either. She also heads up iPianolab, a program designed to bring keyboard lessons into Clark County schools. “Unfortunately, because of budget cuts, music programs are being taken out of schools, and that’s very sad to me. I feel music has been such a healing force in my life, and it’s so important that kids are exposed to it at an early age. With iPianolab, we bring keyboards to the schools and get children interested by showing them how to play their favorite songs.”

With all that on her plate, Nieve certainly seems to be filling the role of a Vegas Superwoman, but in person, she comes across as anything but a Super Diva. “I’m just having fun and feeling very blessed being able to do what I love for a living, and being able to raise my daughter in one of the most amazing cities in the world.”

She is similarly down-to-earth and unpretentious about her future in the business. “I’m just enjoying the moment,” she says.  “A lot of people come to me with this or that project in mind, but for right now, I’m happy doing what I’m doing, and I’m loving my life here in Las Vegas!”