Young Nell Smith of Fernie is brushing shoulders with entertainment industry giants as she makes her way into the world of professional music.
On Tuesday, Jan. 4, Smith is set to have a music video that she recorded with The Flaming Lips appear on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which has millions of viewers worldwide.
The song is a cover of Red Right Hand by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and is part of a 9-track cover album called Where The Viaduct Looms that Nell and The Flaming Lips released on Nov. 26, 2021.
Smith, a 14-year-old student at Fernie Secondary School, said she thinks appearing Stephen Colbert’s show is “amazing and crazy.”
“I’m just really excited and thankful for everything that’s going on.”
Smith has been making her way into the professional music scene for some years now with The Flaming Lips lead singer, Wayne Coyne, taking her under his wing.
Born in Leeds, England, Smith moved to Fernie when she was around five. She was introduced to music at the very beginning of her life. Her father, Jude Smith, would take her to shows from a young age.
Smith gravitated towards the alternative rock band The Flaming Lips, and managed to get Coyne’s attention at a show in Calgary. The young Fernie-ite and the rockstar began chatting near the stage before the show, and Coyne traded numbers with Jude. The family developed a relationship with The Flaming Lips, and the musical mentorship began.
The band is a “very supportive group of people,” Smith said.
“I’m so grateful and I think that it’s an amazing opportunity… that this is the way I’m being brought into the music industry.”
Nell and The Flaming Lips’ cover songs have been gaining attention, including by Nick Cave himself, which has led to her getting featured on The Late Show.
“It just sort of gathered pace. And I think the Lips do quite a lot on The Late Show and those things on CBS, and so they’re just on the books there,” Jude said.
“It just sort of progressed naturally.”
“I think that it’s like a miracle,” Smith said. “I’m so grateful. It’s too hard to explain, it’s so crazy.”
Looking forward, Smith is hoping to record an album of her own originals, perform them, and do her Nick Cave covers live.