Austin’s Nakia, seen by millions on NBC’s The Voice, makes plans to tour and record
Using new exposure and connections to best benefit, Nakia returns to what he does best: writing and singing great soul-steeped music.
AUSTIN, Texas — To millions of American television viewers, Nakia — a semi-finalist on NBC’s hit reality program The Voice — was a new artist. Not so in Texas, where, known for his larger-than-life, soulful performances and ability to connect with an audience, he had won regional accolades and airplay with his EP Playing the Cards and album Water to Wine. He had a regular gig at South Austin’s Saxon Pub with his band the Blues Grifters. Life was good. But a wonderful and unexpected turn of events was about to transpire.
A casting agent for NBC found some performances by Nakia (pronounced nah-kee-uh) on YouTube. They eventually made their way to producer Mark Burnett, who, after watching Nakia’s searing performance of the blues classic “Double Trouble,” insisted that the performer audition for his new show, The Voice, starring Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
Nakia’s bluesy rendition of “Forget You” earned him a spot on Cee Lo Green’s team and quickly made him a fan favorite. His show-stopping performances over a period of weeks earned him a spot as one of eight top finalists. Following the show’s finale, Nakia joined the seven other semi-finalists on a coast-to-coast concert tour of theaters.
“Being on The Voice has opened a lot of doors for me and I’ve been working hard to explore all of those options so I make the best decisions about which doors to walk though,” Nakia says. “More importantly, it’s given me access to a lot of new fans who are discovering who I am as an artist. I am excited to connect with them face-to-face on the road.”
After the show was over, Nakia remained in Los Angeles, met and worked with many of the great songwriters he met through The Voice circles, and has begun work on a new album. He will spend much of August and September reconnecting with his fan base in Texas.
“I plan to find ways to keep the fans connected throughout the entire process by incorporating live video streams, videos, blogs and demos via my social networks and official web site.”
Nakia has won notice in circles outside The Voice and Austin. Neo-soul star Sharon Jones said of him, “Nakia is the real deal, y’all. He’s got some serious soul. And that’s what Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings are all about.” Added Michelle Shocked, “I absolutely love Nakia. I love his singing, his songwriting and, most importantly, his soul.” And the Austin Chronicle, at work on a major feature on the artist, declared, “The Appalachian-born belter is one of Austin’s most talented singers.”
It’s been a long road from the Appalachian foothills of Alabama where Nakia Reynoso, the son of a Latino father and a mother of Irish stock, began singing at age five and never stopped. You don’t grow up in the shadow of 3614 Jackson Hwy., the original home of the Muscle Shoals sound, without picking up a dose of the Southern-seasoned soul that coursed through the veins of so many Southern soul performers before him.
Having come to the attention of millions of music fans via The Voice, Nakia will continue performing his authentic music on a larger playing field.
He’ll spend the remainder of summer re-connecting with his home state:
Sat., Aug. 27 AUSTIN Batfest
Sun., Aug. 28 AUSTIN Annual Concert for Bangladesh Tribute
Sat., Sept. 3 SAN ANTONIO Luna Live
Sat., Sept. 24 GALVESTON Shrimp Fest
Sun., Sept. 25 AUSTIN Pecan Street Festival
Tues., Oct. 4 AUSTIN HAAM Benefit, Antone’s
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