Event tags: Pappy's, Music, Free, Pioneertown, Television, Pappy And Harriet's, Contest, Concert, Nakia, Tv
8pm From The Voice, NAKIA! free show!
September 15, 2013
On September 14, 2013, singer-songwriter Nakia, who rocketed to national fame on NBC’s The Voice, launches the Dream Big Tour in support of his new EP Drown in the Crimson Tide. This first tour since The Voice includes a full band. "The guys I get to play with out of this world musicians. We are tight and ready to put on a show that folks won’t ever forget," says Nakia Alabama-raised, singer-songwriter Nakia was already garnering big time attention in his adopted hometown, Austin, TX, aka the Live Music Capital of the World, when, in 2011, The Voice recruited him to compete. In the words of coach Christina Aguilera, the singer “demonstrated a lot of guts and balls” when he chose to sing CeeLo Green’s smash hit Forget You with CeeLo sitting right there, in another of the judges’ chairs. Duly impressed by Nakia’s talent and chutzpah, CeeLo went on to mentor him.
The songs on Drown in the Crimson Tide were written in collaboration with top-tier artists including Barry Goldberg, Bleu, Chris Seefried and Brian West. Three were co-produced by legendary keyboardist Goldberg, whose vast resume includes playing with Dylan’s and producing Percy Sledge; and guitarist Johnny Lee Schell, who’s worked with Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty and Eric Burdon.
"My man is the next big star. "
~ CeeLo Green
"Nakia chooses subtlety over grand gestures, making Drown in the Crimson Tide all the more endearing but no less gritty. Austin Chronicle
His live performances are akin to a religious experience...with his... trademark soulful, spiritual sound... a big, theatrical voice, and an execution that’s Southern gospel with more than a hint of Joe Cocker."
~ Texas Music Magazine
"Nakia’s got some serious soul... "
~Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones&The Dap-Kings
"Otis Redding's influence is unmistakable throughout the emerging neo-soulster's new EP Drown in the Crimson Tide"
~. USA Today
Austin-based, Alabama-raised singer/songwriter Nakia has a heart that
beats to the rhythms of Muscle Shoals soul, pumping blood infused with
Stax funk to cells lined with Chicago blues grooves. His vocal talent is
the kind that instantly turns listeners into fans — among them CeeLo
Green, who invited Nakia to sing on his Muppets Christmas special.
On his new EP, Drown in the Crimson Tide, releasing
March 5 on the Something-Music label, Nakia unleashes that voice on six
songs he wrote in collaboration with top-tier artists including Barry
Goldberg, Bleu, Chris Seefried and Brian West. Three were co-produced by
legendary keyboardist Goldberg, whose vast resume includes playing
Dylan’s ’65 Newport gig and producing Percy Sledge; and guitarist Johnny
Lee Schell, who’s worked with Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty and Eric
It’s the latest chapter in a musical journey that
started in earnest when Nakia moved from Chicago to Austin in 2002.
After a brief stint in the Small Stars, a tongue-in-cheek lounge act
fronted by Fastball’s Miles Zuniga, he formed Nakia&His Southern
Cousins, got booked to perform at the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival,
and wound up singing with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. Alejandro
Escovedo heard him at a Rolling Stones tribute, which led to him singing
backup on Escovedo’s Street Songs of Love album, and to a second
recommendation — this time by producer Tony Visconti — for Nakia to
front his own Blues band. So he formed the Blues Grifters. A YouTube
video of the band led to The Voice producer Mark Burnett recruiting him
for the pilot, which resulted in his relationship with CeeLo.
And those are just some of the musical aspects of his career.
Among Nakia’s non-musical undertakings, he worked at an Apple store,
modeled, and was a cavern guide, a show rider (yes, horseback), a record
label promo guy (pushing John Mayer for Aware Records) and an actual
missionary in Africa.
Along the way, he managed to overcome
drug and alcohol addiction and growing up as a declared gay kid in the
South. He gets to the core of his experiences, and how he moved beyond
them and into a positive place on “Dream Big,” a bluesy mid-tempo ballad
co-written with his friend Bleu. The EP’s title, Drown in the Crimson
Tide, comes from a line in the song — it’s not just a reference to a
certain Alabama football team.
“When you grow up in that area
of the world, it is really easy to get drawn into your surroundings and
your environment,” Nakia explains. “If you’re not careful, you’ll get
sucked into that tide and you’ll drown. My aunt told me if I ever got a
chance to leave, I should. She also said that one of the hardest things
in life to do is to change your lot.”
Nakia has worked to do
just that. In fact, as CeeLo listened to Tide, he told Nakia, “I am
consistently impressed by the amount you've been able to accomplish on
your own by just rubbing two pennies together.”
in L.A., Nakia made connections that resulted in several fruitful
collaborations. He co-wrote the funky “Pieces and Castles” and the EP’s
big soul-stirrer, the ode to his life partner, “When I Found You,” with
Goldberg. “Make Up With a Gun,” a getaway tale that might be at home in a
Sergio Leone or Robert Rodriguez flick, was written with Disney
hitmaker Archontis. Seefried (Fitz & the Tantrums) collaborated on
the groove-filled “Tight.” Juno Award winner Brian West (Nelly Furtado,
K’Naan and Bono) had a hand in the closer, the party-hard R&B-funk
rave-up “Walking on a Slant.”
“It was really important for me
to have this Otis Redding/Fabulous Thunderbirds/Doug Sahm vibe to this
song,” Nakia says. “Then we added the horns, and it took it to this
whole other level.”
Joe Sublett and Darrell Leonard, a.k.a. the
Grammy-winning Texicali Horns, are heard in various spots on the EP,
half of which was recorded at Schell’s home studio.
continues to work with A-list writers, including legendary Motown hit
man Lamont Dozier. Turns out Nakia’s earned himself a few famous fans
along the way, including Dozier and Stevie Nicks, who floored him with a
red-carpet rave before he could utter his own words of devotion.
Hero encounters aside, Nakia is generally regarded as a super cool,
affable guy, one who makes friends as easily as he earns fans.
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