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  • Nakia - Iconic Austin Soul and Blues Singer, Songwriter, and Entertainer

    342 views 5 months ago
    Find out more at nakia.net

    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. Nakia was a Top 8 Semifinalist on CeeLo's team during the first season of 'The Voice' on NBC.

    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 backing vocals 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 Naki and 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.

    Nakia is a iconic member of the Austin music community. He is an outspoken advocate for organizations such as Black Fret, HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians), and The SIMS Foundation. He has served as the Chair of the Austin Music Commission and as a member of the Board of Governors for the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy. Nakia is a two-time Black Fret grant recipient. His most recent release, “Wine To Water,” a collection of previously unreleased studio outtakes, is available now on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play. Show less
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  • Essential Nakia Play all

    Get to know Nakia. This playlist features performances from Nakia's early days performing in Chicago through his arrival in Chicago, playing live with his now fabled "Southern Cousins" and "Blues Grifters" bands, his time on NBC's The Voice, and some choice current videos.
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  • Nakia And The Blues Grifters Play all

    BOOKING: nakia.net/booking

    Before Nakia was a Top 8 Semifinalist on CeeLo's team during the first season of 'The Voice' on NBC, he was fronting Nakia and the Blues Grifters. In fact, it was his full-throated, soulful performance on a YouTube video of the band that led to The Voice producer Mark Burnett recruiting him for the hit TV show in 2011.

    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 backing vocals 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 with guitarist and producer Mac McNabb, bass player Chris Johnson, and drummer Kevin Lance.

    The band took a four year hiatus while Nakia focused on a solo career, but reformed when Nakia was asked to appear on the upcoming ALL ATX album, "Low Down Violet Crown: Austin Rocks the Blues.”

    “They asked us to cut “Whipping Post,”” said Nakia, “but we told them we needed to grind that tune up and smoke it first.” The result is a complete reimagining of The Allman Brothers classic. Transforming it from an 11/8 prog-rocking dirge into gritty funky blues in 4/4 that culminates into a double time frenzy
    featuring new Blues Grifters members Jan Flemming on Hammond B3 and piano, and saxophonist, Vinnie Limon.
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  • Music Videos Play all

    Music videos featuring Nakia
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  • Nakia Live (band) Play all

    See Nakia perform live with the bands he loves to play with. Including clips of Nakia, Nakia and the Blues Grifters, and Nakia and his Southern Cousins
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  • Nakia Play all

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