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 â€” among themÂ CeeLo Green, who invited Nakia to sing on his Muppets Christmas special. Nakia was a Top 8 Semifinalist on CeeLoâ€™s team during the first season of â€˜The Voiceâ€˜ onÂ NBC.
Nakia moved from Chicago to Austin in 2002. After a brief stint inÂ The Small Stars, a tongue-in-cheek lounge act fronted byÂ Fastballâ€™s Miles Zuniga, he formedÂ Nakia & His Southern Cousins, got booked to perform at the 2008Â Austin City Limits Festival, and wound up singing withÂ Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.Â Alejandro EscovedoÂ heard him at a Rolling Stones tribute, which led to him singing backing vocals on Escovedoâ€™s Street Songs of Love album, and to a second recommendation â€” this time by producerÂ Tony ViscontiÂ â€” for Nakia to front his own Blues band.