Brittany's 'The Voice' Blog: Catching Up With...Nakia
NBC's The Voice introduced the nation to a fantastic group of artists that I know I'll never forget. By far, the show's biggest personality and one of its most loveable was soul singer Nakia Reynoso, the semifinalist for Team Cee Lo Green.
Almost two months after The Voice came to an end, the Texas native has recently returned from the subsequent Voice Live concert tour and is planning his own solo schedule. Before he hits the road, though, I was able to catch up with him to reflect on the journey thus far and talk about what his future holds.
It's fantastic to catch up with you. Now that you've wrapped The Voice and its tour, have you finally gotten any time for a break?
You know, I think that there was a period when we were on tour that I forced myself to take a break. When we were in Chicago, there was this Monday in Chicago where I did my best to not answer emails, not answer the phone. I even tried not to tweet but that's pretty impossible for me.
The Sunday after the tour ended in New York City, I spent the day in bed until like two o'clock and spent the day with friends. Most days, I'm still finding that there's lots of stuff to be done - songs to be written or to promote, emails to answer.
I saw the opening night of the tour in Los Angeles and you guys were fantastic. What was the rest of the tour like for you? Any particular highlights?
Singing "Beautiful" with Beverly [McClellan] in NYC was a real highlight for me. Sharing that moment with her during her set. Just having a real connection [with her] throughout the entire process - the show and the tour - and realizing this was going to be our last time to sing together for awhile. Singing with her every night was special, but particularly that night.
Since then, what's coming next for you? I hear there's a new album in the works.
I've been writing since I was on the show - really focusing on writing. The idea is to start shaping these songs together in rehearsals and obviously the live shows we're doing here in Texas. (For tour dates, see the end of this interview.) Once we're done with that, in November, to try to get into the studio at the end of November and flesh the majority of them out. Have one or two ready to go when season two [of The Voice] kicks off.
It's funny that you mention season two because auditions are underway. I'll be at the one in Los Angeles myself. Are you keeping an eye on season two?
I went to the auditions in Houston this week to surprise everybody. I ended up actually trying my best to tell them all, "You're probably not gonna make it." The bar is really, really high. They've seen 10,000 people in New York alone for season two. They have a real tough job to do.
You had a lot of courage performing Cee Lo's "Forget You" as your blind audition song. I'm curious - what made you pick that?
It just felt like, out of the songs that we were given, that was the one I most identified with.
You gave so many great performances. I'm partial to your rendition of Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me." Do you have a favorite?
I think that may have been my favorite. I didn't get to sing it on tour, but I guess I could've done that instead of [the Kings of Leon song] "Sex on Fire." "Sex on Fire" is probably more recognizable to middle America.
Let's talk about beyond the music. All the artists on the show weren't just talented individuals, they were also great people. How was it spending time with all of them behind the scenes? Anyone you want to give a shout-out to?
It was great. People that I miss the most are the ones that went home the soonest. People that you never really even got to see from like blind auditions. [Team Adam quarterfinalist] Jeff Jenkins was my roommate; I miss him a lot. He's a lot of fun to hang out with. Hopefully they'll find another great group of people for season two.
Most remarkably, it was such an accepting group; no one cared about gender, race, age or sexual orientation. You're an example of that - you don't look the part of a rock star but you certainly have the talent. Has people's perception of you changed since the show?
I think so. I think that there's definitely a group of people from my hometown that didn't quite realize just what I was capable of when given the resources. I mean, a million dollars worth of production and lighting and music and pyrotechnics. When you have that kind of stage to perform on, it's really apparent whether you can do it or you can't. It's a do or die situation.
I think there's also a large group of people who knew all along. I was really grateful for those people, because they were the people who encouraged me to begin with.
And you've kept such a great relationship with your fans, both new and existing, through the whole journey.
I think that is the key to my personal level of what I define as happiness, is my relationships with the people that make it all go round. You're just as much a part of that, whether it's the press, the fans, the sound guy. You have to get to know those people.
We miss people like you that were so into what we were doing. What we did, besides set the bar high, was say, "Anyone can do this." People like you are identifying with us along the way.
My thanks to Nakia for this interview! If you're in Texas, don't miss him on his upcoming tour dates:
August 27: Austin, TX (Batfest)
August 28: Austin, TX (Annual Concert for Bangladesh Tribute)
September 3: San Antonio, TX (Luna Live)
September 24: Galveston, TX (Shrimp Fest)
September 25: Austin, TX (Pecan Street Festival)
October 4: Austin, TX (HAAM Benefit, Antone's)
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