Nakia | Playing The Cards

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Rock: Roots Rock Urban/R&B: Soul Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Playing The Cards

by Nakia

Austin-based entertainer Nakia’s debut EP, “Playing the Cards,” stacks the deck with an infusion of songs rooted in old-school soul, the Allman-Skynyrd school of rock and his Southern Baptist-church-choir upbringing. Formerly a member of "The Small Stars"
Genre: Rock: Roots Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Down In A Pinch
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3:15 $0.99
2. Broken Spoke
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4:12 $0.99
3. Making It Up To My Baby
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4:13 $0.99
4. Playing The Cards
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3:51 $0.99
5. Texas Crescent Moon
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4:09 $0.99
6. That's The Way God Planned It
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4:11 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
One of the highlights of last year’s revered Austin City Limits Music festival happened when Sharon Jones pulled a young man named Nakia onstage for an impromptu duet. Jones quickly discovered what the cheering crowd already knew – he was one of Austin’s brightest new stars. In fact, Nakia “brought the crowd to its feet,” with his own set the next day the Austin Chronicle reported. “He’s a soul man all the way,” the paper raved. The next time Jones made an appearance in Texas, it is no surprise who she asked to come sing with her.

And all it takes is a listen to his debut album Water to Wine (out April 7) to understand why, as Nakia (pronounced nuh-kee-yah) is “the real deal,” Singer & Musician magazine proclaims. Recorded with producer and guitarist Mac McNabb, the album summons the joyous rhythms of southern-fried brown-eyed soul; buoyed by his band, The Southern Cousins --and his back-up singers The Fresh Up Girls.

Along with his potent voice, Nakia shows off his writing by renewing the Stax/Volt spirit with “On The Bus” complete with a “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” whistle part, and a groove as deep and wide as the Mississippi. He struts on “Choose Your Poison” -- and testifies like a true believer on the title track and “All Over You.”

Water to Wine also includes songs written by and with Michael Fracasso, one of Austin’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters, as well as a number co-written by the Austin hit country songwriter Monte Warden — two of Nakia’s many supportive peers within the city’s music scene. Together, they take listeners on a grand and scenic tour of Southern soul and R&B from the church (“Safe Inside”) to the street (“There Goes The Neighborhood”) and to the bayou (“Elizabeth Lee”.)

Growing up in the only biracial family in a small northern Alabama town, the son of a Hispanic father and mother of Irish stock, Nakia teethed on a variety of music from his family and began singing at the age of 5, and never stopped. He set out on a journey of jobs and cities, winding thru the music business and tech world, but always kept singing and performing as his priority.

Nakia first hit the stage in Austin as a highlight of Miles Zuniga’s (of Fastball) campy revue side-project, The Small Stars. Soon, Nakia & His Southern Cousins band and began pulling in sell-out crowds at residencies in successive Austin clubs. In early 2007, he released an EP, Playing The Cards, winning play on KGSR -- and was hailed in Performing Songwriter as “a striking set of Texas-bred rhythm ‘n’ blues” thanks to his “bold, brassy presence.”

Now, on his national debut, Nakia echoes the finest soul voices in American roots music. Water to Wine is suffused with the potency of a man determined that his deep love for singing be heard, and to keep bringing crowds to their feet all over the country. Nakia will be touring nationally in the spring, with appearances at SXSW and other festivals.


to write a review

Lisa Pavlides

This is especially FUN!
Can't wait to get to Austin and hear 'em live!

Atlantis Music Conference 2007 Listening Committee

"Nakia will hook you from the first listen. With upbeat, bold sounds to energizing lyrics; Nakia may not be a name you have heard of before, but after a few minutes, it makes you wonder why you haven't."

Loris Lowe - Music Director/KLBJ-FM - Austin, TX

One spin generated requests for days!
"It only took one listen for me to rank Nakia in the upper echelons of Austin vocalists! And he's got a solid group of veteran musicians to back him up. When I played "Down in a Pinch," I got an immediate response from listeners. One spin generated requests for days! So I had to play it some more."