“The Voice” star Nakia: How the Internet changed my life

The burly bluesman is turning to his online fanbase to help fund his new album. 


Published Nov 8, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:49 am CDT

Last year, Nakia tweeted his way to the semifinals on NBC’s The Voice, and he hasn’t stopped since. Following an appearance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the burly bluesman is turning to his online fanbase to help fund his new album. He’s also set to join his former coach Cee Lo Green on his upcoming Christmas special, Cee Lo’s Magic Moment, alongside the Muppets and Rod StewartWith the latest season of The Voice heating up, Nakia told the Daily Dot how the Internet changed his life.  

I’ve always been a bit of a geek. I had a Commodore 64 in elementary school. I was the computer lab assistant in high school, and when I got to college, the Internet was just beginning to pave its way into the information superhighway it is today. Call me nostalgic, but I still have my first email account that I created back then, even though it’s riddled with spam and I rarely check it.

I tried just about every Internet fad you can think of. I applied for and got jobs on Monster.com, bid on and won Bob’s Big Boy memorabilia on eBay auctions, and was a charter member of MP3.com, where I posted demos that I’m hoping you never find. But how the Internet truly changed my life is actually a love story.

You see, I met my partner of 10 years on an Internet personals site. I was heading to Austin to attend my first SXSW Music Festival and decided I would place an ad for a date. I was looking for someone to show me Austin. A local guy, who wanted to catch some showcases and have some fun. I was checking my replies via my fancy new cell phone that had Internet access when I got a reply from a handsome big guy named Robert. We chatted a bit online and then over the phone before we agreed to meet in person. Robert picked me up from the annual Yard Dog Art Gallery SXSW party that Spin magazine and Schuba’s was hosting. It was love at first sight. We’ve been together ever since.

Now, that might not seem life changing, but let’s put it in perspective. Robert isn’t just my boyfriend. He quickly became my biggest fan, supporting me both emotionally and financially, while encouraging me to follow my dreams of being a full-time musician.

Had I never met Robert on that site, I would have went back to Chicago to my record label internship and my little gigs playing at piano bars, and never known what it was like to be a musician in Austin. It was Robert who shot the videos that I posted to YouTube. A Hollywood casting agent discovered me watching one of those videos when searching for “best singer in Austin.” That agent invited me to audition for a then unknown show called, The Voice where I would go on to be coached and mentored by Cee Lo Green and be seen by millions of people all over the world.

I really have the Internet to thank for bringing us together to make any of that happen in the first place!

Follow Nakia on Twitter  and Tumblr .

Photo of Nakia on The Voice courtesy of NBC

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*First Published: Nov 8, 2012, 12:00 pm CST