POSTED ON JUNE 14, 2021 BY LONG
From performing to advocating, today’s Mid-Week Intermission comes from our friend Nakia Reynoso. Not only is Nakia a creator — you might recognize his voice form our Good Vibes Only series or seen him on NBC’s “The Voice” — but he’s also a mover and shaker among Austin’s music community. Read on for more about his journey to the stage and the good work he and Austin Texas Musicians have done for this town.
I’m a working musician in Austin and the Board President of Austin Texas Musicians’ 501c4 nonprofit. We advocate for musicians on city, state, and federal policy, and work to serve musicians’ most basic needs. Our team is made up of musicians working for musicians, and we’re grateful to bring voices from all across our community to the table.
In the short time that Austin Texas Musicians has been in existence, we’ve been instrumental in getting the Live Music Fund, Austin’s first-ever sustainable public funding for music, on the table. As well, we rallied musicians to bring $5 Million in aid to Austin’s music venues until the lights came back on.
Our Musicians Advisory Panel members have registered over 700 voters in Travis County, brought issues of equity for all diverse musicians forward, and are now engaged in projects surrounding corporate relations, affordable housing, and life insurance/retirement plans for musicians. The work we are doing is truly groundbreaking stuff, and I’m humbled to serve alongside Board Members Sonya Jevette and Executive Director Pat Buchta.
I moved to Austin almost twenty years ago to begin my musical career and, besides marrying my wonderful husband Robert, this is the best decision I’ve ever made. In 2011 I was honored to be chosen to compete in the first season of NBC’s “The Voice,” when CeeLo Green turned his chair around in response to my bold cover of his hit song “Forget You.”
This proved to be a pivotal moment in my career, paving the way for many musical highlights to come.
And just as importantly, it opened me up to a world of music advocacy, as I served as the Chair of Austin’s Music Commission, a HAAM Advisory Board member, and a key figure in the creation of the 2015 Austin Music Census. Most recently, I was honored to be chosen as 2021 Texas Chapter Governor for the Recording Academy/Grammys.
It may seem like I”m all over the map with these projects and commitments, but in reality, I love being a homebody with my husband Robert and our big beautiful Bouvier De Flandres, Baker.
At the beginning and end of the day, I’m an artist and I have to create. In addition to my acting and soundtrack work with three award-winning digital series, I was honored to partner with Savannah Welch’s 9-year-old son, Charlie, this year in creating “It’s Never Too Late,” an inspiring song about the importance of love, kindness, and mental health. Portions of the sales of the single via my Bandcamp page benefits our friends at the SIMS Foundation. I even taught myself how to animate the lovely Ben Wu illustrations for lyric video!
One of the things I really love about the Long Center is their commitment to serving the community at large, and the way in which they’ve leaned into booking more diverse talent that represents Austin’s rich musical heritage. It was an easy and emphatic “YES!” for me when the LC approached me to be the voice of their Good Vibes Only concert series, and I’m excited to see what exciting things lay ahead as we work together to create culture that serves all of Austin. A great way to check out how the Long Center is shining a light on local musicians is their outdoor concert series, The Drop-In, happening every Thursday this summer. Keep your eyes open to find out when I’ll be playing the series soon!