Nakia returns to DeKalb for Boom Days performance!
September 14, 2017
Southern Torch (3918 articles)

Nakia returns to DeKalb for Boom Days performance!

PHOTO: DeKalb County native Nakia and The Blues Grifters, will be performing on the main stage at 3:30 pm at Fort Payne’s Boom Days. (Contributed Photo |Reuben Atkins)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — At this weekend’s Boom Days Festival in Fort Payne, a DeKalb native who has travelled far and wide playing his music will grace the main stage.

Nakia and The Blues Grifters will be playing at 3:30 pm on Saturday. When asked about the genre of music they’ll be performing, Nakia related that they’ll be performing the blues.

According to Nakia, the Blues Grifters are, “straight up, old school blues,” he said. “This is real live blues. It’s about as good as it gets.” 

“This is definitely not a Nakia solo show where I play all my originals and my songs from ‘The Voice,'” he explained. “This is real live blues and it’s the way it’s mean to be.”

When asked how the performance came about, Nakia said, “This is something that my dear friend and mentor from High School, Russell Gulley, who has been with the Big Wills Arts Council since the beginning, has been trying to make happen since I was on, ‘The Voice.’”

“They kept trying and trying, and finally they connected with our agency and put it together. It’s something they’ve been trying to do for at least four years,” explained Nakia.

“I feel really excited about being able to come back to Fort Payne to perform. It’s funny to me to even think that I’ve been doing this as long as I have and I’ve never performed there. The last time I had a real concert there was 2001, when I was playing solo piano,” he said.

“For me it’s a really big deal. The excitement I’ve seen on social media from people in Fort Payne and DeKalb County for us to come and play…. We’ve got a lot of messages and comments on Facebook. I’m really looking forward to it,” said Nakia.

Nakia has just recently returned from a 5 show tour of Spain. “Which was absolutely stunning,” said Nakia.

After his Boom Days performance, Nakia and the Blues Grifters will be finishing their album. For the new album, they aren’t releasing it the standard way; they are releasing each track individually over the course of several months and then combining the releases for one vinyl album.

Nakia performing on the first season of NBC’s “The Voice.” (Photo from

Nakia made it as a top 8 finalist on the first season of “The Voice,” and was able to tour the country with the other contestants. He got his start right here in DeKalb, and while other locals were on the show, Nakia was the only one to make it to the top 8.

Nakia’s musical roots start right here in DeKalb. When asked if anything in DeKalb County helped inspire his musical talent, he said, “The thing that really inspired me the most was my best friend, Stuart Douglas.”

“I knew Stuart when I worked at a record store in Fort Payne that doesn’t exist anymore. Stuart was the first person I knew with their own recording studio,” Nakia said. “He taught me how to multi-track and record my own music.”

When asked if he had any advice for aspiring artists in the area, he said, “The best thing you can do is stay true to your self; keep trucking along. It’s not going to happen over night.”

For more information on Nakia and the Blues Grifters, check out his website at:

Also, find him on Facebook at and Twitter at 

For the Full 2017 Boom Days Lineup and events, click here.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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