As the final hour before the submission deadline was counting down, Nakia uploaded his submission to this year’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest, “Hold My Head Up High.” The original song was written, performed, recorded, and produced by Nakia and features backing vocals by Austin choir, Panoramic Voices led by Brent Baldwin. The video was conceptualized, produced, directed, and edited by Nakia with Wesley Crow and Gary Feist acting as videographers. Shot on location at the historic Austin Scottish Rite Theatre, the video features 100+ year old beautiful and mysterious hand-painted backdrops.
“The song came to me really quickly. I knocked out a demo and sat on it for a few days. I shared it with some close friends and fellow songwriters who really loved it. I was planning on taking it into the studio and fleshing it out more but just before SXSW I noticed the Tiny Desk contest was in full swing and the deadline was approaching. I called up my friend Wesley, told him my ideas, then I called Brent to see if the choir would be down to sing with me. After those pieces were in place I was fortunate to get this amazing venue to shoot in and then I called Gary to help film it. We knocked out the shoot in 3.5 hours but the editing took me about 6 to finish.”
Judging is now underway in this year’s Tiny Desk contest. Winners will be announced in late April. Until then, watch, comment on, and share the video below.