He stands center stage, his heart pounding as he awaits the results, clutching the hands of his fellow teammates. But he continues to smile. Brian Nhira has stood on this stage many times before, but this time is different. This time, the results are live and America will determine his future.
Nhira’s journey to “The Voice” really began in 2012. Gospel singer Anthony Evans had been a part of a fundraiser at the Mabee Center and was driving back to the airport when he was given Nhira’s EP on a whim. Days later Nhira got a voice mail from Evans encouraging him to audition for the next season of “The Voice.”
“Hey Brian, this is Anthony,” Nhira recalls the voice mail saying. “Just wanted you to know I am helping out with the casting of season two of ‘The Voice’ and we would love for you to audition.”
Nhira sent in a video of his audition and Evans invited him to a private audition in Nashville a few weeks later.
“So I showed my brother [the email] and we drove through the night,” Nhira said.
Unfortunately, Nhira didn’t make it past the first audition in 2012, but he remained hopeful.
“I really believed, and to this day, obviously circumstances can prove me right that it was the Lord who was giving me kind of a foretaste at the time,” Nhira said. “But I needed to finish what I had started here at ORU.”
Fast forward to 2015. Nhira is sitting at dinner with family and friends. He had been out of college for over
a year spending time focused on his music when his friend’s mom looks at Nhira and tells him “you need to audition for ‘The Voice.’”
“In my heart and in my mind I am resigned to the fact that ‘The Voice’ even exists,” Nhira said. “I’m thinking this isn’t the path the Lord has for me to take. I just laugh it off because she doesn’t know I had already been through that process.”
Less than two minutes later, Nhira checks his phone and has an email waiting for him. It was from casting of “The Voice” inviting him to a private audition in Oklahoma City.
Once again, Nhira went to the audition and got a callback to go to Los Angeles for executive auditions in August. The blind auditions took place in October, and the rest is history.
In March, Nhira’s blind audition finally aired on NBC’s 10th season of “The Voice.” His rendition of Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” had the judges’ chairs spinning around on his last note, eventually snagging him a spot on Team Pharrell.
The first battle round came just two weeks after the blind auditions. Nhira teamed up with fellow Team Pharrell member Abby Celso and the pair brought a new meaning to sweetness in their cover of the “Maroon 5” hit “Sugar.”
Adam Levine quickly stole Nhira for his own team after Williams chose to save Celso.
Levine began coaching Nhira for the knockout rounds and had judges standing to their feet after his cover of Bruno Mars’ hit record “Grenade.”
Nhira stands center stage once more. He holds the hands of his fellow remaining teammates. The voice
of Carson Daly announces, “Owen Danoff.” Nhira exhales.
He went home during the live playoffs, but not without a fight and not without learning along the way.
“It was amazing to see all of the support of everyone throughout this process. It was almost like a mini boot camp,” Nhira said. “It certainly prepared me for everything, [and] I’m so thankful. So I don’t really feel like I lost, I feel like I won because I learned so much. It was incredible.”
Nhira is grateful for the insight he received from his participation on Team Pharrell and Team Adam.
“From Pharrell I learned how to embody a song,” Nhira said. “And from Adam, I learned how to strengthen yourself through that song.”
The next step for Nhira is to further pursue his career as a solo artist. He continues to promote his debut album “Hope’s Stand” and use his experiences to develop as a musician.
“This is a platform to show the world my gift, and not only a platform but a trampoline to take us to that next level,” Nhira said. “Every person in any career always has something that takes them to that next level. And I feel like this [experience] is going to give us [Christians] a foot in the door, into the music industry.”
Nhira proclaims “the best is yet to come,” and with his zeal for music and passion to reach his generation, he is well on his way.
“I never thought I would do anything else,” Nhira said. “I knew in my heart I wanted to do music and I wanted to bring hope to people and inspire their dreams.”
Story by Madison McDaniel, Courtesy Photo