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Nakia & Charlie Cotton Collaborate on 'It's Never Too Late'

The song will be available for purchase on Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music this Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. 

Nakia & Charlie Cotton Collaborate on 'It's Never Too Late'

Austin fan favorite and passionate music advocate Nakia and eight-year-old Charlie Cotton are proud to exclusively premiere their new single, "It's Never Too Late" with American Songwriter today, which can be seen below. The song will be available for purchase on Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music this Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Nakia and Charlie are donating at least 50% of their Bandcamp sales to Austin-based mental health nonprofit, The SIMS Foundation. To celebrate the song's release, they are partnering with SIMS and will be making an announcement soon for a virtual event inspired by the themes of empathy, love and kindness found in the song.

"Despite the simplistic thematic message, Nakia skillfully crafts a compelling work which feels poignantly fitting for the state of the world, which desperately needs the opportunity for a complete reset," said American Songwriter. "Nakia was able to deliver a song which became more relevant than he ever could have imagined, and coupled with the simplistic yet powerful message of his co-writer, Charlie, the song boasts a substantial amount of veracity, an essential element lacking in today's world."

This emotional and inspiring song was Nakia's response to reading a heartfelt post that his dear friend, actress and founding member of The Trishas Savannah Welch made to her Facebook and Instagram pages. Savannah wrote about her young son Charlie telling her, "It's never too late for things to get better for anyone. It's never too late to start over and try again."

Three and a half years prior, Savannah was struck by a runaway car at a farmer's market, which resulted in the loss of her right leg, and a separation with Charlie's father followed shortly after. She and Charlie are no strangers to the struggle of starting over and trying again. They had made a tight team, and mastered the art of looking at the bright side. Savannah's coined the motto "Gratitude is My Painkiller." When faced with uncertainty or tragedy, she tried to instill in Charlie that you can truly only inform the present moment and practice doing that with gratitude, hope and a healthy sense of humor. His profound reminder to his mom came on an especially poignant day, just weeks after she'd managed to close on their very first home. They had no idea that this spirit of resiliency would be a message that would touch a dear friend across town, and carry them through the global pandemic that swept the world just weeks later.

"This entire experience has been really special for me because it reconnected me to that core creative part of myself I first discovered when I was Charlie's age," said Nakia. "Also, this song would've never happened had it not been for the relationship Savannah and Charlie have together. Charlie trusts his mother enough to tell her the truth about how he feels at any given moment. That's powerful. I hope one of the things folks take away from this song is how important it is for us all to practice empathy, kindness and love. Even if we get off track. It's never too late to start over and try again."

After Nakia had finished a rough demo of the first half of the song, he called up Savannah and Charlie, told them about the song and played them the demo. They loved it, so Nakia invited Charlie to help finish writing the song together. Savannah jumped at the opportunity to use this writing exercise as a homeschool lesson, and Charlie was inspired and honored to be recognized in this way by Nakia. They had a couple conversations about the content of the song and, while doing the dishes, Charlie shared what he felt the bridge should talk about. Nakia took those notes to the piano and called back a couple hours later with what is now Charlie's first co-write.

"Why I said that was because I love making people happy and it really also hurts my heart to see people crying or see somebody sad - anytime I feel sad I tell myself it's okay to start over from that moment on... so I guess my mind is just really really grateful to have a heart like this." said Charlie Cotton. "It felt good when Nakia reached out and wanted my help to finish the song. Almost half my family is, you know, musicians, so I just feel like I should be a part of it, and then now it's a total song and I'm just really proud of my family being musicians and songwriters... and now I get to be one [laughs]."

"I realize I'm biased, but Charlie has been spouting song lyrics since he could string words together," said Charlie's mom, Savannah Welch. "Funny, profound, altruistic ... usually all three ... and those who listen carefully know this about him. He's not unlike most kids in this sense, and I've made a focused effort to preserve that. We choose to believe that anyone in their purest state is compassionate and empathic, and therein lies resilience that transcends any ego-driven status. 2020 both challenged and reaffirmed this hope in humanity, and the creation of this sweet song is a perfect symbol of that for us. Right when we were trying to accept the sobering reality of the pandemic, Nakia shone a ray of light into our home that I'll forever be grateful for. It gave Charlie a lot of confidence and validation. The way Nakia treated Charlie as an equal, and with such encouragement, it'll no doubt make a lasting impact on him. I feel truly blessed to have gotten a front row seat on this collaboration, start to finish. And like my brother, Dustin, said... We're just glad somebody in this family is getting some songs written - ha!"

"I want to say to other kids, if you're scared or if you have stage fright or any of that, just let love take over, let love just let you sing what you want to sing to all the people that want to hear your song and if you're scared just always know that Spirit and Love is right by your side to help you," said Charlie. "I think everyone should be encouraged, like if you have important things to say but you just don't know how to say it sometimes maybe you can just write it into a song to share it with people."

Listen to the new single here.

Photo Credit: Todd V. Wolfson


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