Nikki Nahra

Nikki Nahra

 Naples, Florida, USA
BandPopAdult Contemporary

I write songs about life, love, fears, following God, and just about everything in-between. Although varied in stylistic expression, my favorite presentation is acoustic folk-rock.

Biography

American Lebanese, bicentennial born and bred in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Nikki's first real life dream at age seven was to be conductress of an orchestra. Not aiming quite that aristocratically high she learned to love the art of music through the likes of then-rising U2, Sting, Sarah McLachlan and especially guitar driven influences the Indigo Girls. Raised in the Christian church, from maronite catholic to protestant, she garnered a deep appreciation for classical, sacred and spiritual musics which would bring one closer to an experience of God, as well being shaped early on by the voices of Amy Grant, Rich Mullins and Olivia Newton-John, little-Nikki's first and favorite live performer as seen from the greens of Wolf Trap theater in Virginia.

Searching for her own revelation of truth however and shooting out to St. Louis, Missouri to attend Washington University, Nikki found what she was looking for in the life and music of Keith Green and later, prophetic-style pioneers JoAnne McFatter, David Ruis, Kevin Prosch and Morning Star as well as more prominent Phil Keaggy, Delirious, Darlene Zschech of Hillsong Music Australia and Misty Edwards and team at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, all still heavy influences. Early Caedmon's Call is worth a mention, for their mid-nineties, refreshing acoustic canvases.

Today, after over a decade of pursuing health and reality Nikki is returning to the States from studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. From her days in St. Louis, being honored to participate in the compilation cd entitled, 'SUITE 16', a local collection showcasing women singer-songwriters, to the recording of her EP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with long-time friends and producers at Skywork, Nikki's repertoire of over 200 original songs has matured over 14 years into a haberdashery of poetry, complexity, philosophy and simply beautiful love songs. Though prolific as a writer her intense spiritual focus has closeted most of her potential, hence the title of her home grown EP, OUT OF THE SHADOWS.

You will find Nikki's strengths to be her lyrical substance which is both comforting and costly, followed by strong, emotive, melodic interpretation as perhaps most clearly evidenced in her hallmark local-radio debut, 'The Lines Round Your Eyes,' written as a love song for her dear friend and mentor, Anni. Nikki's writing begs more instrumentation to articulate her range of emotional intentions, but her stage presence can stand the rawest of venues.

Laughing, crying, uplifting or lullabying, Nikki Nahra will cause you to stop, cause you to feel, cause you to think, and cause you to rest...if you open your heart and give her a chance.

Lyrics

Yes again

Written By: Nikki Nahra

I'm sayin' "yes" again

Because I wanna be able to love with all your purity
And I wanna be able to love with no idolatry
And I wanna be able to give with nothing hindering
You can take me to the place where they won't see me more than you

I'm sayin yes again
I'm still with you my friend
I'm sayin yes

I know that you wanna take me
To the winery
But first you have to bring me
Through the firey flames
Oh go ahead and break me
Fuse your pottery
So from this clay of you they'll taste

Yes again
I'm still with you my friend
I'm sayin yes

I admit there's something sick and wrong inside of me
I agree there's part of me that wants them to depend on me
But I deny that lie that cries
Cause what I really choose
Is to let you castrate that thing if it won't be removed

Sometimes you wait for me to bless your process
Before you do your thing so hear me sayin this
Just in case you're wondering yes you have consent
As well as a strong request Lord
Don't stop now I wanna be worthy a friend somehow

Yes again

Smiles Again

Written By: Nikki Nahra

You’ve brought me to smiles again
You have that way with me
The only one who would dare
The only one who could succeed

You’ve brought me to smiles again
You have that way with me
You take from me my cares
You make them disappear

You’ve brought me to smiles again
You have your way with me
You open up my heart
You are my light to see

You bring me to smiles again
You have that way, I see
You take this tender lamb
You cover what you see

You’ll bring me to smiles again
The day I cannot see
You always hold me near
I am your pottery

You’ve brought me to smiles again
You make a way with me
You are the perfect love
Who always sets me free

Naomi

Written By: Nikki Nahra

There’s no one I’ve found or seen in all the world over
Who I’d rather partner with
Who I’d trust to impact me towards my goal of Him
More than you

There’s no one whose heart I’ve seen in all its bends and scars
That I’d rather have mine challenged by
Both to honor and be seen and be held standard beside
More than yours

There’s no one I’ve found in seasons or changes
Who’s given me reason to hope
In long days of promise in sharing together in rest
More than you

There’s no one I’ve found more than you, my friend
Who I hold as dear of a privilege to be near

I’ve never had somebody draw so much out of me
Never been so motivated by love
Never been so motivated to love

All kinds of people make all kinds of words:
Gestures and wishes and strivings and tryings to obtain

But what you said once is what I hold fast:
“I know that God gave you to me”

(You are my Naomi)

I know that God gave you to me

I know you are my Naomi

Beautiful Savior

Written By: Nikki Nahra

Beautiful savior
You never change
Always protecting
Your love remains

Wonderful savior
You have no change
Always my best friend
Every day

And now we draw near
To the shepherd of our souls
With hearts lifted high
And clean hands

Glorious savior
Always amaze
Ever my keeper
All through my day

Angel from Heaven
Come-down like Rain
Found with the people
Hands in the clay

And now we draw near
To the shepherd of our souls
With hearts lifted high
And clean hands O Lord

You never change
Always the same

Angel from Heaven
You come down like Rain
Wreak of the sheepfold
I love your ways

Lines Round Your Eyes (for Anni)

Written By: Nikki Nahra

I stare at your face not present to mine
A safe time to look unnoticed
Surprisingly pleased a feature to find
Which captivates all my attention
Cannot I express nor communicate
The warmness and deepness of this searching gaze

Tapped into a confidence I’m not used to
I find a great courage to wander into
The Place of discovery reserved for the sons
And daughters of freedom security’s fun
In curiously studying that which does bless
For no silly reason but that I confess

I’m smitten by softness the sweetness and trace
Of beautiful touches of care on your face
Full of kind meaning with no harsh disguise
I’m taken away by the lines round your eyes

Still free from all fear or even concern
About how my now-gazing might seem
Empowered to stay in that place of nourishment
My boldness fueled by intrigue
What jewel do I find, what mystery revealed
What treasure unearthed in this sight
What ministry made, what loving conveyed
What truth in the lines round your eyes

I’m smitten by softness, the sweetness and trace
Of beautiful touches of care on your face
Full of kind meaning, with no harsh disguise
I’m taken away by the lines round your eyes

Comfort, blessing, soothing input
Like sunrays that I receive when I just look
I’m warmed by the contact, the connective place
Like absorbing heat so I absorb from your face

The focus yes unchanged and not new
I lock on the thing which for me brings breakthrough

And now pondering just how covert I really was
Or did you just know I’d eventually come
To the place of calm interest in knowing the nest
More closely where your sweet love brings me to rest
Yes
Whatever the case, I’m taking my time
Examining all in the lines round your eyes

Peter's Pride

Written By: Nikki Nahra

Is this how we don't judge?
Is this why we love?
Is prophecy a different kind of key
Now that we have Holy Spirit's ministry?

No better than Peter was I
Three times
After I confidently spoke,
"My love won't die"

And Peter's pride falls aside
As I abide under your light
There's nothing that I can see
Until I fall at your feet

As soon as I agree inside,
"I was wrong" and do not hide
You bathe me in loving light

And Peter's pride falls aside
As I abide under your light
There's nothing that I can see
Unless I fall...

Jesus said, "don't judge"
Now I know why
Now I again can rest in peace
Asleep

I kept saying, "I'll not wait all day"
Well, humility waits
As long as it takes

Peter's pride falls aside
I abide under your light
Nothing else I can see
Til I fall, I must fall,
Until I fall at your feet

Sunlight In Your Hair

Written By: Nikki Nahra

Lest I freak you out I’ll save this for later
Maybe when I’m already gone
Or soon to be there
I just began to mourn the loss of
You in my daily life when
I came to your desk after hours, long after hours

To get my bags, leave a short note
It’s a late night and time to go
Oh I paused at the cards on your bulletin
Two of four from me, flanking either end, easily seen
Then I glanced up at your boys‘ histories
Now I’m gazing at what I see
Then the tears started flowing and the sobs start to squeek
Saving for last, your photo with the whole family

And sunlight in your hair.

Now that we have talked through what I wrote down
And you understand what I found
When I found this Jewel
I say, let the stops come out to play
Because I left discretion at bay
When I decided to stand there…

Where I land my final thought-piece
And a best-for-last, saved stare
For my kindest kind of soft brow
At the sunlight in your hair

And a silhouette of gracefulness
Hmm…hmm
And I cannot help but find the eyes
Hmm…hmm
That silhouette of gracefulness
With a beauty just like you
Yes I cannot help but find the eyes
That reveal you
And the evidence of your labor
All around, like flairs
Yes they have the same smile in their eyes
And the sunlight in their hair
Just like the sunlight in your hair.

Sky Is All I See

Written By: Nikki Nahra

I'm goin' back to where the sky is all I see
And it's only you and me
Doesn't matter what they see
Doesn't matter what they say

Getting closer to your heart
Getting back to where we started
And all the trappings are released
All that matters is you're pleased

Gonna' give it all another try
See what comes out from inside
Judges rise like morning dew
Another judge, another mood

But it's the heart
It's the heart I'm wearing free
You say my heart
You say it's all that you are seeking

And many critics' voices sound
Not a problem being found
Gotta package what you see
Instead of real intimacy

But it's the heart
It's the heart I'm wearing free
You say my heart
You say it's all that you are seeking

And when the lights go down
And no one's found
It's you I seek
It's you with me
When all is done
And scales weighed out
You see
Through me

I'm going back to the place where we began
Simple love and honest friends
Where I'm following your lead
And I don't have any need

Cause it's the heart
It's the heart I'm wearing free
You say my heart
You say it's all that you are seeking

I'm free, free indeed

Follow

Written By: Nikki Nahra

Some days I'm just not alone, what do you think?
The way that my life just flows, it's a new thing
And yes I have had my times of frustration
But it's not too late to wise up

I'm looking around the bend, I see Jesus
I'm not caught up in the wind
Of circumstances or where I am going

Ever had a dream so big that it consumed you?
You wake you eat you sleep you dig, but it eludes you.
I was sittin' by myself, anticipating
Until you came into my life, so I stopped waitin'

I'm looking around the bend, I see Jesus
I'm not caught up in the wind
Of circumstances or where I am going
Somewhere is where I have been in your presence
It's so nice just to be your friend, and the
Pleasure's in all of the knowin'

Lookin' back on all the time that I wasted
All the fun and all the wine

Cause I'm happy to walk with you arm in arm, Jesus
Happy to follow wherever you go
I don't have to know the plan
This time your presence will go

I'm looking around the bend, I see Jesus
It's so nice just to be your friend

Lookin' back on all the time that I've wasted
But who would wanna' wait to die?

All Of My Friends

Written By: Nikki Nahra

I love all of my friends
Nothing can take me away from them
I love all of my friends
Nothing can take me away from them

Always something 'round the corner to hold me back
Always something ready, poised, to keep me from being true
Always something to distract me from my cause
But turn on the light
You're in my sight
and I won't be easily moved

I'm setting out my course
And the whole world will notice its source

I love all of my friends
Nothing can take me away from them

Something 'bout a loyal friend that makes men cry
Yeah there's something 'bout a heart of love that simply
Won't be denied
Always something to attack a faithful bond
But faith is a light
That shines in the night
And patience will heal like a salve

I'm setting out my course
And the whole world will notice its source

I love all of my friends
Nothing can take me away from them

Everybody singin'

Walk With A Limp

Written By: Nikki Nahra

So the key is, walk with a limp
Because Jacob, if you're really wrestling with God
Then boy, you better have some proof of it
Bottom line, I really do identify
With giving you my life

This is my devotion, this is my pledge
To live for you, to live instead
Of serving death, the law or myself
So help me God

You bring me to my knees
I give to you this offering
My commitment is a poor substitute
I need you
I need you

So pull out the mats
Show me what you got
I'm not giving in til your favor I got
I've tried crossing here at this river before
This time I want more
Let's settle this score

Now forever I'll walk with a limp
The cost was my sin, the fool and his pride
Some say, "It's caused God touched her hip"
But I'm leaning on you
I'm leaning on you
I'm leaning on you

This is my devotion, this is my pledge
To live for you, to live instead
Of serving death, the law or myself
So help me God

Champion

Written By: Nikki Nahra

Wakin' up it feels like hope this mornin'
Later on I think there's hope today
Somethin' happened on the way to morrow
Like a brand new day

It's like the summer after years'-long winter
Like the clouds' part after summer rain
Now I'm left with all the grace of springtime
It's time to dance again

And all the grief I leave behind me in the midnight
When the dawn comes there's no more room for fear and doubt
When I look ahead, I think I can begin now
To take the land you promised with your mouth

Getting started feels like Sunday morning
Hope arisin' as I meet the day
Lookin' forward to all of the smiling
It's gonna' be a day

And all the grief I leave behind me in the midnight
When the dawn comes there's no more room for fear and doubt
When I look ahead, I think I can begin now
To take the land you promised with your mouth

Light is all the light I need to live
And your light is shining bright
I think I'll live
Somewhere in the night you made it right
It's gonna' be different this time

Lookin' up I feel my face a-warmin'
Lookin' forward I see grass and play
Somethin' broke off me while I was sleepin'
Now I'm wide awake
Somethin' beautiful in me is risin'
Somethin' powerful I can't explain
Like a Champion on the horizon
Lending me his strength

And all the grief I leave behind me in the midnight
When the dawn comes there's no more room for fear and doubt
When I look ahead, I think I can begin now
To take the land you promised with your mouth

Another Way

Written By: Nikki Nahra

(For the self-deceased Dave-Allen)

I know loneliness, I know pain
I also know there's another way
I know fear, I know despair
I know it doesn't have to be that way

I know anger, I know rage
I know the feeling when it doesn't go your way
I know violence in my inner man
I know no comfort, I know no hand

I know what it's like to be tired in your head
To know no place of rest, not even in your bed
It gets tiring

And yet I know Another way
I have to show this other day
I won't let go of what I know
I must make known this other way

I know comfort, I know peace
I know someone who's with me who brings me relief
I know happiness, I know love
I know the joy of knowing I'm his number one
It gets happy sometimes

I know thankfulness, I know light
I know that airy feeling of bubbles inside
I know trust restored
I know rest now like never before

I know confidence, I'm secure
I can rest because I finally know I am pure
I'm forgiven, I know God
I know freedom
It gets funny sometimes
A little zany sometimes
Hard to believe sometimes

And yet I know this other way
I have to show this life I know
I must make known this other day
You have to know there's another way

Just keep holding on til you find God
As much as you need, seek, seek
Seek, seek, seek

Cause Me To Rest

Written By: Nikki Nahra

You cause me to rest
You make me lie down
In fields of green pastures, provision and peace

Now I truly feel found
You've taken me up
Now that you've found me
I'll never be the same again
Because I'm loved

My arms are around your neck Daddy
How good it is to be yours Daddy
I'll never go back to thinking the way I did before
Now you're the apple of my eye
And I believe every word you said and more

How magnificent is your heart
How wonderful is your love

I want to tell you how happy I am
To be a daughter of yours
I want you to hear my voice
I want you to hear my song
I want you to feel right now
My kisses on your heart
My kisses and my hugs

My arms are around your neck Daddy
How good it is to be yours Daddy
I love you more than life Daddy
Now I know why you made us Daddy
You never meant us to live alone Daddy
You never wished us to feel
Like we didn't have a home

Now I've found my home

You cause me to rest
You make me lie down
The power of your love
Has rescued my soul
There's no more striving here
My place of rest I've found
Secure in your embrace
I am where I belong

One Confusing Night (After the Movies)

Written By: Nikki Nahra

I don't know what's wrong with me
But I'd sure like to know
There's a million things running through my head
And You know they ain't too slow
I wish that I could understand sometimes
What my own mind just said
The feelings running way too wild
And I'm supposed to be going to bed

Lord I just can't make no sense
Out of this whole mess
You know me better than I know myself
Sometimes I might as well just guess
I must admit that I come to you
Tonight out of distress
But when I just can't look at myself
I stand before you undressed

Like a frightened child but glad to see
That when you do see
You don't walk right out on me

And I guess it has to do with my whole 'thing'
But for Pete's sake when am I gonna be rid of it's sting?
I sit in gripped silence while my thoughts go off on their own
Cause I can't help but be attentive to my silent groan

It's funny just how many times
I find myself in this place
Sitting right here on my bed
Just me and my empty guitar case
With this chunk of wood resting under my arm while I try to make it sing with grace
I desperately need to get all this out
To somehow preserve the face
Of this moment in the mystery
Of my surging heart, inexplicable to me

And I don't understand, it's like a surging in my gut
I always seem surprised and left searching for some answers
Furrowed brow intensity locking in my throat
I'm so aware of my physiological reaction
A gripping of my stomach, I feel like I'm in chains
My head tilted slightly down towards the floor as my
Neck just shifts back a little bit
Straighter up now than it was before
Feeling like that child, frightened by my eyes' sight
Wishing I weren't so confused by those emotions
Darting eyes find no rest in things seen
I need release for my spirit...
I need release for my spirit

This whole process of writing down
Has helped me to chill, I think
Well I suppose there aren't many alternatives
Considering I don't drink.
Cause this here is my sort of prayer
To a God who knows my every wink
And though I don't know anything more right now
Than when I started with this ink

I do know that as sure as it is 4am
I can trust he knows all that I am.

Now I know it has to do with my whole 'thing'
And I know someday I'm gonna be rid of its sting
No cringing in silence to my thoughts betraying my head
Cause that inward groan gonna' be silenced by the truth instead

I don't know what's wrong with me
But I'd sure like to know

I Am In Love

Written By: Nikki Nahra

Every day I think of you
I start again I’m born anew
Yes every memory that’s with you
Becomes a flower filled with dew every morn

And every time I close my eyes
I seem to capture no disguise
Of the sweetness that I find
When I look into those eyes

And yes…I am in love
With the one that I’m thinking of

Every time I think of you
I have no answer—what I must do
Is consider all of you
I know you’re worth it, waiting through

And yes I am in love
With the one I’m thinking of
And yes I am in need
One day of your intimacy

Yes I am in need
One day of your intimacy
To wash over me

Emily Come Home

Written By: Nikki Nahra

(for Emily Saliers, in response to 'Philosophy of Loss')

Don't believe the lies Emily 'cause they're not true
There are a hundred men and women who've been prayin' for you
To encounter how God really feels for you
That's why I'm writing this song to you

There are millions of demons trying to hide the truth
Cause they're jealous and bloodthirsty and angry too
That God would love us humans as he do
That's why I'm writing this song to you

See it's just like God to not cut a deal
To prove his interest and his love and yes the way that he feels
I guess he wants a love based on trust that he's real
And that he did all that he could without making us mechanical

It's been just like the church to be weak and frail
And misrepresent the king who sent us with his mail
Of glad tidings of joy, peace, love and travail
That this awesome man of power longs for your jailbreak

I can't say that it's small, I've felt it myself
The weight of this failure of people to help
I can only say, "God, please pardon and allow
Us to try again, start with me somehow"

For whatever reason the way God has chosen
To reach and to touch and to help us
Is through partners, his people, and mainly his person
Who he showed his love in, that's Jesus

But now that he's done his part to show us the Father
It's now up to us to run
This race against time and all the demons of hell
To be like him, revealing the true Son

We have failed
We have failed the task
We failed God and the Son and the Spirit when he asked
Us to show you his heart and his arms open wide
With our arms and our hearts
We have failed to hear him cry
All the times you knelt and the times you cried
For one ounce of love from the church on the inside

Emily come home
Emily forgive us
Emily

The way you've been shamed, a torturous cell
Framed in lies with the old chains of religion's bell
Shouting, "Unclean!" Pointing, "Reject!"
Unable to even come near 'cause we couldn't accept

Like a leper we've treated you as inhuman
I can see why you have trouble believin' what we're sayin'
It's hard to entrust your heart and life
To someone who seems like theirs is as cold as ice

Fear and ignorance without excuse
The church a failure, a weapon used toward you
Emily come home and see the truth
Emily come home, it wasn't 'bout you
Emily come home
Emily come home, there is no disguise
I'm sayin' I'm sorry ten thousand times

I know it may be hard to believe
But you are not the segment of society
That must be sacrificed for others' relief
That is not God's economy

It's true that there will always be a cost
But what if it was all taken care of at once?
This is why he died on the cross
To cure the philosophy of loss

Despite what you may think or do
Despite your past experience of wounds
Don't give up your hope and you'll find it's true
The doors of the church are open to you

You hear the call, you know the truth in part
Know where you belong, where you're meant to fit
But we didn't make room for your place in our hearts

We have failed
We have failed the task
We failed God and the Son and the Spirit when he asked
Us to show you his heart and his arms open wide
With our arms and our hearts
We have failed to hear him cry
All the times you knelt and the times you cried
For one ounce of love from the church on the inside

Emily come home
Emily forgive us
Emily come home

Please forgive, oh! our treachery
These tears receive as an offering
Please grant us a new beginning

With your gay love come
It makes no difference, come
He didn't ask me to change first
Why wouldn't it be the same for you?
It's not about perfection
Or meeting a bunch of rules and regulations
That's just the lie the deception
To keep us from receiving his love
To drown out, "Come," with "Fix this" and "Fix that one"

Come as you are, you will be loved
Jesus isn't about taking away fun
What he's into is showing us just how bum
All of this is compared to his riches of love

He never asks anything he won't replace
With something ten million times better by our toughest gauge
The problem is we don't relate
The the philosophy of Love
And that's why I am writing this song

Prayer of Relinquishment

Written By: Nikki Nahra

You know what, my house isn’t together
And that’s okay, even for the first-timers
So I go grocery shopping at rush hour
Who cares?

And it’s alright if I’m not one hundred percent
Efficient in my use of time

Who cares?

It’s okay
I’m not a failure
You can take that label
That accusation
Stick it up your can, yeah

It’s okay
I’m not a failure
You can take that label
That accusation
Stick it up your can, yeah

It’s okay because I need my down time
And there are a hundred different
Things occupying my mind
Not the least of which are so many
Issues of the heart calling
Out to me and they deserve
More airtime

La la la la

Discography

'OUT OF THE SHADOWS' EP, 2005.
'Cause Me To Rest' and 'Smiles Again' aired on Fortress 1230 AM, Harrisburg, Pa.

'SUITE SIXTEEN' compilation, 2000.
Double-cd - a collection of St. Louis-based female singer-songwriters. 'The Lines 'Round Your Eyes' featured on Clint Harding's Songwriter's Circle of Friends CD & live Saturday morning show, KDHX, St. Louis.

'CATCH THE WIND' live compilation, 1998.
Recorded at Vineyard Prophetic Conference, double cd & video.

Set List

mostly originals. a sprinkling of indigos, s.mclachlan, or random, re-vamped 80's tunes, e.g., stevie w.