Before “The Voice” with Nicholas David

Alt-soul singer Nicholas David discusses his origins in the music scene.

Shannon Ryan

With a mane of long, fiery red locks and an effortlessly cool beard to match, Nicholas David “The Feelin’” Mrozinski — commonly known simply as Nicholas David — is best recognized for his bold appearance, which complements his robust alt-soul croon. That, and he was a finalist on season three of NBC’s mega-popular singing competition, “The Voice.”

Mrozinski, a Twin Cities native, is a singer-songwriter and pianist. Although his name is now tied to the soulful covers of pop songs he bellowed on behalf of Team CeeLo, Minnesotans know him as the soulful sweetheart rockin’ Nomad World Pub and Palmer’s Bar on a casual Wednesday night.

Mrozinski is a man of many interests, from classical music to life as a zookeeper to the rhythms of Nicki Minaj, but more than anything, he’s invested in his family, which is responsible for his chosen path into the music scene. The musician harnessed his innate talent for the piano only as a gift to his passing grandfather.

“The night he passed, he told my grandmother to ‘Tell Nicky to play, and tell him to never stop,’” Mrozinski said, “and that stuck in my heart. It’s not just a hobby to me — I feel like it is just what I’m supposed to do.”

In terms of his vocal artistry, some credit is due to his mother. It was the sounds behind his childhood bedroom’s door that his mother heard, paused and asked him to repeat for her ears. He shyly obliged.

“I told my mom, ‘Yeah, but you can’t look at me, and you have to turn around and close your eyes,’” Mrozinski said, “and I’ll close my eyes, too. I sang, and she told me I could sing, so I started voice lessons.”

And the beginning of his musical career took off. He juggled sports, theater and band in high school, turning down a scholarship to study jazz at Roosevelt University in Chicago because of a lack of inner desire to go. He later regretted the decision.

Mrozinski has been playing gigs in the Twin Cities for more than a decade, and in the early part of 2012, he was urged to audition for “The Voice.” Due to synchronicities that he deemed to be a twist of fate — the audition was in Chicago, a city he had once turned down, and the date of the audition was the only weekend he was free of booked performances — he took the audition only to woo both the judges and viewers of “The Voice,” a show he deeply appreciates.

“The show was such an amazing opportunity,” he said. “It was such a wild opportunity and adventure, and it catapulted my life to this stage where dreams live; it’s the truth.”

What: Nicholas David

When: 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Where: First Avenue, 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $15 (sold out Friday)

Age: 18+