Nicholas David: Smile Network's 'Ambassador of Love'


St. Paul musician Nicholas David is still riffing off the success he earned from being a finalist on NBC's "The Voice" more than a year ago as he travels across the country playing gig after gig.

But when David was approached about going on a medical mission with the Smile Network – the Minnesota non-profit that provides reconstructive surgeries for impoverished children with cleft palates – last year, he cleared his schedule to make the trip.

The singer-songwriter spent a week with KSTP's Jason Davis and Smile volunteers in rural central Mexico, tending to young patients undergoing surgery and playing music for anxious parents.

At a Smile Network event Thursday, David told BringMeTheNews Founder and CEO Rick Kupchella that he struggled to find his place among talented medical staff, but David's warm demeanor quickly earned him the title of "Ambassador of Love."

"It's not what we try to do, but to remember that we're loved and know that we're loved and that's good enough," David said.

David's trip will be featured on “On the Road with Jason Davis,” which airs Sunday at 11 p.m. on KSTP. Click here for a sneak peek.

David grew up in St. Paul and Eagan, learning to play piano in the second grade. He graduated from Eagan High School and received a scholarship to sing jazz at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago, which he turned down.

After a short stint in Colorado writing and performing his music, David returned to Minnesota in 2005 and gained a reputation in the local music scene.

When the chance to audition for "The Voice" came along, David was reluctant at first, but the opportunity was something David describes as divine orchestration.

David will perform at the Fine Line in Minneapolis on Sunday to benefit the Smile Network. Click here for tickets. Doors open at 8 p.m.

David performed a new song Thursday that was inspired by his experience in Mexico called "Never Give Up." He also sang "You Are So Beautiful," a fan favorite from "The Voice."

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