Incline musician releases debut single about his journey to Tahoe

Cheyanne Neuffer
Nick LaBella released his debut single "California" on Friday, Oct. 16.

Nick LaBella, a transplant from the East Coast who currently lives in Incline Village, released his debut single “California” on Friday, Oct. 16. The song is a mixture of folk, blues, rock and pop — which describes his multifaceted genre.

Like many who live in the basin, LaBella was inspired by the beauty and wilderness of Lake Tahoe. Originally from Southern Maine and New Hampshire, in 2015 LaBella packed up his life and headed to the west to create a life with the ‘love of his life’ who was moving across the country to California.

Prior to moving, LaBella was an independent contractor by trade running a small business along with creating music in his free time.

LaBella decided to make the move to the San Francisco area and got a corporate job.

Not too long after moving, he realized that the life he made in the Bay Area wasn’t his calling. He tried it for five years before realizing he needed to make a change.

LaBella said he was “swallowed up by corporate culture.” He found himself in a downward spiral emotionally and physically. He said that he began to follow his stressful days with drugs and alcohol — a path LaBella didn’t want. LaBella said he finally hit a brick wall emotionally.

Spending almost three years dreaming about leaving the life he had sewn, he packed up once again and headed to Tahoe. LaBella moved to the mountains hoping it would bring him clarity, time to reflect on himself and open space to reflect on his passions.

LaBella said that Tahoe completely lived up to and exceeded his expectations.

“Between the geography and the solace – it was everything I needed it to be,” said LaBella. “Tahoe has been a significant part in my recovery process.”

He says that Tahoe was not only grounding, but it also allowed him to reconnect with his creativity and love for music.

The song, “California” is the first song LaBella has written since making the move out west. The song reminisces on his experiences during his journey moving to the Golden State and eventually Tahoe.

“It’s about losing and finding yourself in a completely different light,” he said.

Truckee’s Ryan Taylor also plays piano on the song.

LaBella said he’s had overwhelming positive feedback on the song since its release. He has been featured on several blogs, people have been adding the song to their Spotify playlists and he also had airtime on a New Hampshire radio station.

LaBella has a small at-home studio where he practiced and recorded the single.

“I hadn’t made space for my creative self,” he said and added that Tahoe gave him the space to tune into his creativity again. “Life is too short. This is my calling.”

The single is available wherever you get music or visit

For more information visit,

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