When Nicole and Natalie formed Nina Sky and dropped their hit single “Move Ya Body” in 2004, the world was not ready to give them the credit they deserved. The months that followed transformed the twins from an assumed one hit wonder to a worldwide household name. From collaborations with Alchemist and Prodigy on “Hold You Down” and N.O.R.E on “Oye Mi Canto” to the release of their follow-up single “Turnin’ Me On” [remix featuring Pitbull], Nina Sky has been proving their staying power.
Their impressive talent ranges from voice to lyrics to production. Nina Sky’s sound is a combination Hip-Hop, Reggae, R&B, Reggaeton, and a touch of Soul. It’s no wonder why Hot 97/Sirius Satellite’s Cipha Sounds readily picked them up and added them to his Jack Move roster. AllHipHop.com Alternatives had the opportunity to catch up with the twins to discuss the ride through their ongoing wave of success.
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: It’s apparent from your lyrics and overall sound that you have some old souls at age 18. What’s your musical upbringing?
Nicole: We grew up listening to all different kinds of music. Our stepfather was a deejay and he would play everything from like old school Hip-Hop like Run DMC to deep House music to Rock music. We listened to everything growing up.
AHHA: What’s the biggest misconception about Nina Sky?
Natalie: Well people think that we’re a gimmick, that we’re not really twins, and that we really can’t sing. People don’t know that we write all of our own music and anything we’ve collaborated on. Plus, Nicole plays the guitar and deejays and I write alot…people don’t know that about us.
AHHA: What artists are currently taking up residence in your CD player?
Nicole: John Legend.
Natalie: Yes! Everyday Nicole listens to John Legend. I’ve been listening to The Game.
AHHA: Describe your journey from the release of Move Ya Body to the release of Turnin’ Me On.
Nicole: Everything for us happened really fast. When Move Ya Body dropped, it was dropped independently. We had no idea what was going to come. We had no idea that the song was going to take off. We did the song one day, and like two months later we were like performing – and this was without support from the record label; without the single being officially released. Then last year, we’ve traveled the world; we’ve done all these collaborations with other artists. Now we’re releasing our second single Turnin’ Me On in the same way as Move Ya Body where our management team [Jack Move] and people like that are pushin’ our record and it’s getting played everywhere. Like the song is huge in Miami. It’s getting played every hour on the hour. I mean, it’s moving slowly, but it’s moving like Move Ya Body.
Natalie: And we’re working on our next album; gathering ideas for that.
AHHA: Had you any doubts in your minds that your success would continue after Move Ya Body?
Nicole: No, because we have really good people surrounding us, and me and Natalie work really, really work. We’re constantly writing music and coming up with new ideas. We’re ready to work 24 hours a day, and it’s a dream come true for us. To be able to do something that you love is like the greatest thing in the world, and we want to continue doing it. So we work really hard every day to keep things going for us. We make sure that we’re surrounded by the right people and have good team support.
AHHA: You’ve been touring in Europe. Where was your favorite country so far?
Natalie: Germany. And our favorite city’s Berlin. Berlin is almost like downtown Manhattan like the Village. The art is crazy. It just gives off really good vibes over there and really good energy.
AHHA: On the album, there’s a balance between ballads and party jams. What are your favorite tracks?
Natalie: My favorite track on the album is Surely Missed because it was very personal for me. I wrote that for two of my friends.
Nicole: My favorite song on the album is Your Time. I like it because it’s a really feel good song that everyone can relate to. I think everyone has been through that.
AHHA: You sang Holla Back at the Thanksgiving Day 2004 Parade. Will that be the next single?
Nicole: Nah, not here.
Natalie: Actually that is our next single in Iceland. So they’re playing it in Iceland along with Turnin’ Me On and Move Ya Body so it’s kinda crazy.
Nicole: They [Thanksgiving Day Parade] felt it was the most appropriate song to sing for kids as opposed to Turnin’ Me On so we said, Okay, cool!
AHHA: You have some amazing slow jams on the album like Temperature’s Rising and Faded Memories. Do you plan to release any slow jams with this album or keep it to dance singles?
Nicole: Hopefully our next single, if we release a third single [off this album], will be a slow song. But with our next album, if we don’t release a slow single off this one; we hope to release a slow single on our next one. It’s to show people that we can do that too.
Natalie: We’ve done Reggaeton, we’ve done the Hip-Hop track, we’ve done the Reggae track, now hear us blow!
AHHA: How did the Alchemist collab for Hold You Down happen?
Nicole: Well, Alchemist had already put down the song, but it didn’t have a hook. Alchemist is cool with Cipha Sounds, who is one of our managers and producer on the album, and I guess they were like, Well let’s see what they can write. He gave us the track without a hook. Natalie wrote the hook, we sent it back, and [Alchemist] liked it alot. He mixed down what we gave him and released it as a single. We had no idea it was gonna happen like that.
AHHA: How has working with Cipha Sounds and Jack Move benefited your career?
Nicole: It’s benefited our career a lot. We have a really good relationship with our management.
Natalie: They believe in us. They want us to be creative; be in the studio when we don’t have to be and recording. They support us, and they push our records. Even when the label doesn’t, our management does.
Nicole: A lot of the success of Nina Sky has happened at that level, not even reaching the record label level. It just happened from a management level. Turnin’ Me On hasn’t even been put out by Universal Records yet, but has been pushed by Jack Move and now it’s getting played on the radio. So it’s all about having the right people around us and a good management team – people who are really down for us and work really well with us. We’re really lucky to have people like that supporting Nina Sky and our movement.
AHHA: With the success of Oye Mi Canto do you plan on doing more Reggaeton tracks?
Natalie: Hopefully! We do everything!
Nicole: Yeah! We love Reggaeton music and we were happy to be involved with that project, especially since it basically started Reggaeton getting played on mainstream radio like Hot 97 [New York] and the video getting played on BET and MTV. So of course we’d like to be in it and maybe make some more songs like that. Definitely.
AHHA: You have several remixes released on the street like Time to Go [featuring Angie Martinez] and Fall Back along with the TOK remix for Gal Yuh Lead. Where can the average non-bootlegging individual find those?
Nicole: Well we put out our own mixtape so we bootleg our own stuff. Those songs like Time To Go and Fall Back were from our first mixtape. The second mixtape is gonna be ten times hotter than the first one! Look out for that. We always have our mixtapes going. We’re taking the unsigned artist approach, but we’re signed. We wanna hustle hard and be known for hustling hard. So if you wanna hear stuff that’s not being played on the radio, you can hear it on the mixtape too. It’s going from the bottom up, working hard even with a big record label contract. So look out for our second mixtape!
AHHA: What are some future collaborations in the works?
Natalie: We actually did a collaboration with Aventura. There are a lot of people we’d like to work with. Certain producers like 7 Aurelius, Alchemist, Neptunes, people like that. Other artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys, possibly Outkast. Also Lloyd Banks, because he is from Queens too, so I think that would be a really dope collaboration.
AHHA: What’s next for Nina Sky?
Nicole: Well we’re coming up with ideas for our next album; always recording. We are into all different kinds of art like acting and writing. Don’t be surprised if you see us on TV. Plus, I’m a deejay and have been doing parties with Natalie hosting. We’re everywhere! We dibble and dabble!
Natalie: Well put!