It's been over a decade since identical twin sisters Natalie and Nicole Albino — who perform together as Nina Sky — released their first hit single "Move Ya Body," the dancehall-track many of us jam to even till this day. The girls have come a long way since 2004. Their sound is fresher and eclectic, with a hint of freestyle sure to get you "moving your body," if you catch our drift. Their new single, "Forever," which dropped this summer, is a clear indication of that. We bet they are grateful to their brother for letting them record their very first song on his four track machine."It wasn't even professional. He just laid it on his bed one day and we decided to play with it," says Natalie. "After recording our first song on that, we moved onto a karaoke machine."
Nicole and Natalie were born and raised in Astoria, Queens to Puerto Rican parents, who played a big part at home in the kind of music they were exposed to. Their stepfather was a DJ, so they also heard everything from rock to freestyle at home. “That helped develop our love and range of that we like,” says Natalie."Our mom played so much salsa when we were little. It definitely made an impact on us," adds Nicole. “We really loved listening to La India."
"It was the flavor and heart in her music that went into the way she sang that touched us," Natalie adds.It's that passion and the ability to write, record, sing, and produce their own music that led to their hit single, "Move Ya Body," a track that reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 2004. "It was a pivotal point in our career," says Natalie. The girls were only 19 years old at the time when they auditioned with DJ and radio personality Cipha Sounds.
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"He was like, 'You guys can sing and play the guitar but can you write a hit?'" says Nicole. "So, he gave us a Coolie Dance — which is the reggae beat that "Move Ya Body" is on — and we wrote and recorded the song and sent it to him. He played it on the radio and that's how it all happened." The song blew up and shortly thereafter Nina Sky was signed to Next Plateau Universal Records.
But these days they are taking their image and the direction of their music into their own hands working independently instead of on a major label. "When you're signed with a major label there's so many people involved with what's going on," says Nicole. "Now that we're independent, it's easier for us to just be Nicole and Natalie and for people to embrace who we really are."That's evident with their new album Brightest Gold, coming out this fall. The theme behind the album: Love. Inspired by their personal lives with Nicole in a beautiful marriage with her MadeMe designer wife, Erin Magee and Natalie's adorable, soon-to-be, 2-year-old son, Max, whom the twins spend a lot of their time with. Even their fashion style has evolved. Check out their edgy, cool, 90s inspired look complete with cute crop tops, bright lipstick colors, overalls, and badass kicks.
The first single off of the album, "Forever," a sweet summer love, freestyle jam was released in June. "We planned on putting out the album in September but it just doesn't feel like the right time yet," says Nicole. "We have another lead single we want to release first called, 'Champion Lover'.""Champions Lover" is a little reminiscent of "Move Ya Body" because it gives you the same happy vibes that make you want to dance," says Natalie."Then there's "Forever" which is more sexy but the "Brightest Gold" single is way more moody," she adds.
The Brightest Gold album is just one of the many projects Nicole and Natalie have been working on. These twins have been very busy to say the least, playing in numerous cities, working on non-musical projects, and writing songs for other artists. They have a few collaborations coming out like a song "After Hours" with Diplo and Troi Boy and another with The Party Squad and Mr. Mauricio.
"We'd love to collaborate with Outkast because they're super eclectic and we've always admired their style and how they've always stayed true to themselves," says Nicole.
Nina Sky might have been under
the radar since "Move Ya Body," but they've been working hard and
their upcoming album is a clear indication of how they've progressed musically
and as women.