Nina Sky

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Nina Sky
NinaSky.jpg
Nina Sky in concert, 2007
Background information
Origin Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip-hop, R&B, dancehall
Years active 2003 (2003) – present
Labels Universal (2003–2007)
Polo Grounds / J (2007–2012)
Epic Records (2012-Present)
Associated acts Major Lazer, Belly, The Alchemist, Tony Touch, Rick Ross, Prima J, Kenza Farah, Creep
Members Nicole Albino
Natalie Albino
External audio
Listen to Nina Sky's "Move Ya Body" here
Listen to Nina Sky's "Play That Song" here

Nina Sky is an American R&B duo composed of identical twins Nicole and Natalie Albino (born March 13, 1984 or 1986 (sources differ) in Puerto Rico). Their debut single "Move Ya Body" in 2004 was a success, reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Early life[edit]

The Albino sisters were born on March 13, 1986 in Puerto Rico. Their parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico and were divorced when the girls were younger. The sisters grew up in Astoria, New York in the Marine Terrace area.

As a result of their stepfather working as a DJ, the twins were influenced by different types of music at an early age. By the age of 7, the twins had already written their first song, titled "Sisters". By 10, they knew that they wanted to become singers.[1] When they were 13, they learned how to deejay and two years later they already started to have concerts in many clubs.

The twins' parents were very supportive of their daughters' ambitions as their stepfather provide guitar and drum lessons. They were taken to auditions and, on some occasions, they even performed on some showcases. The sisters wanted to devise a name of their own. In using the first two syllables of their names ("Ni" and "Na"), they came up with Nina. They then added Sky, which for them represented "the sky's the limit".[2]

Career[edit]

2000–2003: Career beginnings[edit]

In 2000, Nicole and Natalie chose their own musical name. It was Nina Sky; Ni from Nicole, Na from Natalie and Sky is their personal inspiration (Sky's the limit). In the same year, Nina Sky have met American hip hop producer The Jettsonz, who later produced their debut album. In 2001, twins have already sung in many clubs in New York City and recorded some material in their home studio. They soon co-wrote and produced their intro, later titled Nina Sky Is... released on the debut album. In 2002, the second song was written. It was their 2004 smash-hit "Move Ya Body". In 2003, twins started with recording sessions of their first self-titled album, by age 17. Recording of an album finished in spring of 2004, one or two months before album's release.

2004–2006: Nina Sky and La Conexion[edit]

Natalie (left) and Nicole (right) at Cultura Dura Festival in Phoenix, 2014.

In 2004, The Jettsonz introduced the girls to Cipha Sounds, a hip hop DJ under the Star Trak label owned by The Neptunes (Pharrell and Chad Hugo). Cipha Sounds was impressed when he heard the girls sing and suggested that they use the "Coolie Dance" riddim. The twins then proceeded to write "Move Ya Body" (along with The Jettsonz, who also produced the record), mixing Caribbean, R&B, and pop rhythms. Eventually, a demo of the song was made. The demo fell into the hands of Eddie O'Loughlin, the president of Next Plateau Entertainment (which is a division of Universal Records). O'Loughlin signed the twins to a contract and they started working on their debut album.

The single "Move Ya Body" was released on April 27, 2004 and reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[citation needed] Urban music and rhythmic top 40 stations quickly added the song to their play lists, sending the song up the charts. By July 17, "Move Ya Body" had gone to the top 5 on both sides of the Atlantic[citation needed] and had also reached the top 5 of a world combined R&B chart based on the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia.[citation needed] The song had also reached the top 50 of the Australian charts.[citation needed] On June 22, 2004 they released their first self-titled album, featuring Betty Wright.[3] In November, 2004 Nina Sky released their first mixtape, named The Nina Sky which has 10 songs.

Natalie and Nicole continued to work and promote their music. They have contributed to the reggaeton movement with songs such as "Oye Mi Canto", and "Más Maíz" with artist and producer N.O.R.E. They were also featured artist on Sean Paul's song "Connection" from his album "The Trinity"

On October 25, 2005 they released their second studio album / mixtape, called La Conexion. It is a "Latin mixtape album". The album contain singles "Ladies Night" (released April 17, 2006 and featuring Ivy Queen) and "Play That Song" (featuring Tony Touch and B Real). It also contains Kassanova remix of their hit-single "Turnin' Me On." La Conexion was the last studio album released under Universal Records, before they left them in 2007. The album features a lot of singers: Pitbull, N.O.R.E., Notch, Richie Rivera, Mackie and Yaga.

In August 2006, Nina Sky were first featured on the cover of the publication The FADER, in its 39th issue.[4]

At the end of 2006, Nina Sky released their second mixtape 80's Babies, containing the songs "Sugar Daddy" and "Flippin' That". That two songs were released as the double single on December 19, 2006. 80's Babies also contains a cover of song "Be My Baby" from film Dirty Dancing. In 2007, right before they left Universal, they released their third (fourth overall) mixtape called Back to the Future.

2007–2011: Sexual orientation, marriage and The Other Side[edit]

Nina Sky performing at the Phoenix Pride Festival on 17 April 2010
Nina Sky performing at the Phoenix Pride Festival on April 17, 2010

Nina Sky collaborated with French singer Kenza Farah for the song "Celle Qu'Il Te Faut", and was released in both French and English versions. The video was shot in New York.

Nina Sky was recording their second studio album, Starting Today. The album was originally due on July 27, 2007. Producers include Stereotypes, Bruno & Phil, Neo da Matrix, Ryan Leslie, Salaam Remi, and more. Guests include Rick Ross and others that have yet to be announced. In late 2007, Nina Sky left their label, Universal, and signed with Polo Grounds Music/J Records.

Nina Sky have also put together remixes of popular songs including J. Holiday's "Bed," Elliott Yamin's "Wait For You", Cassidy's "My Drink n My 2 Step, and The-Dream's I Love Your Girl" They have also worked with Brooklyn MC Red Cafe on his street album The Co-Op, and The Alchemist on his song "Key To The City".

On December 19, 2008 Nina Sky released a fourth mixtape, a holiday album called Christmas, containing the songs "Love and Family", "Feliz Navidad", "Winter Wonderland", "This Christmas" and a bonus track "This Christmas (2008 Remix)."

Nina Sky recently appeared on Major Lazer's album, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do. They are currently in a battle with their record company Polo Grounds Records over the release of their album Starting Today. They have said they want to be released from their contract with the label because the label no longer supports them.[5]

In 2010, Nicole Albino revealed she was lesbian and married female fashion designer, Erin Magee.[6] The couple had been dating since 2009. In an interview with Inked Magazine, Magee revealed that she had her last name legally changed to Nicole's and had gotten a tattoo of the name across her right breast.[6]

With a new masculine style, the duo independently released an eight song EP for digital download in August 2010, entitled The Other Side, which features production from DJ Yonny, Salaam Remi, Kidz in the Hall and many more. A video for the lead single, "You Ain't Got It (Funk That)" was also released. In early 2011 they worked with Creep on their song "You". On May 16, they released the music video on their official website.[7] On November 8, 2010 they digitally released their new promotional song "Electircity" (featuring Rihanna)

2012: Nicole and Natalie[edit]

On February 2, 2012, Nina Sky released the lead single from their upcoming third studio album, Nicole and Natalie. The single, entitled "Day Dreaming", was produced by Beau Vallis. The video for the song, directed by Adam Sauermilch, was released on February 28. On June 14, the band released "Heartbeat", the second single from the new album. A month later, on July 27, the video for "Heartbeat" was released. Concerning the video, the band stated: "We knew we wanted it to be more about the feeling of the song and less about the story. The colors, environment, and everyone dancing in their own element creates this surreal feeling of freedom. It’s just about listening to the rhythm inside you and letting that rhythm guide you."[8] On July 31 the album was released. Album had electro, house, pop and R&B elements in songs, but the fifth song "Never Kissed You" has "slow motion" pop with R&B. The album was successful, but failed to charts because of independent release. On October 14, 2012 Nina Sky released third and final single from their album "Comatose".

On June 9, 2012, Nina Sky also performed at OUT/LOUD Queer Women's Music Festival in Eugene, Oregon alongside artists such as Krudas Cubensi, Tender Forever and Andrea Gibson.

On November 15, Nina Sky hosted Women in Business' 4th annual Dress for Success fashion show at Baruch College.

2013–present: New music, motherhood and fourth studio album[edit]

On December 12, 2013, band digitally released new single. The single, entitled "Overtime" was co-produced by Slimmy Neutron, one of the producers on their third studio album Nicole and Natalie. The single was released as a promotional song only, under their new label Epic Records. In January, 2014 band went on the new tour to promote their latest album. On March 13, (Nina Sky's birthday) Natalie Albino gave birth a baby boy with her husband Mike and they named him Max. On March 29, Nicole released her first solo project. The mixtape, called "Currently, Vol. 1" and stylezed as #Currently contained a snippet of their new song "Stoners" wich features a guest appearance by rapper Smoke DZA, and a Nicole's remix for Beyoncé's song Yoncé from her fifth self-titled studio album. On April, 18 the song Stoners was released as a single worldwide. In May, upcoming music video for the song was announced on their official Facebook profile. On June 11, band posted few pictures from music video's recordings. Video shoot took place probably in Los Angeles' streets. On 4 July (American's Independent Day), twins posted a fifteen-seconds snippet of Stoners music video on Instagram. Music video will be probably released in summer. On Twitter, Nina Sky said that they recorded almost of all songs for the album and they are working with Bailey Smalls (who made a remix for the song "Heartbeat") and R&B singer Kelly Rowland. They also wrote that they are working with Smalls on the brand new song titled "Love Letter". Later, on their official Twitter profile there was premiere to their remix with Trayze on the song Stoners. On July 25, music video was released on YouTube. Later, song "Stoners", reached number 10 on New Electronic Music Chart.

Discography[edit]

Main article: Nina Sky discography

Mixtapes[edit]

Nina Sky have released many mixtapes throughout their career. Firstly, a self-titled mixtape, The Nina Sky was released in November 2004 as a promotion for their self-titled debut album. It contains remixes for the songs "Holla Back" and "Move Ya Body", and the song "Time to Go". The second mixtape, 80's Babies was released in December 2006. It contains a cover of the song "Be My Baby" from the film Dirty Dancing, and singles "Sugar Daddy" and "Flippin That". The third mixtape was Back to the Future, released in 2007, right before they left Universal and signed to Polo Grounds Music/J Records. The fourth mixtape is Valentine's Day. It was released on February 11, 2013, and contains AC Slater's remix for the single "Heartbeat".

Other projects[edit]

Since 2004, Nina Sky have hosted many volumes of mixtapes Coast 2 Coast.

On November 8, 2010, Nina Sky released the nsong "Electricity" featuring Rihanna.

In September 2011, Nina Sky released the song "Revolving Door", recorded for their third studio album.

On June 9, 2012, Nina Sky also performed at OUT/LOUD Queer Women's Music Festival in Eugene, Oregon alongside artists such as Krudas Cubensi, Tender Forever and Andrea Gibson.

On December 12, 2013, they released the song "Overtime" and started to record new album.

In early 2014, they started their new tour to promote their album Nicole and Natalie. It is their third tour to date.

Personal lives[edit]

Nicole[edit]

Nicole Albino is the younger of the twins. In 2010, she came out as a lesbian and that she had married fashion designer Erin Magee. The couple had been dating since 2009. In an interview with Inked Magazine,[volume & issue needed] Magee revealed that she had her last name legally changed to Nicole's and had gotten a tattoo of the name across her right breast.

Natalie[edit]

Natalie, the older twin, gave birth to a baby boy, whom she named Max, on March 13, 2014, the birthday she shared with Nicole. She was described[where?] as having a husband, Mike. (It was unknown as of late October of 2014 when, or even whether, the couple had had a wedding.)

Artistry[edit]

Voices and singing[edit]

Natalie has a somewhat more delicate-sounding voice than Nicole, whose voice has a stronger sound.

Songwriting[edit]

In an interview,[where?] Nicole said that while she DJs on all Nina Sky songs, Natalie is the sister who writes most of their material.

Genres[edit]

Though Nina Sky's genre is mostly R&B, the sisters also infuse many electronic, pop, hip-hop, reggae and dancehall elements into their songs. Similarly, they have incorporated many soul elements into such of their songs as "Starting Today", "Temperature's Rising" and "Faded Memories". On the single "Overtime", they blended the pop and R&B genres. Their most recent single, "Stoners", blends hip-hop, R&B, pop and electro-soul elements and features rapping by rap-singer Smoke DZA.

Music videos[edit]

In such of their music videos as "Move Ya Body", the twins are shown dancing, singing, and deejaying at their "concerts" in the club. Their video "Beautiful People" is described as "not just another video". The video includes rehearsals, live performances and spending time with the Albino twins' "favorite people": family members, friends, and fans.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Artists
  2. ^ Dominican Times
  3. ^ Nina Sky on Yahoo
  4. ^ Staff. "Issue 39: Rick Ross / Nina Sky". The FADER. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ March 11, 2010 (2010-03-11). "Nina Sky Ask Fans To Help Them Get Out Of Record Contract - Neon Limelight - Exclusive Music News, Artist Interviews, Reviews, Photos!". Neon Limelight. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  6. ^ a b "Inked Magazine". Inkedmag.com. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Brave Buzz: Nina Sky turns up the sexy in their new R&B smash 'Comatose'". BRAVE Magazine. 27 June 2012. 

External links[edit]