Nina Sky in May 2016
|Origin||Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.|
Nina Sky is an American duo composed of identical twins Nicole and Natalie Albino (born March 13, 1984 (sources differ), in Puerto Rico). Their debut single "Move Ya Body", released from their self-titled debut album in 2004, was a success, reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their second album Nicole & Natalie was released on July 31, 2012. Their third studio album Brightest Gold was announced for 2016 release through Tommy Boy Entertainment.
The Albino sisters were born on March 13, 1984 in Puerto Rico. Natalie is a little bit older than Nicole. Their parents later moved to New York and divorced when the girls were young. The sisters grew up in Astoria, Queens 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. 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".
2003–2006: Nina Sky and mixtapes
In 2003, 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. On March 18, 2004, they had their first concert under their current name at Club Demara.
The single "Move Ya Body" was released on April 27, 2004 and reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 22 on the Billboard Year-End chart. 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 and had also reached the top 5 of a world combined R&B chart based on the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia. The song had also reached the top 50 of the Australian charts. On June 22, 2004 they released their first self-titled album, featuring guest Betty Wright. Album charted #44 on US Billboard 200 and #4 on U.S. R&B chart. Another single from album, titled Turnin' Me On was released. It didn't make the same success as "Move Ya Body", but charted #5 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and was minor success in France.
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 mixtape, called La Conexion. The mixtape was influenced by Latin music. The album contained single "Ladies Night" (released April 17, 2006 and featuring Ivy Queen) released with songs "Loving You" and "Your Time". It also contained Kassanova remix of their single "Turnin' Me On." The album features a lot of singers: Pitbull, N.O.R.E., Notch, Richie Rivera, Mackie, and Yaga. It also included Tony Touch's hit Play That Song featuring Nina Sky and B-Real, released one month before mixtape's release. In August 2006, Nina Sky were first featured on the cover of the publication The FADER, in its 39th issue. In 2006, their third mixtape "80's Babies" was released.
2007–2011: Label issues, marriages and The Other Side
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 were 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". In 2008, Nina Sky released two singles, for Starting Today: "Curtain Call" (featuring Rick Ross) and "On Some Bulls**t". Single weren't big success. On December 19, 2008 Nina Sky released their first Holiday album, an EP titled Christmas.
Nina Sky appeared on Major Lazer's album, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do. They were 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. In 2010, Nicole Albino revealed she was lesbian and married female fashion designer, Erin Magee. 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. 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.
2012–present: Nicole and Natalie, motherhood, new label contract and Brightest Gold
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." On July 31 the album was released. Album had electro, house, pop and R&B elements in songs. The album failed to charts because of independent release. On October 14, 2012 Nina Sky released third and final single from their album "Comatose". In 2012, they finally signed out from recording label Polo Grounds Music/J Records.
On June 9, 2012, Nina Sky performed at OUT/LOUD Queer Women's Music Festival in Eugene, Oregon alongside artists such as Krudas Cubensi, Tender Forever and Andrea Gibson. Later, on November 15, Nina Sky hosted Women in Business' 4th annual Dress for Success fashion show at Baruch College. On March 11, 2013, group released their sixth mixtape, titled Valentine's Day, hosted by Miss KL. On December 12, group released their new promotional single titled "Overtime" for digital download. The song was produced by Slimmy Neutron, who produced their album Nicole and Natalie, released in 2012.
On March 9, 2014, Natalie Albino gave birth to her son, Max. In the same month, Nicole released her first solo project, a mixtape album titled Currently Vol. 1 which contained her remixes to many popular songs by singers such as Madonna, Beyoncé, R. Kelly, Mariah Carey, etc. On April 17 they announced a new single via their official Facebook site. One day later, their new song "Stoners", featuring Smoke DZA was out. Single had better success than the previous one, released in 2013. It reached top 10 on New Electronic Music chart. The official music video for the single was released on July 25, via their official profiles. The extended remix for the song, made by Trayze, was also released. After the music video was released, they announced more of new music and new projects (and probably their third studio album) coming in 2015. On October 22, 2014, Nina Sky featured on Lady Bee's single "Do It All Again" from their album What Is a Jeffree?. Music video was also released. After finishing their Euro Tour in May 2015, on June 2, their Vito Fun and Spaceplant produced electropop single titled "Forever" was released from their upcoming extended play Brightest Gold, set to release in September 2015. "We wanted something that was smooth but also had a bounce," Nina Sky told The FADER in an email. "Spaceplant finessed the verses with a modern '90s freestyle beat pattern and built up the hook just enough that song still has its original sweet vibe but if you drop it at the right time in a club, it will still go off!" twins added. EP will also be produced by Vito Fun and Spaceplant. Another tracks, including "The Brightest Gold", "Nancy", "Zero Gravity", "Champion Lover" and "Lock and Key" will also be on EP. The sample of "Champion Lover" was released on Nina Sky's official Instagram account, and is reported to be released as the second single from EP. In 2016, twins signed a recording contract with Warner Music Group's independent recording label Tommy Boy Entertainment. Single "Champion Lover" was also performed. On December 18, twins said that Brightest Gold was delayed for 2016 release, as a studio album. "Champion Lover" will be released as the second single on June 24, 2016. Both album and single will be released through Tommy Boy Entertainment, LLC.
- Nina Sky's La Conexión on MTV
- "Champion Lover" single on iTunes, with recording label
- Dominican Times
- Blender's 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: 250-201
- Nina Sky on Yahoo
- Staff. "Issue 39: Rick Ross/Nina Sky". The FADER. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "Nina Sky Ask Fans To Help Them Get Out Of Record Contract - Neon Limelight - Exclusive Music News, Artist Interviews, Reviews, Photos!". Neon Limelight. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- "Inked Magazine". Inkedmag.com. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- Kreg for SuperSuperGood, www.supersupergood.com. "Nina Sky - The Other Side". Ninaskyhigh.com. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- http://www.ninaskyhigh.com/blog/2011/05/video-premier-us-x-creep-you/?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4dd135a8af8c440d%2C0. Retrieved May 19, 2011. Missing or empty
- "Brave Buzz: Nina Sky turns up the sexy in their new R&B smash 'Comatose'". BRAVE Magazine. June 27, 2012.
- Nicole and Natalie (inlay cover). Nina Sky. self-released. 2012.
- "Starting Today – Ascap Work Work ID: 880851514". Ascap. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- The Boombox
- Nina Sky Announce New EP, Premiere "Forever", Interview to The FADER