Ever since bursting into the international spotlight with their megasmash, Move Ya Body, Nina Sky have been easily associated with club bumping bangers and dancefloor fillers. It's now been 5 years since the girls first jumped onto the scene, and there's a certian maturity that stands the test of time. I recently chatted with Nicole and Natalie about growing up in New York City, writing and recoring their upcoming album and how hustling is a vital part of their success.

SB: Hey Nicole and Natalie! Are you guys in New York right now?

Nicole: Yeah, we are. We both still live in New York too.

SB: Born and raised in Queens though, right?

Natalie: Yeah we grew up in Astoria.

SB: That's actually where I live!

Nicole: Oh nice! Where are you at?

SB: I'm on [xxx] Street and [xxx] Avenue.

Nicole: That's cool. I actually live in Brooklyn now, but Natalie still lives in Queens.

SB: Growing up in Queens, you were raised with music all around you. When did you know that you wanted to do music as a career, or rather, when did you see that as the path that you were going to take?

Nicole: Well our mom started bringing us on auditions when we were 14, but we've been singing since we were like, um, 7? But yeah, probably 14 was when we decided we wanted to devote time to this and really take it serious.

SB: Did you also play instruments growing up, or was it primarily just singing?

Nicole: Well I mean, we never really played instruments early on, but when I was 13, I started dj'ing. And then when I was 16, I was like "Yeah, I wasnt to learn how to play the guitar and conga." So it's kind of been self-taught.

SB: Did you look to any artists as influences coming up? Growing up in such a culturally diverse borough just outside of Manhattan, I'm sure you were exposed to so many different styles of music.

Nicole: Well, growing up in New York City, it's like, no matter where you're at, you're hearing music...all different genres of music. So much good freestyle and a lot of old school. Like anything from Madonna to Bob Marley and The Police. Like everything was in our household, but being in the city, every street corner had a different vibe. Someone we were really influenced by was our stepfather, because he was a DJ and introduced us to a lot of music.

SB: That's so awesome. Your first album, it came out 5 years, I think, right?

Natalie: Yeah, it was a while ago.

SB: So what's been going on in that time span? It's like yeah, we've heard some bits and pieces of new stuff floating around, and it's easy to pinpoint some of the side projects you've done, but what have you been focusing on during that time?

Natalie: Well, we're always recording, on top of traveling the world. And Nicole also DJ's. So she'll do a night where she DJ's and I host. I mean, we've definitely been recording a lot. We spent a lot of time finishing the new album.

SB: Have you set an official release date for it yet?

Nicole: Well...we don't exactly have the offical date down yet, but we're at a point where we finally feel like we love all the music. We've been recording it for so long. In the beginning, we used to be signed to Universal Records, and everyone had their own opinion of what we should sound like, you know. And after the success of Move Your Body, everyone was quick to say, "Oh you have to do another song like that!" But why would we want to re-create something that was already a hit? And that wasn't what we wanted to do. So we were just going back and forth with the label, and finally we just got in the studio after a few months of not recording at all, and it was like, "Yo, we're just going to do what we want to do, and just make music we love. Whatever inspires us, that's what we're going to do." And finally, we've had all these songs, and we worked with all these ill producers. And now we have this album that we feel is ready. We're finally ready to release this. Like, On Some Bullshit was the first song we released on our own. We shot the video on our own, like seriously, paid for it all ourselves. So now it's just about getting the label push, and making it happen. But yeah, we're really excited about it.

SB: That's awesome!

Nicole: Sorry to be so long winded!

SB: Oh man, no worries! It definitely proves that you are so passionately behind everything you do and there's that dedication to what you want people to see and hear and how you're viewed along with it.

Nicole: A lot of people forget how important it is to grind from the bottom up! Like that, for Nina Sky, is like if you sit back and believe that everyone is going to do something for you, you might as well just choose another career. Everything in this industry starts from the bottom...

"If you're not grinding down below, you're gonna be lost, because everyone is still grinding at the top too."

Everything that we do, we're so hands on. You know, when the album does get released, we're going to be so proud of it, because we put so much time and not just work, but fucking, money and everything...it's like it really is a "Nina Sky project".

SB: I seriously can't wait to hear all the new material. Hearing a few songs here and there has been so rad, but when the new stuff drops, I'm going to be so psyched!

Natalie: Cool! Yeah, we can't wait.

SB: Aside from your own material, I guess the thing that most people might currently associate you with is the Major Lazer project. How did you end up getting together with Diplo and Switch?

Natalie: You know what, I got an email from a friend of mine who knew Diplo. And they were like, "Listen, Diplo's doing this new album, and he's actually going to be in his studio in the city. Do you guys have time to go into the studio and meet with him?" And of course, we were like, yeah dope! We think he's mad ill, so we went in and we just vibed out. He was just like, "I'm working on this new album, and we want to do some dance shit with you guys". We got in there and the vibe was really dope, and that's just what came out of it. We recorded Keep It Goin' Louder...actually we did so many different versions of it, and he's released another version of it, that actually has a couple extra parts that aren't on the original. The energy was just so good and the vibe was there. Just to spend those 2 days with him, the energy was so ill. He's so talented.

SB: Yeah, I was going to mention his own remix of the song, because I actually heard it playing on the runway during, I think, one of the Louis Vuitton shows during fashion week in France!

Natalie: [laughs] Yeah, we were so super excited by that!

SB: Did you guys know that was going to be used?

Nicole: No! I guess they just have someone that picks the songs and it's so ill that they used that!

SB: You've been doing some of the live shows with Major Lazer...and they're all headed out to LA for a Halloween show. Are you going to be traveling with them to perform out there too?

Natalie: No, we have a couple more dates with them, but we actually won't be out in LA for that one.

SB: Aside from working with other producers and writers, what's it like during your songwriting process? Do you find that either of you tends to dominate or take the lead when it comes to how songs are arranged or translated from the earliest ideas?

Natalie / Nicole: Well, we...no, you go...[laughs]

Nicole: We usually take opposite sides of the room and just write and then we come together and decide, you know, which parts are better. Or what we're going to use for a verse, or which lyrics work better for a chorus. We definitely put our egos aside. It's not about who's going to write it, it's more about what is going to sound better. [laughs] I think by now, we make a pretty good team.

SB: You've got so much going on with writing, recording and performing. What's one thing you like to do to just take some time and step away from it all?

Natalie: Our spot, I mean, we have a favorite restaurant we go to, but we're not the ones that you'll find out in the clubs every night. I wouldn't say that like, there's a specific party we always go to. You know, we're not those girls. When we're not recording, you know, usually we're just at home, and spending time with our family. I mean, we do host a monthly party, but aside from that, we don't really go out that much.

Nicole: BO-O-O-RING!

SB: [laughs] That's understandable though. For someone in your position, to constantly be seen out every night must be a hassle.

Nicole: Honestly, there was a time about a year ago, where we were everywhere. But we've definitely calmed down over the last year. Everything with the album and just focusing on our next big move is more important than "Oh, where are we gonna be seen, and who's going to see us?"

SB: So from here on out then, what's next? Obviously the album is the main thing, but what about other performances...

Natalie / Nicole: We...I think.../In the next...[laughs]

Nicole: Sometimes it's hard when we're not in the same room. [laughs]

Natalie: [laughs] In the next week, we have a Seventeen Style Mix tour that we're on...so we're headed down to a mall in Maryland coming up on Saturday. Then we've got a show at a college in Jersey with Sean Kingston the following week.

SB: Always on the grind!

Natalie / Nicole: [laughs] Yeah, always.

SB: Well, I just want to thank you for taking the time to talk. I know you're busy with the album coming up and everything else you're involved with, so it's super appreciated!

mp3: Nina Sky - Beautiful People (Stevie P Remix)