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The number two is powerful. Not only does it signify Nina Sky's tag teaming force on the R&B plateau, it also signifies the culmination of their sophomore release, "The Musical." Since their global recognition in 2004 with the reggae-infused pop jam, "Move Ya Body," the duo has spent four years challenging their voices and learning more about themselves in life and in business. "Just because we weren't in the spotlight doesn't mean we weren't making moves," Natalie explains. "These last four years were spent traveling, doing shows all over the world, writing and working with other artists. We've really had time to mature into women and master our craft. It shows lyrically and vocally on this album."
While four years have elapsed, "The Musical" aims to keep Nina Sky listeners in tune with the duo's journey since their first album. It takes just one listen to their new album a savvy mix of R&B songs heavily influenced by hip-hop, classic rock and soul supported by intriguing, ethereal vocals to understand why Polo Grounds/J Records signed the twin team. Besides arranging vocals, Nicole and Natalie penned each track on the album, at times testing their work of art on eager audiences before it was officially ready.
As Nicole and Natalie ready for a fresh beginning, their musical abilities have never once failed to resonate with audiences. "We aren't only singers; we write all of our music," Natalie reveals. "Nicole plays guitar and deejays. We are very musical and try to show this while on stage. Our vibe isn't like your typical group! Because Nicole deejays, she's able to command the crowd and every once and a while, we'll bring the guitar out on stage to show our versatility." As a teen, Nicole mastered the turntables but relied on her guitar playing skills to support the lyrics she and Natalie wrote. Fast forward years later and the duo's songwriting capabilities are displayed in catchy uptempo songs with hip-hop flair to poignant ballads.
In 2007, Nina Sky officially began working on "The Musical." Noted producers on the album include Krucial Keys , Ryan Leslie, Cipha Sounds, Solitair, Cool & Dre, Salaam Remi, Supa Dups, Neo da Matrix, The Runners, Big Bert & EST and more. "We're so excited about the music we've recorded for this album. We've grown so much in the last few years and experienced love, heartbreak, fun times, sad times, and everything in between. The content on 'The Musical' is really reflective of our personal experiences," says Nicole. "We're giving our fans a glimpse into our lives as Nicole and Natalie. Also, the production on this album is extremely tight. We worked with some of the most talented writers and producers in the industry. The album is a pop, R&B album with a hip-hop base. It's very true to who we are and is finely crafted. We can't wait to release it!"
"The Musical" places Nina Sky on a new path, but their ride to recognition began before its creation in Astoria, Queens, where Puerto Rican twins Nicole and Natalie Albino grew up amongst salsa beats and freestyle anthems. The most prolific musical force the duo recalls came from that of their stepfather a self-taught DJ who created a home enveloped in the sounds of Miles Davis, Madonna and Journey, among others. " We grew up in a household where music was always played. Our dad deejayed from sunrise to sunset. It's because of him that we learned to appreciate all genres of music and have always been open to experimenting with different sounds and vibes," says Nicole.
Nina Sky's ascent is the result of one prolific figure. MTV VJ, HOT 97 jock and producer DJ Cipha Sounds met the two at 17 and immediately recognized their gift. "When we auditioned for Cipha, we didn't know what to expect. But he embraced our performance and soon after, asked us to hit the studio with him," Natalie reflects. "At our first session he played us the Coolie dance riddim and, within 30 minutes of hearing it and vibing out, we'd written "Move Ya Body," continues Nicole. "We had no idea what would come of it but he kept saying the song was gonna be big. Same way he believed in us, we believed in him, and the song took off!." Cipha, alongside Jack Move Inc. co-owner Jamal Landlord, assisted the duo in signing with Eddie O'Loughlin and Next Plateau Entertainment/Universal Records. "Move Ya Body," off their self-titled first release, made Nina Sky a household name in 2004.
The "Nina Sky" album hit the industry with a brand of R&B that was unprecedented, coming from two Puerto Rican twin sisters from Queens. That same year, rapper N.O.R.E. called on Nina Sky for vocal assistance on "Oye Mi Canto," featuring Daddy Yankee, which became the first reggaeton record to hit mainstream radio and showcased the ladies bilingual talents. The duo was featured on The Alchemist's ode, "Hold You Down," featuring Prodigy of Mobb Deep and Illa Ghee, and on renowned DJ Tony Touch on "(Hey DJ) Play That Song." They also released two independent mixtapes, "Nina Sky The Mixtape" and the Latin-influenced "La Conexion", which produced the anthem, "Ladies Night," featuring Ivy Queen and Pitbull. Last year, Nicole and Natalie were featured DJ Envy & Brooklyn emcee Red Caf 's "Things You Do," yet again with The Alchemist on "Key To The City" and Talib Kweli's "Hostile Gospel" alongside Joell Ortiz and Blu.
At 22, Nina Sky give credit to Jack Move Inc. and Polo Grounds Music President Bryan Leach for musically supporting them through tumultuous times with their former record label. "When we were signed to Universal [Records], we always felt disconnected. They didn't understand us as a group and didn't give us the proper attention a label should give any artist they are trying to propel to success," Natalie admits. "After our last situation ended, we knew it was important to sign with someone who believed in us, our movement, and our music. From the beginning, Bryan Leach got it. It was as if he was a part of our team even prior to signing to his label!."
Now, with The Musical (executive produced by Nina Sky, Jack Move Inc., and Bryan Leach) complete, Nina Sky welcomes tastemakers and fans to rejoice in their return. Their new single, "Curtain Call featuring Rick Ross," and new label, Polo Grounds Music/J Records, is as close to a musical rebirth as the duo can get. An elaborate work of art, "The Musical" showcases the growth and versatility that is Nina Sky.
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