At first sight, the fact that these two songbirds are identical twins weighs heavily on the eyes. However, let us put that detail away for a moment. Natalie and Nicole Albino are not only two heavenly attractive young women, they are singers; true singers with cohesive melodies that are a strong as their sisterly bond. But it doesn’t stop there. This multi-talented duo known as Nina Sky, Nina equaling a portion of each of their names and Sky representing their shared aspirations, are also instrumentalists and songwriters. Now back to the twin thing, these two beautifully blended voices are undoubtedly better than one.
Nina Sky grew up in the multi-cultural borough of Queens in New York City. As they tell it, their early childhood and teen years were spent taking in magnitudes of music from several different genres. “My stepfather was a DJ, so he always played a lot of music,” says Nicole. “In the morning, he’d play rock music and then he’d go into some Miles Davis and then he’d play Madonna. He’d play everything!” The musical influence that Natalie and Nicole’s stepfather had impressed upon them was a great gift in hindsight. Growing up in such a harmonious home that effortlessly mingled various sounds, the two sisters quickly began to draw from that impact when composing their own music. “From when we were little we knew we wanted to do this,” Natalie offers. “My mother even told us that when we started talking we would sing.”
As Natalie and Nicole’s raw talent matured, the family supported the twins’ passion and drive to become professional singers. Subsequently, Nina Sky’s musical interests expanded. Nicole learned how to DJ from her stepfather and began playing the guitar and drums. The girls hooked up with the production team The Jettsonz approximately four years ago and began on the journey to stardom. “We auditioned, did showcases, and worked within a group of girls, and then we worked as a duo,” explains Nicole. “In 2004, The Jettsonz introduced us to Cipha Sounds who suggested we write to the Coolie Dance Riddim,” explains Natalie about their connection with renowned New York City DJ Cipha Sounds who co-produced the joint. Cipha had quickly recognized the fountain of talent buried in this well and supported the young women in their endeavors. They recorded a demo of the warm weather, rump shaking, party-starting hit record “Move Ya Body” and brought it to Eddie O’Loughlin, President of Next Plateau Entertainment, who offered a contract to Nina Sky on the spot. When the record was completed, it reacted immediately, infiltrating airways as one of the most added records at rhythm and urban radio.
After Nina Sky signed with Next Plateau/Universal Records, they immediately began recording their self-titled debut album. “We are very proud of the way our album came out. It is very personal to us. We self-titled it for that reason. It really represents who Nina Sky is,” says Nicole. The album is a combination of R&B songs heavily influenced by hip-hop, classic rock and throwback tunes, produced by Elijah Wells and Lionel Bermingham of the Jettsonz and Cipha Sounds and J. Landlord, co-owners of Jack Move Inc. and written, in conjunction, by both of the sisters. Nina Sky’s deliciously light and ethereal vocals make their songs even more aurally enticing as they often tell the female side of the story.
One of the many stand out tracks from the album, “Your Time,” is a smoothed out, rhythmic jam that illuminates Nina Sky’s sexy vocals over a mid tempo melody. Showing that the most important element of a relationship is spending time, the chorus goes: “Should I move on and find someone better?/Should I sit down and write you a letter?/You bought me gifts and a diamond ring/But all I really want is just one thing/Your Time.”
Mixing things up a bit, Nina Sky also addresses common issues like the loss of a cherished friendship. “There is a song on the album called “Surely Missed” that’s about losing your best friend,” says Natalie of the slow tempo ballad she penned. “I never experienced that personally but I have friends who have gone through that and seeing how emotional they were, it inspired me to write something for them.”
Nina Sky collaborated with R&B legend Betty Wright to write the song “You Deserve,” on which she also appears as a guest vocalist. And in the delightful vein of their flagship single “Move Ya Body” Nina Sky knows how to keep the party going, with songs like “Turnin’ Me On,” an upbeat percussion heavy dance tune and the two hip-hop inspired track “In a Dream” and “Holla Back..”
Nina Sky has already proven to be a duo worthy of national recognition with just one sweltering hot record. Delve into their self-titled debut this summer and they will surely double that listening pleasure.