There seems to be a lot of noise coming out of the East Coast these days. And not just noise, but some serious bangers that are effortlessly killing it within the underground music scene. Our eyes have been securely fixed on one group in particular, Nina Sky, made up of twin sisters Nicole and Natalie Albino. You probably know the name from your favorite reggaeton club tracks that force you out of your seat, and onto the dance floor. The duo said it best, "Life is about experiences and trying new things," and that is just the mindset that is portrayed through a genuine Nina Sky production. Like most artists first starting out, their introduction to the music industry proved to be a mountain to conquer, as well as a true test to their personal sensibility - however, with a strong head on their shoulders and a firm grasp on their identities, these musical chameleons aggressively surpassed the brutal judgment and persuasion from a notoriously difficult industry.
The twins grew up in a small town in New York, where their father, a DJ, played a large role in molding the sisters' love for music. Nicole and Natalie can recall several times when music would be blasting through the house, and the loud, rambunctious parties that would be hosted. Their home was often characterized as being the unofficial "party spot," where their large family and friends would gather together to share stories and experiences.
Growing up, the twins took an atypical route in terms of their goals and achievements. When most kids were day-dreaming about becoming astronauts and princesses, Nicole and Natalie Albino were busy writing catchy songs like "Sisters" and "Don't Let the Water Drop." Listening to the two speak of their careers, you get the sense they've had their whole professional paths planned out since entering the world. You wouldn't be far off - the twins got their first taste of the music industry at only 7 years old, writing jingles for commercials.
But when writing catchy commercial tunes could no longer hold their attention, the twins proceeded with curating their first album at the age of 14. Nicole and Natalie described the album as being fun and up-beat, something you'd blast at a house party, but they felt it lacked heart and soul. As mentioned by Natalie "At 14, you don't really experience much at that time," and that was certainly something they felt was missing, as they would normally look to their friends and families experiences for writing inspiration.
As Natalie and Nicole matured with age, so did their musical taste and writing skills. They both married, traveled the world, and began rallying those experiences into the music they produced. It finally feltas though their true selves were showing through with each new track. But with the changes in their sound, came a fair share of backlash from the music industry and mainstream audiences. It's easy to get trapped in a box where everyone thinks you need to sound like a pop-rock track, or a blatant hip-hop tune, but Nina Sky strived to be different. The twins have always danced to the beat of their own drum, even if they were told no one would listen to it. Nicole can even pinpoint moments where strength and perseverance needed to outweigh the outward whispers of naysayers:
"When we were so young and first got into the industry, we didn't realize the pressure we'd feel from other people involved to do certain things and be a certain way, and that was hard on us in the beginning. I feel like you're influenced by that pressure and we wanted to maintain who we are. One of the most importation things to us is just staying true to ourselves, and maintaining a sense of being Nicole and Natalie, when everyone else is telling you who to be, how to be, what to be.
I think it was really difficult for us in the beginning to just say "No," since we were new to the industry. In the beginning, we didn't want to risk anything like people not wanting to work with us. But what we found was that people really respected when you stayed true to yourself, and speak what you really feel. It's about staying true to who you are. As we got older we learned the importance of being that, and how it will get you farther and it will make you happy in the end. Never be scared to speak your mind."
One assumption that needed to be shaken off was the idea that Nina Sky was solely seen as the "Reggaeton girls." Sure. It's easy to secure that title when all the top tracks released were of that genre, but Nicole and Natalie worked hard to show their versatility in sound. Nina Sky is not a one man rodeo. These musical chameleons have earned their stripes by working with many different artists with very different sounds. "Because we grew up in an environment where we listened to everything, and still do, we chose to work with people who were making something we liked and something we were inspired by. We're always changing our sound. That's who Nina Sky is. We embrace all genres and when we collaborate with other artists - that's all it's about. It's about making great music regardless of the genre. If it moves us, we work on it. There's no specific thing we like to stick to. Just like our name "Nina Sky," the sky is the limit."
These days, there are countless individuals who dream of their name being written on Rolling Stones' Top 40 list - yet they seldom realize the work needed to reach stardom. Not only is there countless hours to be invested into the career path, there is always that need to keep a level head and an extra layer of skin handy at all times. Nicole and Natalie continue to overcome these struggles through their music career, and have stayed true to their own style. While reminiscing about their entrance into the music industry, Natalie gave some pretty sound advice to those looking to break into the field: "Everyone will have an opinion about what you're doing no matter what, but keep it moving. Don't let what other people say about you affect you. Not everyone is going to agree with your vision. A lot of doors will close, but a lot of doors will open." Let the sky be your limit, and you too can exceed your goals.