With the temperatures dropping here in the states, it’s nice to have something warm to look forward to, particularly when it involves a vacation packed with lesbians and various forms of entertainment. In my many years as a lesbian, I still haven’t been able to make my way to Palm Springs for the annual weekend of fun and debauchery also known as The Dinah. I’m hoping this might just be my year, particularly because Nina Sky will be doubling your pleasure and doubling your fun as headliners for the White Diamonds party on Friday night (March 30).
Natalie and NicoleAlbino are the gorgeous twin powers who brought us the banger “Move Ya Body.” The pair have collaborated with musicians like CREEP, Major Lazer and Sean Paul and have been known to light up the dance floor with remixes. To help get you in the mood to party, Nina Sky is giving away their great 2010 EP, The Other Side, for free on their website.
Nicole recently came out and is married to her fashion designer wife, Erin Magee, who took on the Albini surname. I can only imagine that now that she’s gone public with her relationship, it should make the Dinah experience even more fun to share with the crowd.
AfterEllen.com: Dinah weekend has become this incredible lesbian Spring Break party. How did you feel about being asked to be a headliner?
Nicole Albini: We’re super excited to a part of Dinah weekend. It looks like it’s going to be a blast!
AE: Are you nervous about being surrounded by lesbians at all? Natalie, how are you feeling about all of this?
Natalie Albini: We’re coming to have fun and put on a great show. As long as the audience is into partying with us and having a good time, we can dig it! Looking forward to the fun.
AE: They have a lot of activities planned and I’ve seen some video footage of some dance-offs that were pretty eye-opening. Do you have time to hang out and enjoy the party weekend?
Nicole: We’ll be at Dinah for two days. Hopefully we’ll get to check out some of the other activities!
AE: You worked with Major Lazer, Creep, Pitbull and my Chicago homegirl Kid Sister. What was it like to work with all of these different artists and how did the collaborations come about — particularly because their sounds are all so different?
Nicole: We love all genres of music and experimenting with different sounds. Our music is R&B-based but we try to keep everything fun. With the Major Lazer Collab, Diplo contacted us to write to one of their tracks. We loved the vibe and jumped on it. For CREEP, we reached out to Lauren Flax and she told us about the project she working on with Lauren Dillard. Initially we wanted a song for our album, but ended up writing “You” for theirs. Our collaborations are just based on vibe and inspiration. If you can inspire us with what you’re doing, we love to be a part of it!
AE: You’ve been arguing with your record label over your most recent album, Starting Today, has there been any movement or reconciliation there?
Nicole: We did have a disagreement with the last label we were signed to, Polo Grounds, and the way they handled our project. We were fortunate enough, with the support of our fans, to get out of that label deal and are currently independent artists. Some of the songs from Starting Today, which was never given a label release, will be featured on our upcoming EP.
AE: In light of the label argument, you were able to independently release your EP, The Other Side — which is so smooth! Part of what I love so much about it is hearing some of the ’90s samples in there — “Funk Dat” is obvious but did I also hear a Crystal Waters instrumental sample in there? There was a while there when I only wore Cross Colours and had “Hip Hop” shaved into the back of my head. Natalie: Glad you enjoyed the music! The Other Side EP was heavily inspired by the music that we used to dance to when we were growing up in Queens, NY. We sampled Sagat‘s “Funk That,” and covered The Cure‘s “Love Song.” We wanted to record fun music without feeling like we had to re-create what’s “hot” on the radio.
AE: I hope this comes across the way I want it to but, your music in general has a great mid-to-late ’90s feel to it, which is to say it’s the right amount dance and the right amount of lean-back mellow cool. I really didn’t think about it until right about now, but music in the ’90s pop dance world was pretty great — and happy! There wasn’t the heavy overproduction that there is now. What would you say your musical intentions are when it comes to making music? What kind of feelings or emotions are you hoping to bring to the listeners?
Natalie: It seems like everyone is recreating the same songs over and over. Artists are all after the same producers and what happens is, you turn on the radio and everything sounds the same. We love a lot of the music we’re not on a mission to make songs that sound like what’s currently in the top 10. Those songs already exist. You know what I mean? We love ’90s music and even earlier music than that. We grew up in a household where we were listening to every genre, and the best of it. This is what inspires us.
AE: Your song “Only You” is one of my favorite tracks you’ve ever put out. Where did that song come from? Of course, I’m hoping it’s for a special ladyfriend. What’s the story behind it?
Natalie: Thank you, it’s definitely one of our personal favorites too. “Only You” is about a special feeling, this “You make my heart skip a beat, I’m so in love, can’t wait to see you again feeling.” Nicole and I are lucky to have experienced this special kind of love, so it was a fun song to write! That’s pretty much where the song came from. It was produced by Double O of Kidz in the Hall.
AE: What other projects or collaborations are you working on right now? Nicole: Right now we’re recording another EP. We’re working with lots of amazing producers, CREEP, Beau Vallis, DJ Yonny who produced on The Other Side, and a few others who we won’t mention yet! In January, we’re shooting a music video and hoping to release the first single. This year has been great to us and we are really looking forward to 2012 to be equally amazing.
You can get tickets and find out more about Nina Sky’s performance at the White Diamonds party at thedinah.com.