Nina Sky returns with a new Caribbean-infused R&B track called “Champion Lover” (via Tommy Boy Entertainment), the lead single off their forthcoming album Brightest Gold, marking their first major label release since their 2004 self-titled debut.
The R&B duo, comprised of twin sisters Natalie and Nicole Albino, said that the feel-good ditty was a love note to their significant others but also a summertime jam. “The song originated as this playful love song that Natalie and I wrote together,” Nicole tells Billboard. “Nicole wrote the chorus about her wife and our verse is about my husband,” adds Natalie. “It originated as something more playful but it turned into a single for us and has a cute meaning behind it.”
While both sisters have grown immensely since booming onto the music scene with the dance floor magnet “Move Your Body” in 2004, they admit that their come-up was met with challenges. “When Natalie and I first came out in 2004, everyone [we worked with] was so set on ‘Don’t talk about being a lesbian, don’t talk about being in a relationship. People need to desire you,'” recalls Nicole. “I don’t necessarily think that was the way we wanted to sell our music. If people were into the music, they would support what we do anyway.”
Nicole continues, “In 2004, it was a different time and they wanted Natalie and I to represent what people see as a stereotypical Latina with curves and long hair but we are Latinas and we embrace it fully but we’re not that. Now, as we’ve grown older and wiser and become smarter women, we embrace who we are and it had a lot to do with become independent artists and just being able to develop ourselves without the outside influence of people telling us who they thought we should be.”
Natalie points out that becoming a mom two years ago and an independent act has also made her more confident in her own skin. “I think I felt comfortable in my skin once we decided to go the independent route in 2005 2006 and were able to create the type of music we wanted to create and do the kinds of shows we wanted to do,” she offers. “After I had my son, it was kind of like a rebirth for me ’cause I’m a mom now and I’m rediscovering things about myself. I have to be much more balanced and aware of what I’m doing. I think you’re always growing as a person in becoming more comfortable with who you are.”
The New York-bred tandem will be sharing their experiences in life and love on their upcoming record, which borrows its name from the title track that signifies “getting high off of life” and includes a cover of the 1998 Usher classic “Nice & Slow.”
Till Brightest Gold makes its debut later this year, dance the summer away with the lyric video to “Champion Lover” below.