A quick look at today’s hip-hop and R&B chart implies that people only like listening to songs about stalking “the one who got away” on Instagram. Or maybe even the numbness of having one night stands. So there’s something to be said about a hip-hop act breaking free from the pattern.
Nico Sereba and Vincent Dery make up Nico & Vinz, an Afro-Norwegian hip-hop act who sing songs of hope and positivity. We got to chat with the duo about their musical process (and taught them a few Filipino phrases along the way!)
To travel the world as a musical act is a dream for the duo. “We love music more than anything, and being able to live off of it is incredible. It’s what we’ve been hoping and wishing to do.” It was difficult at first but they eventually found the perfect mix of melodies punctuated by African drum beats, trumpets and a fusion of jazz and reggae elements, plus lyrics that seek to motivate and not just talk about getting faded.
Their musical process starts with the melody first. “We think the melody inspires the lyrics. We find a melody that feels good to us, we look for inspiration, as well, then we put the lyrics after.” On their lyrics, they say that most of their earlier songs were more motivational in theme. “We encourage people to follow their dreams and goals in life, just like what we did.”
In their new EP Cornerstone, however, they explore all about love and relationships.
On their performance, they say that their ultimate goal on stage is to make people smile and just have a good time. “We always come out with that energy. It’s nighttime, there’s a lot of people, and we’ve never been to the Philippines. We think it could be one of our best shows.”
They sure fulfilled that promise as they gave an all-out performance at Jack TV MADFest for their Filipino fans. They surprised the audience by wearing Philippine team football jerseys, even juggling a football! They also played the drums and harmonica during their set.
Towards the end of our interview, we taught them Filipino phrases and recommended Filipino foods they can try. Being the nice guys that they are, they actually remembered all that and even mentioned them on stage. They even gave us a quick snippet of their new song That’s How You Know from latest EP Cornerstone. Check it: