Nico and Vinz burst on to the US music scene in 2014 with their hit single, "Am I Wrong," but before they crossed the pond, they were musical sensations in their home of Oslo, Norway. The 24-year-old duo met in school at the age of 19 and originally called their group, Envy. After "Am I Wrong" skyrocketed to no.1 on the US music charts, they changed it to Nico & Vinz in January 2014.
Fresh off of the international UR Experience tour with ESSENCE Fest headliner, Usher, the boys will be headed to New Orleans to bless our stage with their vibrant energy and immense talent. So, we gathered five facts that are sure to make you mark their performance at #EssenceFest on your schedule in July.
1. Before they began singing for thousands of screaming fans around the world, Nico and Vinz were a rap-group called Envy. The multi-talented artists can still freestyle in three different languages and here's proof.
2. The two named their debut album, Black Star Elephant, as a combined homage to their pasts. Vinz, whose parents are from Ghana, took the first part of the name from the country's popular soccer team, The Black Stars. Nico's family is from the Ivory Coast and that's where the "elephants" part of the name came from.
3. As you can hear in their hit song, Am I Wrong, they draw musical inspirations from all over the world. Thier biggest inspirations come from reggae, African music and artists from the Caribbean.
4. The video for Am I Wrong (which has over 180 million views on YouTube) was filmed in Botswana, leading many of their initial US fans to think the duo was from Africa instead of Norway. Though they jokingly tell many interviewers that there are no more black people in Norway "because they left," they insist that the population is a mix of cultures-- which is reflected in their music.
5. Surprisingly, the two can speak perfect English without any accents and they acreddit their ability to watching reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and being obesessed with legendary comedian, Eddie Murphy.
They are the ones to watch and we can't wait to show you why at ESSENCE Fest 2015.
What do you love most about Nico & Vinz? Tweet us @ESSENCEfest to tell us your thoughts.
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