Our next Spotlight – Ni/Co. We caught up with this tag team of Dani and Colton to talk about this musical journey. We discuss how they became who they are today, who they listened to growing up and about their latest single Legend. Check out what they had to say!
How did you meet? And how long have you been performing together
We met in Nashville! We started writing together around 2014 and officially started performing together as Ni/Co in late 2016!
Coming from Atlanta, and Ohio, those are dissimilar states, in terms of scenes and cultures. How do you think they have shaped your individual sounds, and why do you think it’s helped you to combine into your unique sound?
Dani came from Atlanta and was around the amazing R&B/ pop music from that city. Her musical upbringing is a strong core of the music we make as Ni/Co. Colton actually spent his high school years in acapella groups and was featured on season 2 of The Sing-Off on NBC. So he pulls a lot of ideas for harmony and vocal arrangements from that background. Although we came from different musical landscapes we both gravitated to similar artists such as Jojo, Chris Brown, Tori Kelly ect. We feel like all of these things influence how we create today.
You are living in LA now, I mean, competition must have been insane out there pre-Covid. Did you find that there are more opportunities to play and perform or was it difficult with competition?
Coming from Nashville to LA was definitely an adjustment in terms of playing live. In Nashville we played fairly often! Unfortunately, the pandemic hit only 9 months into us living in LA so we barely got our feet wet playing out.We hope venues will be able to survive the pandemic and live music is able to resurge.
Your name, NI/CO is a portmanteau of your names, Dani, and Colton. Why did you decide to go with that, rather than pick a new name for yourselves? What were some of the rejected names?
We went through the ringer with names. We had some really hilarious moments when picking a name and it actually took a long time. At one point we were Zenith, we were even 1-hart for a sec. Nothing really felt right so we came back to our names. We were between CoDa or Ni/Co. We felt like the slash was more unique although now we kinda regret it cause it makes us a little more difficult to search hahaha.
A quick stroll through your socials, you have a tonne of cool covers, like your acoustic version of Dance Monkey, or Bleeding Love. What are some tracks you are thinking of covering in the future? And which tracks did you try and failed miserably?
We try to find songs that speak to us to cover. We have definitely been overly ambitious with mashup covers in the past hahah. We’ll probably end up doing some more throwbacks and we take requests frequently!
Your new single, LEGEND. So cool. I love the sultry yet pop vibe, tell us about what it was like writing it?
We write a lot for film/TV music and this one was originally geared mostly towards that, but we felt we could really see our followers and listeners needing to hear a confidence boosting anthem in times like this! So recording it was all about just having fun and getting weird with the message.
What’s the process like in the studio actually recording the tracks for you guys?
We record most of the songs in home studios. We live with a producer, Kevin Hutchens, who produces most of our youtube content. Also we work with different producers who send us tracks and we record ourselves and send them the vocals. So every song is done a little different!
Who are some artists you love and respect, either contemporaries, or that you grew up listening to?
We are both huge fans of Jojo! We have been since we were little. Also we love the classics like Whitney, Brian McKnight, Mariah Carey, etc. More recently, we’re listening a ton to Tate McRae and Fletcher!! We absolutely love their production and songwriting styles.
If you had a dream collab/Feature who would it be and why?
We would love to work with some writers/ and producers we really admire. We’re big fans of Ilya Salmanzadeh, Savan Kotecha, and more obviously, Max Martin. A super fun artist collab for us would be Doja Cat!
Given the current circumstances in California, and the USA in general, how are you staying sane and what are some hopeful words you have out there?
We’ve been mostly trying to stay positive. Like everyone else we have our down days. Sometimes we just take a day and do things that make us happy. Maybe it’s just driving around in our singing, going on a hike or watching an old Disney movie. We have just realized that it’s ok to be in your feeling sometimes and after we’ve felt all the feelings then afterwards just spend some time being positive.
You have released a ton of tracks this year on streaming platforms, can we expect an album soon?
As of now no album! We are just trying to not overthink our music too much and just release what’s on our heart at the time, so lots and lots of singles coming soon!
What are some words of advice you would love to give, or wish that someone had told you when you were first starting out?
We wish someone would’ve told us as artists to just put out music that you care about. ALSO – don’t be afraid. At the end of the day we are singing, writing, and performing – not life or death matters. We’ve spent a good amount of time being afraid and allowing fear to paralyze us and it’s not a fun way to live or create art.
With things gradually reopening what are some of your local bars/restaurants/hangouts you are especially looking forward to getting back to? Any shoutouts?
Being relatively new to LA we are just excited to get out and meet new people and explore the city more! We cannot wait to go back to small venues and meet other young hustling artists!
What do you want to say to your fans?
We’re so thankful to have people starting to follow along with us over the past year or so. We love having people be a part of our community and we hope we can bring a little bit of joy to your life. And thank you for keeping us laughing always!
This Spotlight – Ni/Co is a wrap. Big thanks to this dynamic duo for taking the time to chat with us.
Make sure to check out music from Ni/Co now!
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