Earlier today, Pepsi and Complex launched a new platform to give up-and-coming artists the resources necessary to bring their already-budding careers to new heights. The Pepsi Pulse Artist Spotlight’s first release is the official U.S. music video premiere for Nico and Vinz's “Am I Wrong.”
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, the 2013-released track has suddenly become one of the biggest pop songs in the U.S. The Top 5, multi-platinum track is now the most Shazamed song in the world, and after a year of success, the Norwegian artists have decided to recreate the visuals with a more personal look at their world.
Watch the video above and read a brief interview with the duo below. Then catch some behind-the-scenes footage of them creating the video.
Tell us the story behind your hit single, "Am I Wrong?"
Nico Sereba: It’s us coming from a small country and having big dreams basically. It’s a song where we encourage people and also encourage ourselves to follow our gut feelings.
Where did you guys film the restaurant scene in the new video?
Nico: It was in Harlem, the African neighborhood in Harlem. We got to eat some real Ivorian food, and this guy came in and started singing, and just had fun with us. We stood up and I had to dance with him.
Did you both listen to a lot of hip-hop growing up?
Vincent "Vinz" Dery: We definitely did. We grew up in that whole hip-hop culture back in Norway. I used to listen to a lot of West Coast rap—big fan of Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, and all those guys. I was just amazed by that whole culture.
Nico: I was more influenced by the East Coast, so I was listening to Nas, Wu-Tang, Jay-Z… Me and my friends we were more on the East Coast vibe.
For someone who has never heard your music before, how would you describe your sound in three words or less?
Nico: I would say it’s authentic, it’s energetic, it’s positive.
Can you tell me a little about your upcoming LP, Black Star Elephant?
Nico: Vince has parents from Ghana, and my dad is from Ivory Coast but my mother’s Norwegian. In Ghana they call themselves the Black Stars. In Ivory Coast, we call ourselves the Elephants. So we created this character called the Black Star Elephant, basically where we tell his story from, where he started off, is a metaphor for us. We’ve been working on it for I think maybe two years. It’s nice to see that we’re finally getting towards releasing it.
Could you describe the music scene in Oslo or Norway in general, and what it’s like being musicians there?
Vinz: There’s a lot of talent out there, especially on the EDM side. On our album we worked with a producer Will IDAP (a.k.a Nasty Kutt), who’s a Norwegian producer. He did “Am I Wrong” and a majority of the album. We also worked with another Norwegian producer, Thomas Eriksen. It’s cool to showcase the talent that we have in Norway, and we’re excited to see that more of us are getting out there and pursuing our dreams.
Does your heritage have a big influence on your music?
Nico: We talked about hip-hop earlier, but actually before hip-hop I think we were listening to lots of reggae, because that’s what our parents were playing. Reggae, African music, especially in my case African music. That was one of our first influences, so when you hear us sing melodies you’ll hear African melodies in there. We take it with us everyday, we take it with us everywhere we go—we feel as Norwegian as we feel Ghanaian and Ivorian, so it’s always with us.