Nico & Vinz are a Norwegian singing and songwriting duo, composed of Kahouly Nicolay "Nico" Sereba from Holmlia, Oslo and Vincent "Vinz" Dery from Lambertseter, Oslo. They formed in 2009 as Envy and are based in Oslo. They changed their name to Nico & Vinz in January 2014 after the international success of "Am I Wrong".
2010–11: Formation and debut mixtape
Nico Sereba of Norwegian-Ivorian origin and Vincent Dery of Ghanaian origin created their music as a fusion of genres as diverse as pop to reggae to soul, having been exposed by the various musical influences of their parents with whom they did recurring trips to the West Coast of Africa. The duo was launched as Envy with its main debut appearance at Emergenza Festival in 2011. They won first place at the Taubertal Open Air Festival World's "Emergenza Final" for new emerging artists. Following that success, the duo released the mixtape Dreamworks: Why Not Me under the name Envy. The materials were also made available online through WiMP.
2011: The Magic Soup and the Bittersweet Faces
Envy released their debut studio album The Magic Soup and the Bittersweet Faces on April 27, 2012, peaking to number 37 on the Norwegian Albums Chart. "One Song" was released as the lead single from the album peaking at number 19 on the Norwegian Singles Chart. It was followed by "Go Loud" released as a follow-up second and last single from the album.
2013–2014: Breakthrough and "Am I Wrong" international success
In April 2013 they released "Am I Wrong" under the name Envy. In January 2014, the duo changed their name from Envy to Nico & Vinz, in coordination with their signing to Warner Bros. Records in the United States to avoid being confused with other artists with a similar name. With international success of the single, the duo changed the credits of the single to the new adopted name. The song has peaked to number 2 on the Norwegian Singles Chart, the song has also peaked to number 2 on the Danish Singles Chart and number 2 on the Swedish Singles Chart. It also reached number 1 on the American Top 40 Charts. It was followed up with another release "In Your Arms" which also charted in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
The music video for "Am I Wrong" was directed and edited by Kavar Singh. The video for "Am I Wrong" was filmed in Botswana and at the Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was put together in a deliberate effort to present a positive side of Africa when the image of the continent is too often mired in negative news stories. The music video was released via YouTube on June 20, 2013, and has been gaining much attention with over three hundred and sixteen million views. The group played many major Norwegian television shows and kept saying they would aim even higher and try to break through into American audiences. In 2013 they performed live at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway.
In early 2014, Nico & Vinz received the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA) at Eurosonic Festival, performed at the Spellemann Awards, completed a Scandinavian tour, and launched "Am I Wrong" worldwide. When "Am I Wrong" made its American radio debut in April 2014, it was the #1 most added record at the mainstream radio format with 90 adds, a rarity in first-week airplay for a new artist. As one of the most Shazamed songs worldwide, "Am I Wrong" reached #1 on Shazam's Top 100 Worldwide and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached #3 on SoundHound's hottest chart. They were in New York to promote Am I Wrong (song) at the promo day event. They met Reese Witherspoon at the premiere of The Good Lie in Washington, D.C. They visited the FIFA 15 launch party by EA Sports, a brand of Electronic Arts in New York. Then they performed "Am I Wrong" at the Mall of America in Minnesota and at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, as well as for the television show Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles.
2015–present: Third studio album and Cornerstone
In October 2015, the duo released the EP Cornerstone. "That's How You Know" featuring Bebe Rexha was released as the first single from the EP and peaked at number 2 in both Norway and Australia. They also featured in Alesso's song 'I Wanna Know'.
Nico & Vinz then released "Hold It Together" in January 2016, which is taken from their third studio album, due later in 2016.
The second single from Cornerstone will be "Praying to a God".
- Studio albums
- The Magic Soup and the Bittersweet Faces (2012) (credited as Envy)
- Black Star Elephant (2014) (credited as Nico & Vinz)
- Dreamworks: Why Not Me (2010) (credited as Envy)
- Extended plays
- Cornerstone (2015)