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Nico & Vinz talk with LI kids: 'Am I Wrong' and beyond

Kidsday reporters Peckelle Bethune Tammy Pierrot Darleine Abellard

Kidsday reporters Peckelle Bethune Tammy Pierrot Darleine Abellard and Bianca Kisin, from the Hofstra Summer Camp, with members of the group Nico & Vinz (Nico is sitting on the left) in their dressing room at the Jimmy Fallon show in Manhattan on July 21, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met the group Nico & Vinz in the green room right before their appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" in Manhattan recently. Their song "Am I Wrong" is one of our favorites.

How do you feel about the success in your career?

Nico: It's amazing. When we were young, we used to dream about this every day. Ever since we were 12, 13, 14 years old, and we come from a very small country called Norway, with 5 million people now. So for us, the dream to be in America and be one of the biggest or have one of the biggest songs here it was like such a far-fetched dream, but now to see it happen, it really makes us humble.

Vinz: It was a blessing. It's a lot of fun.

What made you film your video for "Am I Wrong" in Africa?

Nico: First of all, we're both African ourselves. My dad is from the Ivory Coast, my mom is Norwegian and Vinz has parents from Ghana, West Africa. When we heard the song "Am I Wrong," to us, it had a lot of warmth, it had like energy, it makes you dance, right? It makes you want to move and where do you find that in the world? We had to go to Africa to find that to put that in the video. We wanted to show Africa from a more positive side, like the side of Africa that we know. Like I said, the dancing, the color, the joy and everything.

What inspired you to make "Am I Wrong"?

Vinz: What inspired us to make "Am I Wrong" was just basically life and our life situation. We felt like we were at a point that I feel a lot of people are in their lives as well -- at a crossroad -- and I was contemplating on getting a second job because things were really slow. We just sat in the studio, we had all these thoughts, all these ideas that we felt needed to come out. Sometimes I feel like you get trapped into something, like one thing. That's what we felt. We wanted to write a song about that and so the lyrics came real easy.

How did you guys meet or find each other?

Vinz: We met in 2009 actually through a mutual friend. That mutual friend of ours had been making music with Nico and me, as well. So at one point he said, 'Why don't you guys go together and try to make music together because it might work.' And so we tried it out and we discovered that we sort of had the same vision. We started talking about 'Why not? Why not us? We can do this too.' That's how we got started. And we had a bunch of friends who started a record label. Just like friends -- that's how we got started.

Were there any other artists that inspired you musically?

Nico: Yeah. We listen to a lot of different artists. I always like the big icons like Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur, Jay Z, all those guys. But also I think we listen to a lot of different genres. We take inspiration from so many different things. We're also inspired by people who have a goal and people with ambition.

Do you have any plans for the future?

Vinz: We're basically off on the Bruno Mars concert [tour] and after that we hope to have an album ready in the fall and that's as far as I know for sure. I don't know what's in the plans for the two of us for now, but yeah, hopefully we'll release album, a tour, meet our fans and keep on our dream.

What do you think is the hardest thing about this career?

Vinz: I always say the most fun part is the music -- like performing -- just everything that's about the music and meeting fans. That's the coolest part of it. We are in the music business and we're doing the business part as well, which is not always as fun, but it comes with the job.

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