Girl Talk With Nicole Millar And Zuri Akoko

| May 22, 2015

Source: Supplied

Words By Jessica Testa

IT’S always exciting when two amazing artists collaborate on a project, especially when it’s as unique as what these two Sydney girls have come up with.

Vocalist, Nicole Millar, and producer, Zuri Akoko, have released a series of covers. These include 50 cent’s ‘21 questions’, Shlohmo’s ‘Bo Peep (Do You Right)’ and Mya’s ‘My Love Is Like…Wo’. To complete their collaboration, they filmed a video with fashion videographer, FLING FLING, in which they both looked incredible. You can check out both of these below. We had a great chat with both girls about their collaboration/ friendship, personal style, what happens when music meets fashion and future plans.

MM: Hey girls! Besides the cover series and the video, what have you both been up to recently?

N: I have been in the studio working on original material. I’ve also been performing at shows with Kilter, Peking Duk and Zuri until I get my own setup together, which will hopefully be really soon.

Z: Working on more music! I have a couple of remixes coming out and some original instrumental pieces, I’ll be releasing under a Book of Beats playlist that will be for more of my experimental pieces.

Who influenced the two of you to get into music?
N: I grew up listening to a lot of commercial music lots of different genres but it was definitely Destiny’s Child that inspired me back then. And of course Beyonce still does, she’s a queen.

Z: I’d say it was a lot of things, friends and family but really I’ve had this infatuation with electronic music since I was about 14, when I heard Infected Mushrooms for the first time. I think it was just a natural progression to start producing my own tracks as I got older

How did you meet?

N: We met through friends. We got along and both had never worked with a girl before and so we thought, yes let’s do it. Turns out, we both really liked the same music and wanted to make something together.

What inspired you to collaborate on this project?

Z: I think there was just a mutual respect for one another’s artistry, and we wanted to do something fun before putting pressure on ourselves to write originals together first.

Why did you choose to cover those three songs? What is the connection between them?

Z: We chose the Shlohmo cover first, really just because we liked it. After we decided to do two more, we thought we should choose another two R&B songs to give cohesiveness to the release.

N: I think we wanted to pick tracks that both Zuri and I loved but also wanted to make sure that there were tracks people would connect with and be like yes I remember this song. To take a new twist on some old tracks the first thing we wanted to do was pick male artists as it already makes a huge difference in the song when a female goes to sing on them.

Out of the covers in your series, which is your favourite and why?

N: It’s funny because I thought Shlohmo would definitely be my favourite. But when Zuri was done with the production, the Mya track ended up being my favourite.

Z: That’s hard. There’s parts in each song that have big strengths and make the m unique. With Bo Peep I’m proud of the percussion textures, but I love the breakdown in Like Wo. I love we were able to make 21 questions sound so different from the original.

50 Cent’s ‘21 Questions’ and Mya’s ‘My Love Is Like…Wo’ were originally released in 2003. What were you doing that year?

N: I think I was 10 years old. I was probably playing the Sims and pretending to be gangster in my hip hop dances lessons.

Z: I think I was graduating from Year 6.

You both look amazing in the video you shot with FLING FLING! Can you give us an outline of the idea behind the video and how you came up with it?

Z: Thankyou! Andrew (FLING FLING) had a video style we were already aware of and admired, we thought it would accompany the music well. So we contacted him and he was keen to get.

N: Zuri and I found this filmmaker who makes these great 40-second short fashion videos. We have always thought they were shot in a very cool way we thought it would work well together.

It looked like you were both having so much fun! What did you enjoy the most about making the video?

N: Haha, I guess it was fun because we were just hanging out but got to wear some cool clothes.

Z: We kept it really chilled and all just hung out together and got it done.

We love that the video creates a connection between music and fashion. Do you think the way we dress and the style of music we enjoy have an influence on each other?

N: I think it can, I mean my style changes all the time depending on what mood I’m in, but I think in general if you are a creative person you will like to wear things that reflect your personality.

Z: Hands down. But to be completely honest, it’s not something I put a lot of deep thought into. It just comes down to taste and what you like.

Each of you have demonstrated your unique sense of style in the video. How would you describe this style in three words?

N: Haha, I never know what three words to say for this question, but I guess I like to wear things that are fun but comfortable. Classy, Sexy, Comfortable.

Z: Street, cerebral and casual.

Do you think more artists should use the opportunity to express their music creatively in visual ways like this?

N: I’m all about creating visuals for everything that I do. I know that when I find a new artist I always enjoy the songs more when there is a video. I guess it is just another outlet that lets you express yourself a bit more.

Z: The most important thing is always the music, first and foremost. The visual should never take away from the music itself, but add to it in a complimenting manner. It’s cool doing collaborative work with people who have a strong visual sense, and are also on the same level as you so you can express the music correctly.

Nicole, you are currently working on your debut album which will feature loads of local and international artists. What can you tell us about that?

N: I’m just writing a lot at the moment. I’m working with people all around the world some of these producers are Nicky Night Time, Crvvcks, Loston, GXNXVS and of course Zuri! Some internationals as well.

Zuri, Sydneysiders will be able to see you in action at the Oxford Art Factory on June 7. How do you feel to be supporting TOKiMONSTA?

Z: I’m stoked! I’ve admired TOKi for a long time; it will be cool to do the show with her.

Will you be collaborating on any more projects together in the future?

N: Of course, Zuri and I love working together so I guess we will just keep writing and see what happens.

Z: Definitely!

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Category: FEATURED, MUSIC, Uncategorized

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