What to Do after Your Song Goes No. 1, According to “Am I Wrong?” Singers Nico & Vinz
Am I wrong for thinking that we could be something for real?
You know the song, you love the song, but do you know who made it? The emerging Norwegian pop duo Nico & Vinz realize that their smash single “Am I Wrong?” surpasses the recognition of their names and faces. Such a circumstance illustrates a common predicament faced by the unknown artists behind widely known hits: how do you build from a song that’s bigger than you are?
The breakout success of their hit single—it landed No. 1 on a Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and No. 4 on their Top 100—has secured them global tours with Usher, a label deal with Warner, and a spot on the FIFA ’15 video game soundtrack. But Nico & Vinz realize that viral songs are short-lived, and if they want to remain relevant, they’ll need to think quickly.
They’ve just released their Cornerstone EP, which title speaks to the many lessons they’ve learned since their rapid boom, and are pushing their new single, “That’s How You Know,” which jokingly illustrates a worse-case scenario: becoming obsessed with fame’s accessories and losing everything overnight. While its lyrics are wholly hypothetical, it still points to a legitimate threat in the modern-day music biz, and Nico & Vinz are proceeding with caution.
Avoiding the “One Hit Wonder” effect like the plague, Nico & Vinz are sailing off the wave of their household single, shifting focus to accumulate a loyal fan base, and strategically laying the foundation for a sustainable future in the music industry. Here’s how they’re doing it.
Since “Am I Wrong” was a huge hit, it opened the door to America. Without that song, maybe we still wouldn’t be here. We haven’t had the time to build our following, which is what we’re doing now. That song was bigger than our names and faces, and now it’s up to us to try to build and be present for people, giving them video content, being active on social media, and things like that. When we give fans a piece of who we are, they gravitate toward us and appreciate us for who we are. That’s what we’re doing now.
Diversify Your Bars
On Cornerstone, we wanted to organically show all of the different sides of us. We just made music, and this is what came out of it. There are so many different styles that we’ve done and are interested in doing, so we felt like we shouldn’t just limit ourselves to one particular sound. We just want our songs to make people feel something—because that’s what connects our generation.
Know Your Worth
We came from the small country of Norway right into Hollywood. We’ve been in sessions with a lot of great producers, songwriters and artists, and we feel like we have a place here. Before, we weren’t sure if we were good enough to be out here, but now, we’re working with these people and realizing we’re artists just like them. Musically, we have something to offer here.
There’s No Place Like Home
Learning how the American music industry operates has been totally different than working in the Norwegian market. It’s so much bigger than what we’re used to. Back home, there are only a handful of radio stations, whereas here there are so many. It’s a huge country with so many people, so that in itself is pretty overwhelming.
It’s a whole lot easier to work here, though, because people in America are so open to collaborate. They want to work with you if they can connect with your stuff, so that’s been a big thing for us.
We used to hang onto our music when we didn’t feel like it fit with what we were currently doing or it wasn’t the best time to release it. I wish we’d been more open to letting go of our music, because we still have it, and listening back on it now, we realize that it was so dope, and we shouldn’t have been so protective.
Yes, we have this huge song, and that’s awesome. So we know what we’re capable of. Although people might see it as this huge pressure, it’s more so that now we can work on establishing ourselves while already knowing what it’s like to feel that success, which is really exciting for us.
We’ll never say no to having a song on the radio, but we’re also focused on feeding our fans and building a following from the underground up. Last year, we had the big hit, and we toured and all that stuff, but building this fan base organically feels even better.
We know that world of radio success, and now, we’re feeling out what it’s like to grow a fan base as an underdog. Now, it’s about filling that gap.