In conversation with Australian powerhouse musical duo, NAATIONS. The duo kicked off their 2018 with the release of their single ‘Touch Me’. They have played a series of shows in London, including a headline show at Camden Assembly and a support slot at Gorgon City’s show at Brixton Academy.
Naations (IG: @naations, T: _naations)
NAATIONS is a powerhouse Australian duo, made up of long-time friends Nat Dunn and Nicky Night Time who’ve parlayed emotional, colorful and infectious music into hits. We caught up with the Australian twosome to find out more about their background, making the leap to L.A., inspirations, and growing up Down Under.
Describe your surroundings right now.
Nat – a Hotel room in Manchester. Smells like Indian food.
Nicky – Sitting in the studio with my mate Ali Love, writing some Arthur Russell inspired records.
Having previously worked as separate acts before forming NAATIONS, how did you guys meet?
Nat – We met through a mutual friend who is now our publisher.
Nicky – Our buddy Andy was playing Nat singing on his Instagram and I was blown away and said I have to meet her.
Have you both always been artistic, what was your alternate career?
Nat – Yes, came out the womb howling! No alternate career but always wanting to learn about every part of the universe, culture, people, and nature.
Nicky – I’ve been in the music industry for a while now! I guess I’d like to be a Food writer? Haha, I just love food.
If you could give your 13-year-old self some advice what would you say?
Nat – Follow your instincts, Kwan.
Nicky – Chill Nicky, it’s all gonna be ok.
Do you remember the track that made you fall in love with house music?
Nat – Probably…’Show Me Love’ – Robin S & ‘Missing’ – Everything But The Girl
Nicky – Eddie Amador – ‘House Music’
What aspect of Australian culture influences your work?
Nat – We’ve both lived in London and America for the last 4 years but growing up in Australia of course…I feel like Nicky was really apart of/ witness to a big shift in the Dance music culture in Australia when The Presets and Cut Copy were really having the spotlight and creating something special out there.
Nicky – Of course, the same as everywhere we visit. I like to think of us as sponges of life experiences and by making the music it’s like wringing out the sponge.
There are definitely some recurring themes in your music: love, relationships, and desire. Why such frequency?
Nat – I’m an emotional writer/person. I observe I feel, and I write it. Sometimes it’s heavy, sometimes it’s hopeful, but it’s usually quite intense. As relaxed as I like to think I am as a human being… lyrically I’m giving my raw, uncensored, unfiltered version of my feelings I guess?! I’m definitely giving away more than I’d share in the conversation.
Nicky – We are emotional beings.
Do you prefer to work on your music at home, on the road or locked in a studio?
Nat – I’ve never liked writing on the road I can’t imagine feeling focused enough to really write and record while touring. I’m certainly always writing ideas and thoughts down on the road that I plan to further explore later in the studio though. I don’t like writing at home. I will cut vocals at home in my own set up if I need to, but I don’t like to create there. That’s my Palo Santo cave and I need it to feel like a switch off zone.
Nicky – I kinda enjoy both, to be honest!
Would you say you’re more ART DEPARTMENT or DAFT PUNK?
Nat – Art Department
Nicky – Oooh, I mean I grew up on Daft Punk, so I would have to say them!
Who is an artist (alive or dead) that you would want to get stuck on a deserted island with, and why?
Nat – Michael Jackson, Because he’s the greatest of all time.
Nicky – I mean maybe Anthony Bourdain? I know he isn’t a music maker, but I think we would have a hell time together.
What was your first gig like?
Nat – I honestly and sadly don’t remember my first ever gig. But our first ever NAATIONS gig was at BigSound in Australia and it felt electric. We were sweaty messes jumping around in a dungeon for a pre-festival party we played for Red Bull and people were so engaged with us and the songs and I remember thinking…fuck this is exciting.
Nicky – It was to 2 people snogging on a dance floor … not great!
What’s on your “My List of Netflix?
Nat – I’ve been off Netflix a bit of late but a new series they just put out used a song I wrote with Charli XCX “5 In The Morning” for their theme song so I’ll shout them out. “Élite “<3 Thanks, guys!
Nicky – Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown “
Away from music–what do you do in your spare time?
Nat – Take long showers and sleep loads.
Nicky – Travel to places and find great interesting people and eat local cuisine.
Lastly, what’s up next for NAATIONS?
Nat – our debut EP ‘Teardrop’ will be released September 21st.
Nicky – thrilled about being at CRSSD Festival next weekend.
Listen to NAATIONS debut EP ‘Teardrop’ out now:
This summer NAATIONS dropped another catchy and dancefloor-ready tune, ‘Air & Water.’ Their collaboration last year with Gorgon City and Duke Dumont on their track- ‘Real Life’ has amassed 32 million Spotify streams to date.