The Soulful Sisters Nalani & Sarina

nalani-and-sarina-interview-golden-mixtape (3)
Having a sister is foreign to me. I grew up between two boys and that’s obvious if you ask me about makeup or challenge me to a wrestling match. While my older brother’s now ex, has always been around – I’ve never known what it’s like to have that sisterly bond. I’ve seen it in friends and know that it’s one of the strongest things out there. They share everything and while they have friends who aren’t related, it’s clear that their sister is their real best friend for life.

That friendship is only intensified when your sister happens to be your twin. That’s the case for Nalani and Sarina. They not only share their lives, but their careers. Comparing themselves to The Glimmer Twins, this pair have a set of pipes that have taken them from singing to one another in their bedroom to stages around the country – and they’re just getting started. They have a ton of shows on the horizon, but before they hit the road get to know Nalani and Sarina a little bit more from their worldly outlook to where they got their soul.

Kendra: Was one of you more interested in music than the other or did you start to show interest around the same time?

Nalani & Sarina: We both started music at the same time when we were about 5-years-old. We both took classical piano and continued it for 11 years.  At that point, we started to write songs together and became interested in doing our own music.

Kendra: Do you each take on specific roles when it comes to the music making process?

Nalani & Sarina: No, we are both pretty involved in all aspects.For example, Nalani came up with the guitar figure on “We’ll Be Free” that Sarina ended up playing. This includes songwriting, where regardless of how a song gets started, both of us contribute to the finished product.

Kendra: Would it have been okay if one of you wanted to pursue another route in life?

Nalani & Sarina: Of course! But it just wouldn’t be as much fun.

Kendra: Was there any growth in your sound from your record last year to this year’s EP Scattered World?

Nalani & Sarina: Yes, there’s been a huge amount of growth on this new EP.  We’ve adopted more of a storytelling/topical issues approach to our songwriting.  Not all the stories on this EP are ours, as opposed to our last album.  Sonically, we’ve moved the production/arrangements to an edgier feel.

Kendra: Speaking of, if the pieces of this record were actually scattered around the globe – what three cities would you definitely find them and why?

Nalani & Sarina:

  1. Flemington, NJ – It’s our hometown – for us, everything begins and ends there no matter how scattered the world gets.
  2. New York City, NY – The city and the people are the ultimate inspiration for a songwriter and is the center of our music business activities.
  3. Manila, Philippines – Our mother’s birthplace and represents the Filipino half of us.

Kendra: I have to be honest, I didn’t expect for you guys to have as much soul power in “We’ll Be Free.” Where does that come from, were you big R&B fans growing up?

Nalani & Sarina: Our dad introduced us to Ray Charles (who we LOVE) at an early age.  In the last several years, we’ve been listening to a lot of Stax artists (Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers) thanks to our friend Dave Marsh and producer Greg Drew.

Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape that showcased your sisterly bond, what five songs would have to be on it?

Nalani & Sarina:
Hold On I’m Comin'” – Sam & Dave
Two Hearts” – Bruce Springsteen
Stand By Me” – Ben E. King
Two of Us” – The Beatles
I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers


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