Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Look: NERVO

Beauty is an incredibly effective and sinfully underrated source of power. Talent is similarly effective, though this is more widely recognized. In this moderately enlightened 21st century, women who possess both beauty and talent have begun to rise to the heights their power can take them, despite the efforts of a good deal of men who try to compensate for lacking both by exercising the power of influence, strength or denial. As more and more women begin to realize their power, they have begun to take their rightful places in the upper echelons of many sectors, and gender inequality in certain vocations often has as much to do with self-selection than ability. This is why women like Miriam and Olivia Nervo are so important. Twins and former models from Australia, the Nervo sisters have broken into a wildly male-dominated area of the music industry as songwriters, DJs and producers of dance music. Their inclusion in the lineup for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour, which opens tonight in Sacramento, is small wonder and entirely fitting, and it is exciting that the duo, who perform and work under the mononym NERVO, are soon to be thus receiving such a bump in exposure and opportunities.

Mim and Liv Nervo, as they call themselves, began modeling as teenagers, and at 18 had the opportunity to sing on a few demo recordings, a gig that led to their signing with Sony. The pair wrote a hit for singer Rachel Stevens, "Negotiate with Love," which hit the UK top ten in 2006; later, their song "When Love Takes Over" became a number one dance club hit for David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. The pair also wrote songs for Kylie Minogue ("Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)"), Dream, Pixie Lott, Armin Van Buuren, and the Pussycat Dolls, and wrote and produced several songs for Ke$ha, including "Boots and Boys," which landed on Animal, UK bonus track "VIP," and "(Fuck Him) He's a DJ," a remix of which appears on I Am the Dance Commander + I Command You to Dance.

Last year the twins started a joint venture under Virgin/EMI as producers in their own right, with the goal of finding and releasing work by new artists for whom they also write and produce. They have also released a pair of club singles, "This Kind of Love" and "Irresistible," both featuring Ollie James on vocals, and their remix of "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)" appears on the single's recent remix EP. A NERVO EP release is "imminent," according to the artists' PR camp, and a full length debut album is apparently in the works, wherein the pair will handle production and writing duties as well as the occasional performance. Following the Femme Fatale Tour NERVO will begin a residence in Las Vegas with the Wynn Company.

All of this is commendable for any upstart producing team, but it all is made unique by the fact that these are two young, beautiful women doing what is traditionally a man's job in a genre dominated by men more than any other. One listen to either of their two club singles is enough to prove they have every amount of talent and vision to operate among the best in the field, and it is certain they will bring their own new visions to the genre just as David Guetta or any other trendsetter in the business. Britney Spears' introduction of her audiences to NERVO is one for which we shall all be grateful.

Meet the other badass ladies of the Femme Fatale Tour:

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