Nico & Vinz are a Norwegian duo consisting of Nico Sereba and Vincent Dery, who have parental roots in the African nations of Ivory Coast and Ghana. They first got together in 2009 and were launched the following year as Envy winning first place at the Taubertal Open Air Festival World's "Emergenza Final" for new emerging artists.
The pair released their debut single "One Song," in 2011, peaking at #19 on the Norwegian Singles Chart. In January 2014, the twosome changed their name from Envy to Nico & Vinz, in co-ordination with their signing to the Warner Brothers label in the United States.
This song was Nico & Vinz's international breakthrough. It peaked at #2 in their home country where it has been certified three times platinum. The single also hit the Top 10 in many other European countries as well as the US. "We always knew it was possible to reach outside of Norway with our music," Sereba told Billboard magazine. "With this song, we wanted to say, 'Are we wrong for thinking that we can actually do this?' That's how that message came about - trusting your gut feeling, going for it and searching for your own happiness."
The song is suffused with African rhythms. Vinz commented on the cultural influences that influence the duo's music saying, "We are Norwegian and African. It is important for us to inspire. We sing about things we've been going through and about finding ourselves. To us it's important to have a message, and the goal for us is to inspire people to find happiness."
The song's music video was directed and edited by Kavar Singh (Alexandra Joner's "Come Inside Me") and filmed in Maun, Botswana and Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Both Nico and Vinz had huge dreams to be global stars before recording this song. "We sat down in the studio and we said we don't care what people say, we are gonna follow our gut feeling, we're gonna do what we want to do and believe in ourselves," Nico explained to MTV News of the song's message. "So, we sat there and asked ourselves the questions, am I wrong? For thinking we can become this for real? Am I trippin' for having this vision? I'm gonna be on top of the world."
The Black Star Elephant album title combines the nicknames of the Ghanaian and Ivorian soccer teams, the Black Stars and the Elephants, respectively. "It symbolizes our journey from where we started," Sereba told Rolling Stone. "We're singing about our identities."