Interview: Aussie Duo Naations Shares ‘Nowhere To Go’

One part vocals, one part machines – NAATIONS consists of just that. A strong nod to an island grit and verses that delve into the human condition, sitting atop danceable rhythms and catchy hooks. A project spanning sounds as much as continents, NAATIONS shake up a sparkling cocktail of styles, melding melody with bass bin shaking bottom end. Nicky Night Time (Van She) & Nat Dunn’s musical chemistry was apparent from their first meeting and continued into a mutual muse relationship that is now NAATIONS.

Recently, the duo have collaborated with Australia’s leading electro-pop producer Hayden James to offer the magnificent “Nowhere To Go”, included in his acclaimed debut album Between Us. Amassing 8 million streams to date, the track has proven to be a global summer anthem. And ahead of the release, Hayden James has shared a stunning new music video for the lead single, featuring the Venice-based all-female skateboard collective, GRLSWIRL.

Also, “Nowhere To Go” gets remixed by none other than fellow Australian Dom Dolla, giving the tune a lush texture with even deeper undertones and thumping basslines that build and release throughout. On the remix (and about NAATIONS), he said: “Hayden’s one of my favourite characters in the game, with a heart of gold and great music to boot. When he asked me to remix his latest collaboration with NAATIONS I couldn’t jump on it quick enough. I’ve known Nicky from NAATIONS for quite some time, and Nat Dunn’s toplines are always insanely hooky… it was the perfect combination of collaborators. I decided to write something that would gel perfectly with my sets of late. I’ve been testing and tweaking this over the last few weeks at shows throughout North America and Europe and it’s been working a treat. I’m excited to get this one out into the world”.

Hey, thanks for your time ! Let’s begin with yourself, can you tell us a bit more about NAATIONS ?

Nicky: Well Nat and I met over the internet haha ! And we started wring house records together, but we decided we were more than just house so we started the group.

Nat: Thank you guys ! NAATIONS is us (Nat Dunn and Nicky Night Time) in an electronic duo/writer/production/vocal outfit. We are each other’s muse. We make music together and with/for friends projects also in this NAATIONS format i.e Duke Dumont, Gorgon City, iloveMakonnen, babydaddy (scissor sisters), Alex Metric and more recently Hayden James.

You’ve made a great impression with the just-out ‘Nowhere To Go’ with Hayden James ! What’s your recipe to cook these treats ? Any inspirations ?

Nicky: We talk a lot about social issues that are happening around us whether out be a state of in justice or some personal state of in justice. Thats usually the fuel to the fire and then we just put the pan on and create something delicious sounding.

Nat: “Nowhere To Go” was a special one that Nicky and I wrote a few years ago in Sydney together and when we played the demo again next to an instrumental track Hayden had played us in Santa Monica, we decided to merge his track and production vibes with our song and we are all pretty stoked with the end result of it as a collaboration now. 

Following your inspirations, any artist you would love to work with ?

Nicky: Larry Levan, Quincy Jones.

Nat: I would like to work with William Orbit, Massive Attack, Gesaffelstein, and Rick Rubin. 

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What can we expect for the rest of the year, do you have some secret plans to share with us ?

Nicky: We are on tour with Hayden for the next 2 months and then we have a new single being mixed at the moment ! 

Nat: A world tour starting in our home land Aus/Nz, then America, then finishing in Europe and the U.K in October. Hopefully getting back Australia then for Christmas and some summer festival vibes if they’ll have us! 

Quick bonus-question, what makes a good party for NAATIONS ?

Nicky: House music !

Nat: Us 👋🏽❤️

Interview NAATIONS 'Nowhere To Go'