NERVO Wants Everyone To Know That DJs’ Dreams Can Happen When You Focus On The Music, Partying Hard, And Sometimes Modeling
“We started as songwriters for other people,” says Liv who makes up ½ of the DJ group, NERVO. Speaking in a rich Australian accent she continues, “we have been writing songs since we were 14 and got our first publishing deal when we were 18.”
NERVO is a band that consists of Olivia and Miriam NERVO. The Australian sisters have rocketed into cross-over appeal and not just because of their astonishing good looks, which includes casual blondeness and inconsequential modeling behavior.
“We just took a course in Logic at the London School Of Sound and we were starting to produce ourselves,” NERVO tells BroBible. “That’s really the beginning of where NERVO was born as artists/DJs.”
After breaking out of humble Melbourne, Australia beginnings as acclaimed songwriters, NERVO burns up electronic music charts as producers. Now established DJs too, the pair living in the UK are in-demand live acts internationally and known for ferocious sets in prime clubbing destinations such as Ibiza (Spain), Miami, and Las Vegas.
“We moved to the UK to pursue our dream of making music and we worked in the studio seven days a week,” NERVO says about their beginnings as musicians. NERVO continues, “we wrote “When Love Takes Over” for David [Guetta] and that changed our lives because at that time we were just getting more and more into electronic music.”
“Luckily after “When Love Takes Over” went to number one it looked like dance music was going to cross over into the more mainstream pop world. At that time, we were DJing ourselves and started releasing records as NERVO. As the scene grew, so did our fan base and we haven’t looked back.”
This July, NERVO put out their debut album ‘Collateral.’ A 15 track LP that NERVO best describes as “melodic dance pop,” the arrival of ‘Collateral’ points to the duo’s evolution as songwriters, producers, and DJs. On Saturday, Liv and Mim bring ‘Collateral’ plus other memorable bangers to Electric Zoo, which is NYC’s premier EDM festival.
“For the past three years sonically, we have been focusing on making tracks that would fit the dance floor,” NERVO says. “We knew BPM-wise what we had to stay between and we gave ourselves certain parameters to adhere to,” the sisters continue. “We were inspired by other records that we were playing in clubs and we could see how the crowds were reacting. If we are working for another artist, then we like to put another hat on and write in a completely different way.”
Songs like “Reason,” and “Like Home” preface NERVO quickly burgeoning careers. Collaborations with Hook-N-Sling and Nicky Romero, respectively, the songs’ effervescent choruses, effusive lyrics, and recallable melodies show consistency. Since coming onto the electronic music scene six years ago, NERVO amasses three million Facebook fans and their loyal fanbase have mighty expectations for each new track.
“Like Home” was our second number one on Beatport,” NERVO muses. “Our first number one was “Reason” and then “Like Home” went on to be number one for over three weeks,” they continue. “We then had a few others that made the top 10 and we were just amazed. We could not believe what was happening to us.”
Of the 15 titles on NERVO’s ‘Collateral’ album, 11 are new. For instance, “Reason,” which is their first number one song came out in 2012. Other ‘Collateral’ throwbacks include “You’re Gonna Love Again,” “We’re All No One,” and “Hold On.”
“It changes all the time and it depends on what we’re working on,” NERVO begins about their songwriting process. “If we are working as NERVO, we tend to put a lot more pressure on ourselves because it’s very close to us,” they continue. “Lyrically, that inspiration always comes from real life and it’s quite personal. Our songs are like entries in our diaries. They’re about real life heartbreak, falling in love, or hopes and dreams… it just changes over time.”
Among the new material, “Rise Early Morning” is the first single. Other new songs more or less include “Haute Mess,” “Hey Ricky” featuring Kreayshawn, Dev, and Alisa, “Let It Go” with Nicky Romero, and “The Other Boys,” which Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears, and Niles Rodgers assist. Every record identifies with Nervo’s vision for creating a relatable soundtrack that’s also eclectic.
“We had a lot of records on our hard drive that were not right for the dance floor, or were not right if they released through independent dance labels, or even if they were released through a major label,” says Nervo. They continue, “however, we were quite attached to them so we thought why not just make an album? We thought it would be a creative and artistic way to release music that is a little different to what we had been putting out over the past few years.”
Because ‘Collateral’ is a personal album, the title relates to NERVO. Even though NERVO became successful, they pledged humility in pursuit of their musical aspirations. Despite adversity, their passion didn’t let them give up. An effective investment, the ‘Collateral’ metaphor celebrates NERVO’s accomplishments, failures, and sacrifices.
“In our years before the EDM explosion and before we became NERVO, we were working as songwriters and producers for other artists, and waitressing at night,” NERVO reminisces about the choice name, ‘Collateral.’ “At this time we were really struggling to make ends meet,” they continue. “Andrew Clifford [our mentor and successful record executive] kept telling us to be patient, build our collateral, because he could see that we were making great relationships with people in the industry that would later on pay off even if at that moment in time they were just our friends.”
“At the time we had no idea what he was talking about,” NERVO elaborates. We very nearly gave up on our dreams, but now we really do understand what he meant in regards to the contacts we were making,” NERVO says. “Back then Ke$ha was just a girl that we were writing with and then she went on to become a huge pop star. We were on her first album and wrote a little hook for her. We also got signed by our agent at William Morris through working with David Guetta. All these little things now make a lot of sense to us. That’s why we wanted to call our album ‘Collateral.’”
The album ‘Collateral’ is symbolic because its 15 records fuse past and present lifestyles. While the titling of ‘Collateral’ is indeed metaphorical, the music connects with intra-generational people. NERVO name superstar DJs like David Guetta, Armand Van Helden, Bob Sinclair, and Fedde Le Grand as cherished influences. Afterwards, the girls tell BroBible not only that “The Other Boys” is the most pop record on ‘Collateral,’’ but also that the single pays homage to Daft Punk’s electro-funk album, ‘RAM’ (2013).
“We wrote that one when Daft Punk released their album about 2 years ago,” NERVO says with a chuckle. “I do think that we have Daft Punk’s influence on “The Other Boys” because we were just obsessed with that album around the time we wrote it,” they continue. “A lot of people are really loving this track which is great to hear.”
“The Other Boys” highlights the album’s boundless style. An electro-pop recording, “The Other Boys” has unpretentious flair. While its happy vibes allude to Liv and Mim’s creativity, the yearning lyrics are about heartache and unsettling desire.
“Why don’t you love me like the other boys do? // Why can’t you call me when you know I want you?”
“We weren’t runway models [at 16] and hate to stop the illusion,” NERVO explains. “Overall we really did not do much modeling because we were always working on music and it was just never the focus,” they continue. “However, these days we do a lot of modeling as NERVO. We’re constantly asked to do photo shoots, model clothing for endorsement deals, and that kind of thing. It’s probably the most nerve-wracking part of our job. We don’t necessarily enjoy the process, but we always like the outcome.”
Nervo complements their music careers with modeling. Liv and Mim mention there are “a few campaigns in the pipeline.” However, they digress back into their modest personalities as musicians often.
“David definitely taught us a lot,” NERVO says. “We have been working with him for over seven years, and he was the first person that we told about us going to be DJs,” they continue. “He was always really supportive of us. We basically went from DJing in our bedrooms to supporting him at Pacha Ibiza.”
Liv and Mim heed all advice. It doesn’t matter the source. NERVO acknowledges the organic support. They believe friends are crucial components of their “can do attitudes.”
“The guest features kind of happened organically,” NERVO says about selecting these familiar names. “Everybody on the album is a friend of ours, or someone that we have worked with in the past, or people that we have met on tour,” they continue. “The hardest thing was narrowing down the song selection because we probably started with about 45 ideas and only had room for 15 tracks on the album. The next toughest thing is going to be what are we going to pick for the 15 tracks on our next album.”
The collateral NERVO receives for having passion is inspiring others. Positivity is what ultimately separates NERVO apart as successful females DJs. Their natural talent can spin challenges into advantages.
“Because there’s just not many of us [females], we have to fight a little harder to succeed,” NERVO says of female challenges in this male dominated industry. “We have to work really hard for our credibility, we have to really show people what we can do, and prove everything from the music we make to even our performances,” they continue. “We just always have to be on top of it.”
Even though NERVO transcends barriers, the sisters embrace fun. Good times are rewarding aspects of their status and live music careers. Not only does NERVO produce feel-good music, but also in real life they can show off guilty pleasures. While “It Feels” is the one song off ‘Collateral’ that makes Nervo, the advantages to being female are “dressing up” and “losing kissing bets to fans.”
“We get to dress up,” NERVO says cheerfully. “We’re like any other normal girls,” they continue. “We like to put our make up on, dress up, try to look good at the show, and we truly love it. You can see a lot more girls coming through the scene now, they just have to focus on the music and remember that’s what it’s really about.”
When NERVO hits the main stage at Electric Zoo, it will be a rare North American show date. The artists toured in Europe all summer together with their Ushuaia Ibiza residency. Before hyping their Electric Zoo set on Saturday, Liv and Mim mention favorite songs. When chilling out, they like Banks and James Blake. Meanwhile, they enjoy Duke Dumont, Major Lazer, Jack Ü, and Galantis when turning up. No matter the circumstance, however, NERVO always focuses on the music.
“Always remember that we’re all here for the music,” NERVO admonishes to new DJs. “It’s because of the music and not our femininity that we have gotten to where we are today. Focus on the music!”
“They’re going to get a lot of records from our new album, ‘Collateral’ and they’re going to get a funky festival set like something that we’ve been working on a lot and playing out in here in Europe.”
Check out “Rise Early Morning” by NERVO, below and purchase ‘Collateral’ out now on iTunes. Enjoy!