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22 November 2012

Much 2 Hot 2 B Cool: K Nicola Talks 2 The Twinz

   It takes two to make “A Beautiful Night.”
  The team behind the Beautiful Nights Facebook group, a page dedicated to Prince and associated artists, have tapped Singers/Dancers/Choreographers Maya and Nandy McClean, better known as The Twinz, to be special guests at the group's kick-off Prince party, “A Beautiful Night,” at 10 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr., in Chicago. The two will host, meet and greet with the fans and sign autographs. The party is being thrown by Marcus Scott, Bemaji Tillman, Alexis Wofford and L'Quita Sanders, all of Chicago. The event will also feature DJ Maurice Ice Culpepper.
  “We got connected (with Beautiful Nights) and we thought it would be a cool, fun event,” Maya said. “We're definitely looking forward to mingling with the fans.”
  The pair is best known for working with Prince since 2005. They performed with him during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI in 2007,  did a six-month residency at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas starting in 2006,  there was a historic 21-night run at the O2 Arena in London and were featured in 21 Nights, a coffee-table book released in conjunction with the London concerts. They were also featured with the artist on American Idol, Saturday Night Live, the videos for his singles “Fury,” “Guitar” and “Chelsea Rodgers” and a Verizon Wireless TV commercial, according to a press release.
  “It was a big chain of events,” Nandy said. “It just started working one right after the other.”
Maya McClean, courtesy of Coastal Connection Group
  They have also worked with Chris Brown, Rihanna and LeToya Luckett. For the last two years they have fronted the urban pop-rock band Heroine December-- the group name being a combination of a suggestion from Prince, who noted the word “heroine” in one of their songs and the fact that the band was formed in the month of December. The group released the promotional single “Weekend,” in April 2011, which is available on iTunes and they working on a currently untitled album, which will be released in early 2013.
  They also teamed up again with Prince more recently in 2011 for his 21-night stand at The Forum in Los Angeles and the Welcome 2 Australia tour earlier this year, according to The Twinz' Facebook page.
  Before The Twinz hit U.S. soil they were well known in their native Australia. They both auditioned for Season 2 of Austrailan Idol, in 2004: Maya made the Top 30; Nandy did not. They created a sensation when Maya withdrew from the show to continue pursuing a career as a duo with her sister. They continued to work in Australia doing commercials, theater, fashion shows and movies, appearing in Moulin Rouge, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan MacGregor, according to the Prince Vault Web site.
  The next year, they relocated to Los Angeles to further their careers and quickly found the break they were looking for. Their third audition was for backup dancers in a music video in a revue reminiscent of Ike and Tina Turner, featuring Tamar, an artist Prince was working with at the time.
  Nandy said they later heard that when Prince saw the audition tape, he saw one of The Twinz dancing and said “she moves in an interesting way.” Then the camera panned out and he saw that the dancer had an identical twin who moved the same way and that's when he made his decision.
  The music video eventually fell through, but, Prince tapped Maya and Nandy to back up Tamar on her tour, which he eventually ended up joining himself after Tamar's original guitar player dropped out. This was after being in America for a little more than six weeks and they said things took off from there.
Nandy McClean, courtesy of Coastal Connection Group
  They said they have two moments they consider career highlights: performing for their childhood idol Michael Jackson in Las Vegas and performing with Prince at the Super Bowl. Maya described the moment when she was waiting to begin the halftime performance and was in a position looking up at the sky. The sky was changing as it began to rain and there was a moment of reflection. She said it was a “really peaceful gratitude moment”.
  “The Super Bowl, that was amazing,” she said. “Especially when it started raining. That was a whole different ball game – literally.”
  On the night Jackson attended one of the 3121 shows at the Rio Hotel, they said their hairdresser did not tell them that Michael was there until after she finished their hair, because she did not want them to “bolt from their chairs” before she was done.
  The first chance they got, Maya said, the two checked the set list and saw that they did not have to go on stage until the third song, which gave them nine minutes to talk to their idol. The girls found him backstage and talked with him for as long as they could before they had to go to their places.
  However, this was not the first time they met Jackson: He came to Sydney with the HIStory Tour when The Twinz were 16 years old. They ended up visiting his hotel room for three hours and were able to speak with the artist and a chorus of children who accompanied him when he sang “Heal the World” onstage. They later auditioned as backup dancers on the ill-fated “This is It” tour in 2009, but were not chosen. She said they were both very emotional when they heard he passed away later that year.
  “He was beautiful, really generous,” she said.
  They cited Mariah Carey as a another professional influence and said their favorite associated Prince acts are Sheila E. and Andy Allo, respectively. But, there is only person who they said inspired them from the very beginning, their mother Maureen Gwendolyn Moseley, who passed away in early 2012.
  “She had a huge heart,” Nandy said. She was a symbol of unconditional love. Just her energy... she was always happy.”
 The Twinz were born in a remote area of Northern Australia to Hughes, who did charity work with underprivileged children, and Bruce McClean, a musician from Trinidad. They had an interest in the arts from an early age. They would learn the choreography from music videos and perform the routines in their bedrooms. They later moved to Sydney and studied singing, acting and dancing at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Arts and Brent Street, a performing arts school, according to a press release.
  Nandy said that in their private lives they are both pretty outspoken and really honest. The two declined to give their ages and said jokingly that they were “as old as they looked”. They added that they do not drink or smoke and they are committed to being healthy. They are at a point in their lives where they are more self aware and conscious and try to encourage others to feel the same.
  “You're as old as you feel,” Nandy said.
  In the next year The Twinz want to release an album, books shows-- especially one at the world famous Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles--, start their own entertainment company and work on getting a record deal. They are also very interested in using their talents for humanitarian efforts and donating to charity. Some artists they said they would like to work with include India.Arie, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and, of course, Prince.
  They said they are really looking forward to seeing one thing in particular Saturday: impersonators. They said they have heard about a "Prince impersonator" (Scott, who will be performing that night) and are particularly looking forward to seeing their own “impersonators,” another pair of twins who they discovered while looking through the Beautiful Nights Facebook page in a picture with Scott,  where the three re-created a famous shot of the The Twinz and Prince looking at their reflections in the mirror.
  “I definitely want to connect with them,” Maya said.
  She also had a personal message for all the fans of the Beautiful Nights page:
“We'd love to give them a shout out, give our love to them, tell them to get dressed up and look fly. We look forward to meeting as many people (as possible).”

For more information about The Twinz and Heroine December visit, and

Stay beautiful, Kristi


Lead photo courtesy of Coastal Connection Group.


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