Brick & Lace is the first official act signed to Akon's Konvict/Geffen imprint. The group is releasing their debut album in May featuring production from Akon, Tony Kelly, Raphael Saadiq, and Will.I.Am.
Part urban singers and part urbane songstresses, sibling duo Brick & Lace are genre-busters who staunchly defy the 30-second pitch. The amalgamated sound that makes up their 180/Geffen debut, Love Is Wicked, is unique, though also at once very familiar.
Born to a Jamaican father and an American mother and raised predominantly in Kingston, Jamaica, on an opulent musical diet of reggae, R&B, hip hop, pop and country, 26-year-old Nyanda and 24-year-old Nailah Thorbourne couldn't help but be trans-eclectic. "We are a hybrid," affirms Nailah in her effortlessly sexy West-Indian lilt. "It's not fabricated at all; it's who we are."
Indeed, who they are is evident in their moniker: "Our mother came up with the name 'Lace' and we immediately liked it," explains the incisively passionate Nyanda. "But we still felt that there was an edge missing, so I came up with 'Brick.' It has stuck with us ever since and has evolved with us."
To the ladies of Brick & Lace, their name represents the duality and complexity of the every woman. "Sometimes you want to wear a cap and sneakers and look grimy," Nyanda tells. "And sometimes you want to wear your sexy dress and heels and look cute." Nailah puts it all in perspective: "People always ask: 'Who is Brick & Lace?' And we always tell them it depends on the day!"
This unpredictability and uncompromising expressiveness makes Love Is Wicked (which features the production prowess of Akon, Raphael Saadiq, Will.I.Am, among others) an aural delight. On their agile down-bottom introductory single "Never," over Akon's seething sonic brew, Brick & Lace caution wayward suitors to behave themselves if they want a chance with the sisters. "The track's so grimy that the lyrics and the arrangement just came to us," Nailah recalls enthusiastically. "It was a very collaborative effort that was fun and exciting to record all the way."