Music

13 Life Skills All Third Culture Kids Have Mastered

According to Nico & Vinz.

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This is Nico & Vinz, the Afro-Norwegian pop duo you know from the irrepressible, international summer smash "Am I Wrong?"

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Nicolas "Nico" Sereba (on the left) and Vincent "Vinz" Dery (on the right) were both born in Norway to Norwegian mothers and fathers from The Ivory Coast and Ghana, respectively. They grew up traveling back and forth between Africa and Europe, speak multiple languages (English, Norwegian, and French), and make music that's as splendidly hybridized as they are — a bright-sided brew of pop, reggae, soul, afrobeat and hip-hop.

As card-carrying Third Culture Kids, we asked the pair to clue us in on the inherent benefits of an international upbringing. Here's what they said.

1. You're a natural translator.

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Nico: I actually love whenever I can step in and help someone understand something or teach them — it feels good. We all have different gifts to offer the world.

2. Which makes you great at accents.

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Vinz: At home, my mom would always speak with a Ghanaian accent. So when I go back there, it naturally switches over to that. And when I’m here doing promo, I switch over to an American accent.

Nico: A lot of people tell us that we sound American because our accent is so good. That’s definitely been helpful for us over here.

4. Your playlists are never boring.

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Nico: My dad was an African artist, so I was exposed to a lot of great African music growing up. And there are so many big artists there now that haven't crossed over, like Fally Ipupa from Congo, DJ Arafat from Ivory Coast, P Square from Nigeria.

5. The whole world is your comfort zone.

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Vince: I can use what I know about cultures and how to treat people in any situation. I could be in the whitest of whitest crowds and just blend in and talk.

6. And you know better than to judge a book by its cover.

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Nico: Being immersed in different cultures kills prejudice. You may have preconceived notions about a person, but once you get to know that person they might be totally different than what you expected. It’s good to mix it up and be part of world society.

12. You keep your cool in testy situations, because no matter how bad things get, you've definitely seen/ heard of worse.

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Vinz: We have friends in Norway who are refugees. Watching the news, seeing people dying of war — that could have been us.

13. And you never lose perspective on the important things in life because you know just how lucky you are.

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Nico: You see your parents and how they lived and you compare it to how you live and you become grateful. And even though people back home might not have a lot, they're some of the most happy people I’ve ever met.