It all started in bedroom in Manchester, England. Undeterred by the sound of nearby construction wafting through the window, Katie White and Jules de Martino were poised to make a DIY record, not knowing, or caring, what would come of their sonic potential.
That was in 2008. Two years later, the British pop duo, who named themselves The Ting Tings, have gone from virtual obscurity to global pop stars.
"Our whole lives have changed," said Katie White, 26, the duo's lead singer. "We were so carefree and it's changed so much. Our music has gone around the world."
"That's Not My Name" peaked at 39 on The Billboard Hot 100 chart, but is omnipresent. The track saturated the media, having been heard on TV shows like "90210" and "Saturday Night Live" and in other campaigns.
The success of the contagious tune fueled their best new artist Grammy nomination.
"It's danceable, it's poppy, and it's not too slick," Endelman said of the tracks. "It has a homemade quality that people like."
Michael Endelman, senior editor at Rolling Stone, said their populist and commercial appeal is in line with the Grammys' ethos.
"The Grammys like to reward people who they think will have future success in a big, mainstream sort of way," he said.
While The Tings Tings don't expect to win the category — their competition is MGMT, the Zac Brown Band, Keri Hilson and the Silversun Pickups — the nomination itself is thrilling.
"I think we've won by being nominated," said backup singer and drummer, Jules de Martino, 33. "It's kind of humbling really."
The irony of "That's Not My Name" is that the song is about feeling invisible, White said.
While The Ting Tings welcome the Grammy nomination, the trappings of fame have been troubling. They say it's all about the music and the creative process for them, not the celebrity that surrounds it.
"I love performing on stage and always associate stage and the studio with performance and I can do that so fearlessly, but I can't get the idea of the red carpet as a performance," White said.
The duo's cold feet can be partially attributed to a professed lack of celebrity savvy: "I never know what to wear," White said. "I always end up looking like I'm going to a Christening."
"Us, Hollywood, dressing up, how's this gonna work?" de Martino added.
However, the experience could yield some inspiration. "We just got to find that balance — enjoying it, learning from it, and maybe getting a song out of it," de Martino said.
The Ting Tings are currently recording their second studio album in Berlin, due to be released this spring. The band chose the spot after performing there during the winter. The city's artist culture and the lack of winter tourists created an apt environment to record.
"We have to really isolate ourselves to write," White said. "That's how we work best. We knew that if we moved to Berlin ... that the only real distractions we would be really cool exhibitions or bands that are coming through town."
As The Tings Tings ready themselves for the release of their second effort, they are not feeling pressure to live up to their debut success.
"If they like it, they like it," White said. "We just love writing. If nobody our (bought) our record, we'd still be playing music together."