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Nu-Soul Magazine reviews Authenticity

by +FE on November 24, 2010 at 12:32 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange refuse to be boxed in. If you haven't figured that out already then you probably really aren't all that familiar with this outstanding project that pairs the production genius of Nicolay with the vocal talents of Phonte. On their third album Authenticity, TFE do not in any way try to duplicate the success of their previous album Leave It All Behind, but instead venture into new sonic territories. While Authenticity may be more downbeat and melancholy than previous albums, taken on its own merit it is a gorgeous and extremely layered piece of work that finds Nicolay and Phonte truly stretching themselves to their creative limits.

There has always been a touch of sadness within the Foreign Exchange's music but on Authenticity that aspect is brought to the forefront. Lost love, crumbling relationships and general love woes seem to take up most of the album's running time, but this sadness is also reflected in the sound. The album's first half takes on a downtempo vibe that perfectly reflects the melancholic lyrics. The best of these is the album open "The Last Fall", a dramatic and decidedly retro track in which Phonte declares "I'm never gonna love again." It is a severe departure from LIAB's more sunnier relationship outlook. Midway through the album delivers its highest points. The Darien Brockington assisted "Don't Wait" is a real stunner of a track that recalls the best of 80s R&B. Jesse Boykins III shows up on "Don't Make Me A Fool", which is the only time the album really goes for the hip-hop flavored soul that many have come to expect from this collective. But it is becoming increasingly evident that Nicolay and company have created a very unique space with the Foreign Exchange. With Authenticity they have further expanded their sound to include elements of blues, folk and country with equal amounts of love and respect. Their sound is a constant evolution of ideas from the classically trained and experimental Nicolay and the American R&B and hip-hop sensibilities of Phonte that never fails to surprise with its complexity and beauty.
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in: Interviews

Nu-Soul Magazine's +FE Music Interview Series Part 4: The Foreign Exchange (Phonte + Nicolay)

by +FE on November 24, 2010 at 8:28 AM · Comments
Fall is a beautiful season. It's that time of the year when all that was transitions into what will be. Lovers reintroduce themselves as the leaves decorate the pavement through a cluster of colors. And while all that surrounds us settles into its proper place, The Foreign Exchange reemerges with their third album that captures this transition perfectly. Drenched in love, clarity, anguish, and everything in between, Phonte and Nicolay bring forth an experience that is just as their album says--authentic.

Nu-Soul had the opportunity to catch up with The Foreign Exchange and speak to them about their new album Authenticity, how they maintain their creative autonomy, and the greatest lesson that they've learned from each other.

Continue reading Nu-Soul Magazine's +FE Music Interview Series Part 4: The Foreign Exchange (Phonte + Nicolay)

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in: Interviews

Nu-Soul Magazine's +FE Music Interview Series Part 3: Zo!

by +FE on November 24, 2010 at 7:56 AM · Comments
Lorenzo Ferguson aka Zo! is the epitome of the music producer. The multi-instrumentalist, former baseball player and current public school educator has long been someone whose music was loved, but whose face was never seen. With the release of his highly anticipated project, SunStorm, we get to see the man behind the music in a whole new light.

Zo! is a man whose music I've come to love over time. Not just for the incredible production, heartfelt lyrics, or haunting melodies, but for the realism and honesty that is conveyed on each track. His latest project, SunStorm, an autobiographical album that is the culmination of a musical journey, is his best work to date. While his musical resume grows and he continues to hone his craft, this musical architect creates feel good music for the soul.

Continue reading Nu-Soul Magazine's +FE Music Interview Series Part 3: Zo!

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in: News

+FE Music Store ''Everything Must Go'' Holiday Sale!

by +FE on November 23, 2010 at 7:29 AM · Comments
We are excited to announce the +FE Music Store ''Everything Must Go" Holiday Sale and Black Friday Special! Starting today and running until the end of the year (or while supplies last, whichever comes first), you can take advantage of the following deals in the +FE Music Store:

+ Select CD's discounted from $12.98 to $10.00 or $5.00
+ Select vinyl albums discounted from $14.98 to $10.00
+ All 12'' vinyl singles discounted from $5.98 to $2.98
+ Discounts on select apparel

All CD's and vinyl albums purchased in the +FE Music Store include a FREE download of the MP3 version of the album!

We also offer attractively priced Holiday packages that make the perfect gift for your friend, family member or special someone:

+ "Authenticity" package (includes CD, 2LP (signed by Phonte and Nicolay), poster and sticker)
+ "The Ballad Of Purple Saint James" package (includes CD, 2LP (Purple vinyl), poster and sticker)

Visit the +FE Music Store today for more information on these and many other great Holiday deals.
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in: Upcoming Shows

The Foreign Exchange at Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, Koln DE | Jan 9 2011

by Aimee Flint on November 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange's (Phonte & Nicolay) with live band debut performance in Koln DE
Mioki present TFE live

with DJs Showdeez & Coma

Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, Bartholomäus-Schink-Straße 65/67, 50823 Köln DE | 0221 4232216

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in: Upcoming Shows

The Foreign Exchange at Carolina Theatre, Greensboro NC | Dec 1 2010

by Aimee Flint on November 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM · Comments
UNCG Campus Activities Board & CAB Presents: Wale, The Foreign Exchange & Donnis at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro NC, $10 for UNCG students, $20 everyone else

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Carolina Theatre, 310 South Greene Street, Greensboro NC 27401 | (336) 333-2605

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in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! presents SunStorm Live at Black Cat, Washington DC | Dec 10, 2010

by Aimee Flint on November 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM · Comments
MN8 Presents: N'DAMBI, ZO! & SunStorm LIVE + $15 Adv / $18 DOS + Mainstage 9:00

Hosted by Phonte

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:00 PM
Black Cat, 1811 14th St NW Washington, DC 20009 | (202) 667-7960

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in: Media » Video

First Sunrise | A short film by Kenneth Price with music by Nicolay

by +FE on November 19, 2010 at 9:29 AM · Comments
First Sunrise | A short film by Kenneth Price with music by Nicolay
Synopsis: An American teaching in Japan finds acceptance through a journey to witness the first sunrise of the year over the Pacific Ocean.

Director: Kenneth Price | Producer: Benedict Fancy | Re-Recording Mixer: Justin Drust | Score: Nicolay - City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya

Watch this video

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in: Upcoming Shows

The Foreign Exchange at La Bellevilloise, Paris FR | Jan 8 2011

by Aimee Flint on November 18, 2010 at 12:02 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange's (Phonte & Nicolay) with live band debut performance in Paris
Free Your Funk presents:

The Foreign Exchange (Phonte + Nicolay) with live band

Doors 7pm. Tickets 27€

Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM
La Bellevilloise, 19 Rue Boyer, 75020 Paris FR | 01 53 27 35 77

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in: Interviews

The Foreign Exchange continues its unmitigated risks on Authenticity (via Independent Weekly)

by +FE on November 18, 2010 at 8:22 AM · Comments
"Y'all motherfuckers trying to get that Grammy again!" That's Phonte Coleman--the songwriting, singing and sometimes rapping half of the experimental soul group The Foreign Exchange, impersonating the potential detractors of his group's new, disarmingly serious record, Authenticity.

Their last album, 2008's Leave It All Behind, received a Best Urban/ Alternative Performance Grammy nomination for the song "Daykeeper." Nicolay Rook, the group's producer, laughs at the all-too-real impersonation, stealing a glance away from the heaping plate of hush puppies in front of him. The duo has again rendezvoused on a Wednesday afternoon in late October, at the Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q restaurant in the little town of Warsaw, off Interstate 40's Exit 364. The stop is equidistant from Rook's Wilmington home and Raleigh, where Coleman resides.

Continue reading The Foreign Exchange continues its unmitigated risks on Authenticity (via Independent Weekly)

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in: Upcoming Shows

The Foreign Exchange at Cargo, London UK | Jan 6 2011

by Aimee Flint on November 17, 2010 at 9:22 AM · Comments
soulBEAUTIFUL inc presents: The Foreign Exchange's (Phonte & Nicolay) with live band, performing at Cargo in London
soulBEAUTIFUL inc. presents:

The Foreign Exchange (Phonte + Nicolay) with live band

Doors 7pm - 1am. Tickets £13.50 in advance

Sounds provided by
MARC MAC (4HERO)
DJ DEVASTATE (DEMON BOYS)

Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY UK | 020 7749 7844

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in: Upcoming Shows

The Foreign Exchange at Paradiso, Amsterdam NL | Jan 7 2011

by Aimee Flint on November 17, 2010 at 8:42 AM · Comments
Radio 6 presents Holland's Got Soul.

The Foreign Exchange (Phonte + Nicolay) with live band, DJ's Full Crate & FS Green

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 7:30 PM
Paradiso, Weteringschans 6, 1017 SG Amsterdam NL | 020 6264521

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in: Media » Photos

Behind the scenes at the ''Maybe She'll Dream Of Me'' videoshoot

by +FE on November 16, 2010 at 12:01 PM · Comments
Behind the scenes at the ''Maybe She'll Dream Of Me'' videoshoot
Go behind the scenes of The Foreign Exchange's videoshoot for Maybe She'll Dream Of Me by way of some great photography courtesy of our good friend Stephen Stewart.

View this photo gallery

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in: Media » Video

The Foreign Exchange - Maybe She'll Dream Of Me (Official Video)

by +FE on November 15, 2010 at 3:22 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange - Maybe She'll Dream Of Me (Official Video)
+FE Music proudly presents the official music video for Maybe She'll Dream Of Me, the first single taken from The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity album.

Watch this video

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in: News

Two stunning new additions to the +FE Music Store!

by +FE on November 15, 2010 at 2:06 PM · Comments
Calling all vinyl heads!
We are proud to announce two stunning new additions to the +FE Music Store! The first is the vinyl version of The Foreign Exchange's new Authenticity album, which comes as a 2LP set in a beautiful gatefold sleeve. Both Phonte and Nicolay signed each and every single copy, exclusively for +FE Music! The second is the vinyl version of YahZarah's current album The Ballad Of Purple Saint James, which comes as a limited edition 2LP set on purple colored vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

Each of the two vinyl sets includes a FREE download of the respective album as well as a FREE copy of The Foreign Exchange's Sincere 12'' Single (featuring YahZarah) and a FREE copy of Nicolay's "I Love The Way You Love" 12" Picture disc (featuring Darien Brockington). For the true vinyl heads, we have also put together a special package that combines both 2LP sets for a very attractive price.

Shipping now! Click here to visit the +FE Music Store.

authenticity_2LP.jpg purple.jpg
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in: Interviews

The Foreign Exchange keeps it real with 'Authenticity' (via Star News)

by +FE on November 14, 2010 at 8:16 AM · Comments
When the Foreign Exchange - a musical collaboration between Raleigh-based vocalist Phonte and Dutch-born, Wilmington-based producer Nicolay - was nominated for a Grammy last year, the duo knew they couldn't rest on their laurels.

So they stepped up their game. Even before the hype had faded, even before the Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative track went to India.Arie in late January, Phonte (a former member of N.C. hip-hop group Little Brother) and Nicolay put other plans on hold to start work on what would be the group's third album.

That album, "Authenticity," released in October by the group's own Foreign Exchange Music label, debuted at No. 145 on the Billboard top 200, a respectable ranking for a purely independent record.

Continue reading The Foreign Exchange keeps it real with 'Authenticity' (via Star News)

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in: Reviews

Blogcritics Music reviews The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York NY

by +FE on November 12, 2010 at 11:58 AM · Comments
When it comes to my music, there are few artists that affect me in a way that defines a whole portion of my life. In a sense, some artists become the soundtrack of my life because of how much their music lyrically and sonically means to me. At times the reason for the choice is simply because you enjoy the music. But at times there are songs and albums that not only become our favorites because of the sound but because of the parallels between life and song. When the meaning of the song has a connection to your life's experiences, it becomes a much deeper emotional experience. The Foreign Exchange and their band of merry musicians are certainly in that category for me.

After seeing FE perform at BB Kings back in 2009, my fiancée and I made sure that we would not miss their return to BB Kings on Oct. 23rd, 2010. Arriving early to the scene, we were greeted by the sounds of DJ Brainchild spinning an eclectic mix of hip hop and funk. Experiencing everything from Slum Village to Barry White, the crowd spilled into BB Kings anticipating yet another amazing performance for this year's CMJ Festival.

Continue reading Blogcritics Music reviews The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York NY

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in: Media » Photos

The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York

by +FE on November 10, 2010 at 8:23 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York

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in: Reviews

URB reviews Authenticity

by +FE on November 6, 2010 at 8:12 AM · Comments
The new FE album "Authenticity" clocks in at a polished eleven tracks, with the memorable "Everything must go" starting off with a synthesizer melody that hypnotizes from start to finish. "This city ain't the same without you" utilizes fan favorite Yazarah's vocals. MTV picking up "The Ballad of Purple St. James'" first video for rotation is as just a much a testament to the FE+ label, as is the newest tight knit ZO! full length. Nicolay's solo catalog continues to develop over time, and "Don't Wait" provides the proof Darrien Brockington's eventual solo album is long deserved. I have no doubt we'll see a rise in notoriety of all of the artists in the collective in the not so distant future.

Continue reading URB reviews Authenticity

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in: Reviews

The A.V. Club reviews Authenticity

by +FE on November 3, 2010 at 6:31 PM · Comments
It takes courage to reinvent yourself as a silky soul crooner after developing a hard-earned reputation as one of the most insightful, funny, gifted rappers around, but former Little Brother frontman Phonte has never lacked chutzpah or ambition. The Grammy-nominated renaissance man's first collaborative album with producer Nicolay, Connected, joined the hip-hop boom-bap of Little Brother with shimmering electronic soul. Its follow-up, the aptly named Leave It All Behind, all but abandoned rap, as does the duo's assured new Authenticity, a warm, comforting security blanket of an album. It's a work of hushed intimacy and unabashed romanticism that uses synthesizers to create incongruously organic, natural-sounding grown-folks R&B. The disc sometimes feels like one long, hypnotic, deeply soothing groove separated into tracks, but the sprightly "Maybe She'll Dream of Me," which features Phonte's sole rap on Authenticity, feels like a hit single from an alternate universe where pop music is a meritocracy instead of a rigged game. Phonte exposes his soul in song after song; like a bona fide soulman, he's fearless about broadcasting his softness and vulnerability. Thankfully, he's now in a gentler R&B realm that, unlike hip-hop, sees those qualities as strengths rather than weaknesses.
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in: Reviews

New York Amsterdam News reviews Authenticity

by +FE on November 2, 2010 at 4:47 PM · Comments
It's one thing for musicians to change their sound gradually and still remain uniquely them. It's another thing altogether to jump ship from album to album and still maintain a sound that belongs to you. The Foreign Exchange (which consists of singer/rapper/songwriter Phonte and producer/musician/arranger Nicolay) has done exactly that. Starting with 2004's firmly rooted in hip-hop Connected, moving to 2008's modern-day classic R&B sound on Leave It All Behind and ending with their new release, Authenticity, the duo have once again changed their sound and created another successful work of art.

Continue reading New York Amsterdam News reviews Authenticity

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in: Media » Photos

The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York

by +FE on November 2, 2010 at 1:05 PM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York

View this photo gallery

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in: Media » Photos

The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York

by +FE on November 2, 2010 at 8:48 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert in New York
Photos of The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity release concert for CMJ Music Marathon 2010 at B.B. King's Blues Club, New York, taken by our good friend Andreas Hale.

View this photo gallery

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in: Reviews

The Napster Blog reviews Authenticity

by +FE on November 1, 2010 at 8:36 AM · Comments
The Foreign Exchange, last year's surprise Grammy-nominees, return with their newest set, Authenticity. The team of Phonté Coleman and Nicolay continue on their foray of making beautiful soul music with a sound similar to their last album, the heralded Leave It All Behind. Nicolay's production shows more maturation, even more so when compared to Foreign Exchange's hip-hop heavy debut, Connected. Tracks like "All Roads", "Fight For Love" and "Don't Wait" all display Nic's lush and developed soundscapes. With YahZarah and Darien Brockington returning, Phonté continues his transformation from being one of hip-hop's most clever wordsmiths to soulful singer-songwriter extraordinaire, expertly penning songs about love, love lost, it's positives and, definitely, it's negatives. But that's what Authenticity is about: Love, and everything it entails, good and bad. If you dug LIAB, then Authenticity should not disappoint.
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in: Reviews

Potholes In My Blog reviews Authenticity

by +FE on November 1, 2010 at 7:14 AM · Comments
We always knew Phonte could sang. His career in North Carolina's Little Brother was peppered with turns as a vocalist, most memorably on The Minstrel Show's "Cheatin'", an uproarious send up of mainstream R&B's penchant for cartoonish melodrama. Still, though, when Tay went full on crooner for Leave It All Behind, his and Dutch producer Nicolay's second album as the Foreign Exchange, it was a bit of a curveball. Even so, Tay and Nic made it a smooth transition with an album full of Nicolay's stellar production and Phonte's smoothly sung loverman platitudes. This is a group that never hesitates to challenge its fanbase with each work, and Authenticity is no exception. Where Leave It All Behind was an ode to being in love, Authenticity trafficks in stories of exhaustion, resignation, and quiet, mannered desperation that find the group exploring new musical territories.

Continue reading Potholes In My Blog reviews Authenticity

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