Check out the current issue of JET Magazine (Russell Simmons on the cover). Their "5 Rising Indie Artists" list includes both The Foreign Exchange and YahZarah!
THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE: This collective, helmed by artists-producers Nicolay and Phonte, has at different times included YahZarah. The group's new album, Authenticity, came out in October and extends the percolating and idiosyncratic rhythms of 2008's Leave It All Behind. The band will tour behind the album in 2011.
YAHZARAH: This Washington DC native has been around for nearly a decade, singing background for Erykah Badu and others. Her latest album, The Ballad Of Purple St. James, released in May, is her fourth and most accomplished effort. Graceful and salient, YahZarah's music recalls the funky, adventurous side of vintage Teena Marie with the buoyancy of Minnie Riperton.
Continue reading SoulBounce honors The Roots & The Foreign Exchange as their 2010 Groups Of The Year!
Continue reading SoulBounce honors Zo! as their 2010 Producer Of The Year!
Source: SoulTracksSoulTracks have published their Best Albums Of 2010, as chosen by their critics. +FE Music is proud to have two albums in the list: The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity and Zo!'s SunStorm. And if that is not enough, YahZarah's The Ballad Of Saint James received an honorary mention!
Foreign Exchange: Authenticity - Crisp, cool, and yet darkly emotional, this stellar electro-soul project explores the brisk winters of love, hope, and heartache. Lyrically wiser than its writer/producer duo's numerical years, this contemplative work inspires with bare-knuckled honesty (L. Michael Gipson).
Zo!: Sunstorm. Listening to this artist/producer evolve from minimalist 80s inspired hip hop productions to lush, spacey, panoramic soundscapes worthy of Norman Connors, Pharaoh Sanders, or at least Rod Temperton is a joy. Joined by A-list underground vocalists like Phonte, Monica Blaire, and Sy Smith, Zo's Sunstorm shines. (L. Michael Gipson)Check out all of SoulTracks' Best Albums Of 2010 here.
This is not to say that it was a night that was without spellbinding performances. Zo and his Sunstorm All Stars are the best live act in soul music today. Having witnessed their live show twice this year, it's easily the best ticket in the genre. It has everything you'd expect from the more mainstream side of R & B, just not wrapped in a broadcloth of tawdry behavior. This is classic music by extremely talented musicians who know what that means. Lead single from Zo's latest album Sunstorm, "This Could Be The Night" is a sensual jam with a George Benson swing, meaning that for more modern ears, it recalls Montell Jordan's "Get It On Tonight," in that it's grown and sexy without being debased. The set features the ever dapper Ferguson behind a dual decker keyboard and organ, a consummate band leader, leading his charges through a tightly produced set that highlights exquisite artistry. Though Monica Blaire was not present, Deborah Bond's take on the 11 minute suite "Make Love To Me" was absolutely magical. The song is a moody jazz winner, allowing for a virtuoso female vocalist to improvise and reach an orgasmic peak under the blanket of restrained elegance. If not aware, it is the year's finest soul performance, and absolutely worthy of consideration for achievement.
Continue reading TGRIOnline.com reviews N'Dambi and Zo! & The SunStorm Allstars at Black Cat, Washington DC
But Leave It All Behind was not made at Electric Ladyland or The Hit Factory. It was made in the living room of an ordinary beach house in Wilmington, on the coast of North Carolina. There, Nicolay (Matthijs Rook), newly arrived in the US from his home country of the Netherlands, sat down to mold the raw material into a cohesive album. And he did it without anything that could even remotely be called a classic studio setup.
Continue reading Beatnik Online interviews The Foreign Exchange
Prefix Magazine has selected Authenticity among their Best Albums Of 2010!
32 The Foreign Exchange: Authenticity
The Foreign Exchange's Authenticity, Phonte and Nicolay's third album together, is easily their finest yet. It's an honest, revealing glimpse into the complexities of romantic relationships -- a welcome change of pace at a time when R&B/soul is mostly filled with sex-fueled romps. Where Authenticity excels, though, is in Nic's experimental blends of synthesizers, keys, and acoustic guitars paired with Phonte's increasingly melodic and refined songwriting.
Source: Oh DratAuthenticity is the third album from the Grammy nominated collaboration of Phonte and Nicolay, and shows a further maturation of The Foreign Exchange. If the leap from their first album Connected to second Leave It All Behind was a revolution, Authenticity is an evolution in the Foreign Exchange's sound.
Continue reading Oh Drat reviews Authenticity
Source: Oh DratAfter meeting on the internet in 2002, Phonte and Nicolay have made waves with The Foreign Exchange, both as a hip hop and a soul group. The lead single from their last album Leave It All Behind was nominated for a Grammy, and they recently released their third album Authenticity to across the board praise (check my review here). I caught up with the guys to talk message boards, sampling, leaving a legacy and more...
Continue reading Oh Drat interviews The Foreign Exchange
in: Upcoming Shows
soulBEAUTIFUL inc presents: The Foreign Exchange's (Phonte & Nicolay) with live band, performing at Cargo in LondonsoulBEAUTIFUL inc. presents:
The Foreign Exchange (Phonte + Nicolay) with live band
Doors 7pm - 1am. Tickets £13.50 in advance
Sounds provided by
BARRY KING (Lifenotes Music)
DJ DEVASTATE (DEMON BOYS)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 7:00 PMCargo, 83 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY UK | 020 7749 7844