SoulTrain.com had the opportunity to speak with Phonte and Nicolay about the new album, running the +FE imprint, their musical evolution, and why Nicolay would be the rap equivalent to Gucci Mane.
There's a seductive quality to Nicolay's overall sound, solo or with FE, one that marries slices of genres within his own production. That seductiveness comes from a romantic vibe that evokes the moods and colors of nightlife. The overall atmosphere culminates in elegance and delicious sounds. Look no further than Nicolay's "City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya" or his collaboration with the experimental jazz combo The Hot at Nights where they re-worked that album with glorious results.
Continue reading Star News reviews Love In Flying Colors
Great photos of the Love In Flying Colors release show at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh NC, courtesy of RDP3 Photography.
We are excited to announce the long awaited vinyl release of Love In Flying Colors. The Foreign Exchange's fourth studio album is available now as a regular double LP set and as a limited edition blue vinyl double LP set including a 7" Call It Home / Pity single. Both sets are packaged in a full color gatefold and come with a FREE MP3 download of the album.
Click here to visit the +FE Music Store!
Nicolay talks Love in Flying Colors, going the independent route, and early hip-hop influences (via The Come Up Show)
Then, something amazing happened. The album found a following, enough for Nicolay to take a leap of faith and move from the Netherlands to Wilmington, North Carolina to pursue music full time. Now, nearly ten years, four albums, and a Grammy nomination deep, it's clear Nicolay's leap of faith paid off. Through constantly changing their sound and releasing their music independently, The Foreign Exchange have managed to build an impressive fan base and critical success. Their latest work, the funk and soul-infused Love in Flying Colors, has continued in that vein, and is garnering some great reviews. We caught up with Nicolay to talk about his latest album, going the independent route, his early hip-hop influences, and much more.
Continue reading Nicolay talks Love in Flying Colors, going the independent route, and early hip-hop influences (via The Come Up Show)
Continue reading State Magazine reviews Love In Flying Colors [NL]
Soulful hip-hop duo talks new album and DIY life
Through their self-run FE Music imprint, the group has not only released its own critically acclaimed music (as well as DVDs, merchandise, and other products) over the last decade, but also projects by other artists, such as instrumentalist Zo!, singer Jeanne Jolly, and more. It'd be hard not to give props to such a well-oiled machine for churning out new sounds on the regular and steadily growing its fan base. With the Foreign Exchange's fourth album, Love in Flying Colors, the machine shows no signs of slowing down. This latest production presents a band that's at the next step of its organizational evolution. "We're fortunate enough that ... with [Love in Flying Colors] and other titles -- as a label, we've already set our own record in terms of our accomplishments," Nicolay says. "Being an independent artist is not for everybody. It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time, but obviously you're working for yourself and there's nothing better than that."
Many rappers have sought to navigate this precarious path, but none have disappeared down the R&B rabbit-hole as impressively as Phonte. Some have insisted on singing their own hooks - here's looking at you Ja Rule, Eminem and 50 Cent - and this trend shows no sign of abating. Owing to audiences demand for more than lyrical content, delivery and clever wordplay, rappers such as J. Cole, Kendrick Lemar and latterly Big Sean have all recently felt obligated to sing hooks and even full verses. Though none have strayed too far into melodic heavy territory.
Continue reading Phonte's Crossover (via Marvin's Corridor)
SoulTracks just announced the Top Five finalists in the 2013 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards! The Foreign Exchange is included in the top five of two categories:
Independent Album of the Year:
The Foreign Exchange - Love In Flying Colors
Duo or Group of the Year:
The Foreign Exchange
Winners will be announced on December 9.
While last album, 2010's Authenticity, took a decidedly stark and stripped-down musical turn, new effort Love In Flying Colors is intentionally brighter, expressed as an sonic exploration of the complex emotion, and represents a solidly consistent album for the duo; Phonte (ex of hip-hop crew Little Brother) has grown tremendously as a vocalist, perfectly complemented by Nicolay's ever-evolving yet signature "electro-soul" sound.
The Grammy-nominated duo state that they hate being put in a box -- as independent artists (and as founders of indie label FE+ Music) mainstream award recognition or underground fan base expectations are noted, but don't ultimately influence how they want the music to sound. It's about making music their way, drawing from hip-hop, R&B, and all points in between.
Continue reading The Foreign Exchange: Being The Best Self (via Exclaim!)
Though you should know them already...
So I'll try another approach: If you like Rhye or Quadron, you'll love The Foreign Exchange. For almost 10 years, the Grammy-nominated duo has created the same electro-soul as the aforementioned acts, but with a deeper soul slant.
Continue reading Getting To Know The Foreign Exchange (via Clash)
A series of sea changes has since defined The Foreign Exchange's output, fitting for a band wrought of artistic restlessness, anyway. 2008's Leave It All Behind presented a sophisticated pocket symphony rumination on the ups-and-downs of long-term relationships, while 2010's Authenticity bordered on hopelessness and melancholy held together by frosty synthesizers. "Love is at worst an excuse," Coleman sang. "At best it's a truce." With each album, Coleman and Rook found the kind of groove that they could've ridden for the next decade of their discography; instead, they've become a DIY R&B institution, hellbent on reinventing themselves each time out.
Continue reading Indy Week reviews Love In Flying Colors
With only ten tracks, the album is shorter and doesn't have as many transitions and open instrumental fields allowing for a more tightly connected work. The guest features list is heavier but we still see Nicolay serving as the primary instrumentalist with Phonte maintaining his space as the pulse within the music. This album also shows Nic expanding the +FE sound and going deeper into previously explored soundscapes while Te's voice reveals a more experienced singer. And though the album has some minor pitfalls, it's still a welcomed addition to an already impressive resume.
Continue reading Potholes In My Blog reviews Love In Flying Colors
Continue reading Nu-Soul Magazine reviews Love In Flying Colors
This international duo's new album "Love In Flying Colors" brings soulful beats, honest lyrics and inspiring grooves. The group spoke to MY Lifestyle Magazine about the evolution of their sound.
It's the kind of music that reaches into your soul and makes you want to momentarily disconnect from everything else. The beats will make your head nod back and forth. The lyrics will raise your spirits.
Continue reading MY Lifestyle Magazine interviews The Foreign Exchange
Acing R&B With Flying Colors: The Foreign Exchange Return With 4th Studio Album.
Anyhow, less than a year after dropping a remix set that was less like a compilation and more like a new album, Phonte and Nicolay return with an actual new album called Love In Flying Colors. It sticks fairly close to the template set by the three previous FE+ studio albums, but that isn't a bad thing. While I'll always give props to those who experiment artistically, sometimes it's just as good for an artist (or a group, or a duo) to know their lane and stick to it. Love songs? Hazy synths? Phonte's every-man singing voice? All here, and all good.
Continue reading Popblerd! reviews Love In Flying Colors
Love In Flying Colors is shooting for that goal: Broadly, it's a happy, settled album that seems to be about coming to terms with a new, stable relationship in the wake of a more tumultuous one. To achieve that tone, it's more musically ambitious than anything the Foreign Exchange have attempted before, incorporating live instrumentation throughout and dabbling in a comfy palette of funk, soul, disco, soft rock, and touches of house. It's crisp, familiar and accessible, but taking this approach also holds the group to a higher standard and plays against its strengths. Previous Foreign Exchange projects could lean a little bit on novelty: 2004's Connected proved that engaging, soulful hip-hop could be created by a Dutch producer and a North Carolina rapper collaborating over the internet; Leave It All Behind showed that Phonte had a better singing voice than anyone expected; Authenticity was a moody, drifting work full of minimal, electronic production that presaged the wave of bedroom R&B acts that would start sweeping blogs a year or two later. In contrast, Love In Flying Colors isn't just holding itself up against historical precedent, it's had the unfortunate luck of falling in the middle of a disco revival zeitgeist without the on-hand studio resources of, say, Daft Punk or Pharrell.