Photos of The Foreign Exchange's live concert at Terminal West, Atlanta Ga on November 6, 2015, courtesy of NiaTate Photography.
Nicolay and Phonte met on the message boards of Okayplayer.com in 2002. Before they spoke a word on the phone, they would record their debut album Connected as The Foreign Exchange. Now the Grammy nominated group is touring the world and toting one of the best live shows in soul music. The music documentary series Suite Sessions followed the band during their west coast swing of the Love In Flying Colors tour. We go behind the scenes with music curator DJ88 and local music venue owner hris LaPorte as they bring the soul band to Las Vegas for the first time.
Source: Suite Sessions
Though at its core the act is the duo of frontman Phonte Coleman and producer Nicolay Rook, the group's sound has shifted and grown stronger through collaboration with other, like-minded artists. Vocalists Carmen Rodgers and Tamisha Waden add depth to the vocal attack, while keyboardist Zo!, bassist Darion Alexander and drummer Nick Baglio bring serious chops to the rhythm section.
Those skills were apparent when the group delivered an impressive opening set during a Floetry reunion show at DPAC over the summer, but the weekend's headlining slot (and as a result, extra time) provided extra opportunities to flex. That became clear during several seamless transitions near the beginning of the show as they tied together older tracks, a cover of Keith Sweat's "I Want Her" and several cuts off their sixth and most recent full-length, Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey.
Cut to today: Coleman, 36, and Rook, 41, are several albums deep as the Grammy-winning, indie-soul collective The Foreign Exchange. And Coleman, who still lives in Raleigh, doesn't have to go very far to contact Rook. He's just a couple of hours away in Wilmington, where he's lived since 2006.
Continue reading Indie-soul collective Foreign Exchange plays the Cat's Cradle (via The News & Observer)
"I'd never say no shit like that. The connotation of that is you make boring music to fuckin', ya know, goddamn go to sleep to," The Foreign Exchange rapper-cum-singer Phonte Coleman says of the reviewers who fixate on the mature and nuanced themes of his lyrics. "If you say our music is for grown folks, I hear: 'No adventure, no attitude.' That's not what me and Nick do. On every record, we push ourselves to the limit of our creativity."
Phonte is referring to Dutch R&B and electronica producer Nicolay, with whom he cofounded The Foreign Exchange, who will perform at Amos' Southend on Nov. 6. Back then, in the early '00s, Phonte was known as a member of the burgeoning alt-hip-hop trio Little Brother, which was garnering rave reviews for its landmark 2003 debut, The Listening.