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in: Interviews

On the Record with Nicolay (via Pittsburgh City Paper)

by +FE on January 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Comments
We spoke with Nicolay, a Grammy-nominated producer and instrumentalist and one half of the duo Foreign Exchange, in advance of his show at Shadow Lounge Tuesday.

I've read that you've worked with guitarist Chris Berner through your Foreign Exchange project, and in that project you were making more hip-hop and electronic stuff. This EP sounds a lot more classic, like you can lounge to it, whereas Foreign Exchange stuff kinda makes you wanna hit the dance floor. Can you tell me a little bit about how this EP came to fruition? What drove you, personally, into this smooth jazz sound?

I've always been a very big jazz fan. You can definitely also hear that in a lot of the Foreign Exchange records. But it never really went beyond being an influence. I've always dreamed of doing an actual "jazz" project, but not really claiming it to be jazz as much as it is just my interpretation of it. As you say, I've really tried to come up with a very classic sound where everything is played on actual instruments. There's no sequencing or computers or any of that stuff involved. In a lot of ways it was about a desire for me to further challenge myself and really look for depth in a direction we don't normally go in.

Continue reading On the Record with Nicolay (via Pittsburgh City Paper)

in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! & Sy Smith at Lola, St Louis MO | Feb 12, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Comments
Zo! + Sy Smith in St. Louis

$10 - 21+

Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Lola, 500 N 14th St St. Louis, MO 63103 314-621-7277

in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! & Sy Smith at Jazz & Jokes, Nashville TN | Feb 11, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 28, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Comments
Zo! + Sy Smith in Nashville

Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 8:00 PM
Jazz & Jokes, 174 3rd Avenue, Nashville,TN 37201 | 615-242-5653

in: Upcoming Events

Phonte & 9th Wonder at Bassline, Johannesburg SA | April 6, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Comments
UPE presents Phonte + 9th Wonder

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 9:00 PM
Bassline, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street Newtown Johannesburg SA | 011-838 9142/5/6

in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! & Sy Smith at Privé Deux, Detroit MI | Feb 10, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 23, 2012 at 10:52 PM · Comments
Urban Organic presents ... Zo! & Sy Smith

Friday, February 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM
Privé Deux, 237 Jos Campau, Detroit MI 48207 | (313) 585-0630

in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! & Sy Smith at The Shrine, Chicago IL | Feb 9, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM · Comments

Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM
The Shrine, 2109 South Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60616 | (312) 753-5700

in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! + Phonte & more at Liv, Washington DC | Jan 28, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Comments
Axel F. One Year Anniversary

With your resident DJs:
Jahsonic, Stylus and Adrian Loving

featuring the Sexual Chocolate Band & Show performing LIVE covers of Axel F era tunes:

Deborah Bond
Ne'a Posey
N'digo Rose

Ticket Info:
$10 Adv / $15 Door

Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Liv , 2001 11th St NW, Washington DC 20001 | (202) 299-0800

in: Media » Music

The Hot At Nights - ACSlater (Nicolay Rework)

by +FE on January 23, 2012 at 7:48 PM · Comments
The Hot At Nights - ACSlater (Nicolay Rework)
Nicolay and The Hot At Nights are about to hit the road to perform the music from their recent Shibuya Session EP and more in cities across the US. To celebrate the kick-off of their tour, we are happy to present you with a free exclusive download of Nicolay's lengthy rework of The Hot At Nights' track "ACSlater". Thank you for listening, and we hope to see you out there at one of the shows! For a complete schedule, please visit our events section.

You can find the original version of "ACSlater" on the album "Nice Talk" by The Hot At Nights.


Original version performed by The Hot At Nights and produced by Chris Boerner
Remix, additional instrumentation and programming by Nicolay (2011/12)

Continue reading The Hot At Nights - ACSlater (Nicolay Rework)

in: Interviews

Nicolay goes with a jazz groove

by +FE on January 22, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Comments
Nicolay Rook needed to do something.

He needed to do something to pass the time, to keep himself occupied, to prevent his musical skills from becoming atrophied. With Phonte Coleman, his singing/rapping partner in the Grammy-nominated, North Carolina-based, emo-soul duo known as The Foreign Exchange, working on a bevy of projects last year (including releasing his own solo debut "Charity Starts at Home"), Rook was looking for a project of his own. And thus, "The Shibuya Session EP" was born.

Released in November, the eight-track recording has the Dutch-born, Wilmington-based Rook hooking up with The Hot at Nights, an exploratory jazz trio from Raleigh, doing jazzy, occasionally avant-garde reworkings of several tunes from Rook's 2009 electro-soul album "City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya."

Continue reading Nicolay goes with a jazz groove

in: Interviews

Grammy nominee Nicolay is now in 'Session'

by +FE on January 19, 2012 at 8:15 AM · Comments
The last time the Dutch-born, Wilmington-based producer and musician Nicolay made a public appearance locally was about five years ago. It wasn't even a gig, per se, just a DJing session at the late, great night spot Bella Festa.

Things were a little different back then for Nicolay, who plays a gig on Tuesday at the Soapbox with exploratory jazz group The Hot @ Nights out of Raleigh.

His Grammy nomination, for Best Urban/Alternative track, from his group The Foreign Exchange's song "Daykeeper," had yet to occur. In fact, The Foreign Exchange, the duo Nicolay shares with Raleigh-based vocalist Phonte Coleman, was so obscure they were known to only the hippest of hip-hop heads.

Five years later, however, the Foreign Exchange has parlayed its Grammy nomination into a deeply devoted following that allowed the group to book its biggest-ever tour in 2011, not to mention allowing Nicolay to build up nearly 19,000 Twitter followers. (Phonte, a former vocalist with the hip-hop group Little Brother, has nearly 47,000.)

He's also taken quite the musical journey, from hip-hop to more of a soul/R&B/pop vibe with FE - even covering a James Taylor tune and doing a country version of a Foreign Exchange song on a live album - and expanding on his 2009 solo effort "City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya" on a live album with the Hot @ Nights.

Continue reading Grammy nominee Nicolay is now in 'Session'

in: Upcoming Events

Nicolay with The Hot At Nights LIVE on National Public Radio/WUNC-FM | Jan 20, 2012

by +FE on January 11, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Comments
On Friday January 20, 2012 at 12:00 EST, tune in to National Carolina Public Radio/WUNC-FM to listen to an exclusive live-in-studio session and interview with Nicolay and The Hot At Nights on The State Of Things with Frank Stasio.

Listen online via http://wunc.org/programs/tsot/

Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

in: Media » Video

Phonte - Dance In The Reign (Official Video)

by +FE on January 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Comments
Phonte - Dance In The Reign (Official Video)
+FE Music proudly presents the official music video for Dance In The Reign, directed by Kenneth Price

Watch this video

in: Upcoming Shows

Nicolay with The Hot At Nights at The 8x10, Baltimore MD | Feb 6, 2012

by Aimee Flint on January 5, 2012 at 12:39 AM · Comments
Nicolay with The Hot At Nights

Nicolay teams up with exploratory jazz-trio The Hot At Nights to perform new interpretations and arrangements of his instrumental compositions from "City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya" and more.

Nicolay: synthesizers/keyboards | Chris Boerner: 8-string guitar | Matt Douglas: sax/woodwinds | Nick Baglio: drums

Download the Shibuya Session EP for FREE here.

Monday, February 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM
The 8x10, 10 E Cross St., Baltimore MD 21230 | (410) 625-2000

in: Upcoming Shows

Zo! & Sy Smith at Little Temple, Los Angeles CA | Jan 19, 2012

by +FE on January 3, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Comments
Strictly Social Presents... Zo! + Sy Smith
Presented by Nu-Soul Magazine

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM
Little Temple, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 | (323) 660-4540

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