Born and raised in the Netherlands, classically trained multi-instrumentalist and producer Nicolay played in a number of hip-hop and R&B bands around his homeland, but it wasn't until 2000 that he decided to start producing his own beats. In 2002 Little Brother MC Phonte Coleman stumbled across one of them on Okayplayer's message board and asked if he could put his rhymes over it, and soon a friendship and a musical relationship were born. This transatlantic collaboration, which they called The Foreign Exchange, led to an album, Connected, in 2004, after which Nicolay continued producing tracks for Little Brother and Cesar Comanche, releasing City Lights Vol. 1.5 first only online and then through BBE Records in 2005. The Dutch Masters, Vol. 1, which featured Nicolay DJing, came out that same year, followed by Here in 2006. In 2008 the producer teamed up with Houston rapper Kay (whom he had also met through message boards and had put on a track on Here) and issued the album Time:Line. The second Foreign Exchange album, Leave It All Behind, came later in the year on the Foreign Exchange label.