Sunday, September 10, 2006

Every hiphop head has their own picks the top 10 beat makers that ever produced a record. Well, today I bring you one of my top 10 producers, Nicolay (shown on the right in the photo)! He was actually born and raised in The Netherlands, Europe, but he now resides in the United States. Nicolay is a true multi-instrumentalist who is proficient in playing the piano, keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. Nic started making his harmonic beats around 2000, but his life changed after he was discovered by Phonte of Little Brother after hearing a few of Nicolay's beats on the message boards at the Okayplayer website. Impressed by his production sound, Phonte contacted Nicolay and asked if he was interested in putting some lyrics over his melodic beats? Soon after, they began exchanging beats and lyrics back & forth using the instant messager. That was the birth of the classic Little Brother "The Listening" album b-side track "Light It Up." Together they called themselves The Foreign Exchange, and appropriately titled their album "Connected." Phonte and Nicolay go together better than peanut butter and jelly when it comes to making music! Nicolay's hypnotic beats plus artists like Little Brother, Darien Brockington, Von Pea, Joe Scudda & Yahzarah providing the vocals, equals a definite classic! You definitely need this album in your collection. Since, the release of the Foreign Exchange album, Nicolay has worked with many other great artists like Roy Ayers, D'Nell, Havana, Sy Smith & Darien Brockington. Soon after the Foreign Exchange project, he released "The Dutch Masters Vol. 1 Mixtape," which is a compilation showcasing some of his most popular produced tracks and hottest remixes. The "City Lights 1.5" instrumental album dropped soon after, which solitified his position as one of the top beat makers of our time!

Now, Nicolay is back with his fourth official musical release entitled "Here," which drops on September 12, 2006. Nicolay came through Detroit last Saturday to for his official Detroit album release party, hosted by my man MosaicThump. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for this monumental event, and I must say that Nicolay can not only make beats, but he definitely knows how to rock a party as well. He blessed us with a live DJ session, where he displayed his abilities on the turntables. Nicolay is no slouch and neither was DJ Dez (from Slum Village fame) who held the DJ responsibilities down before Nicolay came out. I got a chance to chat with Nicolay and Griddy Grimes (shown in the photo above) from the group the Gridlock Fam. Both of them katz were real cool, plus they were very humble when discussing their place in the world of hiphop. As much quality music that Nicolay has blessed us with over the years, he seemed to be flattered that folks are digging his music. His attitude was shocking, but definitely refreshing. He's obviously a true hiphop fan at heart, and even while being a part of it, he still enjoys being a fan. During our conversation he mentioned how during his album release party in New York, Phonte (from Little Brother) came through put on a vicious freestyle session for the folks in attendance. Nicolay got me hyped while he was describing the event to me. It was like talking to one of my boys about a dope CD I just kopped!

During the event Nic played a few tracks from his new album, which definitely got the crowd hyped. If you are a fan of Nicolay's previous works, you definitely need to pick up this album. There are eleven tracks total, and they are all solid! He's working with some new rap and soul talents on this "Here" album, but they definitely hold it down over Nic's melodic production. Some of my favorite tracks are "I Love The Way You Love" featuring Darien Brockington, "I Am The Man" featuring Black Spade and "My Story" featuring Kay & Sy Smith. Those will definitely have you hitting the rewind button a few times? Nicolay is definitely on the path of bringing hiphop back to the essence of artistic diversity, originality and creativity. While so many undeserving artists keep getting an almost annoying abundance of promotion on radio and television, artists like Nicolay are making their name through the word of mouth approach! Actually, that is what this site is all about! Giving some deserved exposure the artists that never get it. Checkout my man Nicolay, and if you are feeling what he's doing, don't hesitate to tell someone else. That's how this thing works. Also, I know a lot of you are heavy into to the "DOWNLOAD FOR FREE" way for attaining your music, but I encourage you to go out and support Nicolay and other independent artists that you like. It seems like it doesn't matter, but it does! Hell, use iTunes or AOL Music to make your purchases, if you don't like going to record stores anymore.

For more Nicolay and Gridlock Fam info, checkout the links below:

The Foreign Exchange Live - Come Around Feat D. Brock & Yaz (Nic Beat)


Cyn said...

Whats the name of the song/group whose video is currently on the blog?

Anonymous said...

The Nicolay laid down was cool....I am looking forward to finding out how his album is sounding like...great article piece you did on these guys!! ATL you know me

travis said...

Another nice write up, very nice.

Just grabbed the album this week, and it's up in the top 10 of the year so far and maybe moving up the more I get into it

Sonny D said...

Nicolay is the shit!! I have all of his stuff, and I will getting this album today!

Nice Post...