VIDEO: RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY Lecture Session With NICOLAY of Foreign Exchange
Matthijs L. Nicolay Rook’s CV reads like a modern-day social networking fairy tale. After years of playing bass ‘n’ drums in various funk bands (p and electronic) and pulling a Kanye after falling out with his teachers at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam over his fascination with Frank Zappa, Nicolay had already ended his dreams of being a professional musician and got himself a 9-to-5. Some day he caught up with then-rising Jansport hero Phonte on the Okayplayer message board, uploaded some of his work as a hobby beat maker – and ended up with a full set of songs recorded over his instrumentals. The rather unconventionally founded group was called Foreign Exchange, released their debut album on BBE in 2004 and gained the praises of ?uesto and company. Three more full-lengths (one with Houston MC Kay, one solo as a producer, and a second Foreign Exchange LP with Phonte), a launch of an own label (Nicolay Music Group) and a relocation to the shores of North Carolina later, this fly Dutchman definitely stands out as one of the most inspired beat cats on Planet Rock, remixing Roy Ayers and laying down richly instrumented computer soul for US indie luminaries as well as the leaders of the European pack.