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Monday, Jul 23 2007 | 14:51

Producer / musician NICOLAY has started his own record label on which he plans to release several new projects. The new label, a partnership with Premium Blend Music Productions, will bear the same name as his production company, NICOLAY MUSIC.

NICOLAY is best known as the producing half of THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE (with Phonte Coleman of Little Brother), who’s debut album “Connected” (BBE / 2004) made a huge impact on the underground hip hop and soul scene, garnering praise from listeners, critics and peers alike. THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE was featured on MTV, VH1, BET and NPR, while Connected quickly reached #1 on CMJ’s Hip Hop chart. In 2005, NICOLAY was one of URB Magazine’s Next 100. Since then, he has produced for Little Brother, Supastition, Masta Ace, Strange Fruit Project and Zion I, remixed tracks for Roy Ayers, Bob James, Candy Dulfer and many others, toured the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, and released several albums under his own name, most notably “City Lights Volume 1.5” (BBE / 2005) and “Here” (BBE / 2006). NICOLAY currently lives and works in North Carolina.

NEW STUDIO + NEW LABEL = NEW MUSIC

NICOLAY is excited about the developments. “Starting the label definitely is a dream come true for me! I believe that the future of music as a business lies in establishing and maintaining a direct artist-fan relationship. Independently releasing the music through my own label will enable me to do so, while maintaining full control over my projects. Not to mention that I will now have the opportunity to help get the incredibly talented artists that I work with some much deserved exposure!”.

Even though NICOLAY had been thinking about starting his own label for quite some time, it didn’t become a reality until Goetz “GG” Gottschalk of Premium Blend Music Productions came onboard. “Ever since I signed my exclusive publishing agreement with Premium Blend and their partner BMG Music Publishing, “GG” has been instrumental in the development of my production company with his connections, advice and never-ending patience”, says NICOLAY. “He truly believes in my potential and goes to great lengths for the cause, making him the ideal partner.” Through “GG”s connections, talks began with Groove Attack Productions. One of the world’s leading distributors in underground hip hop and soul, Groove Attack was interested instantly, and after signing an exclusive distribution agreement while in Cologne, Germany for studio sessions, NICOLAY’s label was a fact. “Now that my label is up and running and my new studio in Wilmington, North Carolina is close to being finished, I feel that the possibilities really are endless!”

UPCOMING PROJECTS

The first project to be released on NICOLAY MUSIC is NICOLAY & KAY PRESENT “TIME:LINE”, a concept album from NICOLAY and Houston emcee Kay (who’s worked with Ali Shaheed Muhammad, A Tribe Called Quest, Oh No and SA-RA Creative Partners, just to name a few), featuring artists from both of their musical families. Features include Oh No, Strange Fruit Project, Stokely from Mint Condition, PZ from Ideal, K-Otix / The Legendary K.O., Nicole Hurst and many more. Their first single, “Tight Eyes” feat. Oh No & The Luv Bugz, will be premiered online and released through iTunes shortly after, just in time for the summer, followed by the album in digital format and on CD in the fall.

Other projects that NICOLAY plans to release include a new installment in his City Lights series and a mixtape with DJ Rhettmatic of the World Famous Beat Junkies. In the meantime, NICOLAY has begun working on “The Dutch Masters Vol. 2” (Hard Boiled; TBA), and he and Phonte are in the final stages of completing the much anticipated sophomore FOREIGN EXCHANGE album, titled “Leave It All Behind” (TBA; 2008).

Audio File: Nicolay & Kay – Tight Eyes feat. Oh No & The Luv Bugz [Dirty]

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