Born and raised in The Netherlands, Europe, Nicolay's passion for music has dominated his life for as long as he can remember. He was brought up with equal parts of Stevie Wonder and Neil Young, and as a youth, most of his days were spent listening to whatever music he could get his hands on.
Nicolay’s early love for classical music drove him to seek a formal music education. A true multi-instrumentalist, Nicolay is proficient in playing piano and keyboards, guitar, bass and drums. Nicolay’s diverse understanding of music led him to play in several Hip-Hop and R&B bands, opening up for artists such as K-Ci & JoJo, Boyz II Men, MC Lyte and many others.
After being a live musician and bandleader for nearly a decade, Nicolay started producing in 2000, and shortly thereafter, came across Phonte Coleman of Little Brother through the Okayplayer message boards. The two soon began trading tracks and rhymes back and forth over instant messenger, which in turn created the b-side single for Little Brotherʹs critically acclaimed 2003 album The Listening, called Light It Up. At the time, neither of them suspected that they were actually laying the foundation for what would become one of the most cohesive and innovative albums of 2004. Together they called themselves The Foreign Exchange, and appropriately titled the project Connected.
Since the August 2004 release of Connected, on BBE Records, Nicolay has not rested. His production talents have been requested by a slew of artists and record labels and he has received accolades from the likes of Jazzy Jeff, Questlove (The Roots), 9th Wonder, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and The Beatminerz, to name a few.
Along with Connected, Nicolay now has two other album releases that continue to tell the story of his universal gifts and abilities, while allowing his music to speak for itself. Nicolay’s City Lights Volume 1.5 was initially offered as a very limited promotional CD on hiphopsite.com and Nicolay’s own website.
BBE Records was pressed to officially release the album as a result of an overwhelming demand and the cult like status that City Lights attained. The album has been remastered and updated with five bonus songs that display a glimpse of Nicolay’s forthcoming artist album to http://www.nicolaymusic.com/ released in 2006. In May of 2005, Hard Boiled Records released Nicolay’s third full length album, The Dutch Masters, Vol. 1. Testing new personal achievements, Nicolay put his own spin on some great underground hip-hop and soul tracks, while polishing up his new found skill, the art of DJing.