On the Record with Nicolay | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

On the Record with Nicolay

The multi-instrumentalist and producer discusses his new jazz record.

Coming off the release of the Shibuya Sessions EP, multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-nominated producer Nicolay (of The Foreign Exchange) took a minute to talk about jazz and the recording process.

Tell me a little bit about this EP. What drove you into this smooth jazz sound?

I've always kind of dreamed of doing an actual "jazz" project, but not even really claiming it to be jazz as much as it is just my interpretation of it. I've tried to come up with a classic sort of sound where everything is actually played on actual instruments. There's no sequencing or computers or any of that stuff involved. 

What was it like working with fellow North Carolinians The Hot at Nights on this EP?

In a lot of ways, it was very different from the record-making process with The Foreign Exchange — [which is] Phonte, my partner, and myself, and we never collaborate at the same moment in the same room. In this project, it was actually four guys in a room set up with headphones and instruments, and it was a very in-the-moment thing. We did it in one day.

It was part of the challenge for myself and the guys to not allow [ourselves] any of the luxuries you would normally have in the recording process: fixing mistakes, over-dubbing yourself. We felt it would be really cool if we really put ourselves in the hands of the moment.

An extended version of this interview appears on FFW>>, our music blog at pghcitypaper.com