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The Foreign Exchange
How many new-age bands do you know that have gained enough appreciation in just four years of their presence. If you are still figuring out a name, then it means there are not many like The Foreign Exchange.
This particular band has truly given meaning to the word new-age music. The Foreign Exchange is a fantastic collaboration of two supremely talented musicians that are making waves all around for there great work.
With just two full-length albums released till yet, the band has managed to create enough fan base for itself all thanks to their wonderful lyrics, aspiring vocals and flawless production.
The Foreign Exchange is an interesting mix of musical talents of producer, arranger and lyricist Nicolay and vocalist Phonte, but what is even more interesting is the way the band was formed. If we have to give credit to someone for giving us such rocking band, then that honored one would be the Internet.
As strange as it may sound, The Foreign Exchange started through internet and there first record was entirely conceived and produced online. The story goes like this that Little Brother rapper Phonte Coleman heard a beat on Okayplayer site by Netherlands-based Dutch producer Nicolay Rook and asked if he could lay some vocals over it.
The later agreed and they started communicating their ideas through file trading and instant messaging on internet. They first made a song Light It Up that appeared in a Little Brother's 2003 album The Listening.
After the first successful collaboration of Nicolay and Phonte, the two continued to work on some more music through internet and later came up with own album titled Connected. Released in 2004, the project literally lived up to its name as it connected the two with the audience quite easily. Termed as the one of the most sought-after debuts of recent times, Connected showed the creative chemistry between Phonte and Nicolay.
While the listeners enjoyed the album thoroughly, the critics got amazed with the amazing collaboration of the two and gave them thumps up. It is surely amazing that the two artists did not meet each other even for once during the production of this album. Still they created such an impressive album that strengthened our belief on the wonders of Internet.
Connected is a celebration of hip-hop, electronic music, soul, and psychedelia. With beautiful vocals of Phonte, who is one of the only rappers alive that doesn't need an autotune-vocoder to sing, and amazing soulful effort of Phonte the album is nothing but a gem of music.
Sincere became the most rocking single of the album featuring YahZarah. It was released with a promo video and get strong reviews from all over. Other songs that also gained attention of listeners include Hustle Hustle, Brave New World, All That You Are, Raw Life, and Let's Move.
Following the success of Connected, The Foreign Exchange appeared on Preemptive Hype Vol. 2 released in 2004 which was a collection of work by Various artists. In the year 2005, the duo came up with Connected (Instrumentals) and later appeared on The Starr Report released by Kenn Starr.
However, the real treat for their fans came in 2008 when the duo released the anxiously awaited album Leave It All Behind. Taking the title of the album quite seriously, the band has left their previous sound and shifted the focus from razor sharp rhymes to soulful vocals for this great album. This highly praised sophomore album is a rare concept that flows in the key of life.
The album contained meticulously layered arrangements of mostly soulful R&B with electronic and other influences. The Opening song Daykeeper was a winner through and through and became instant hit.
This dusky number was lit up by powder blue piano, mix of downtempo, soul and electronica driven by atmospheric keys and ethereal background vocals. Apart from this, other numbers like House of Cards, Valediction, Sweeter Than You and Something to Behold also contained such perfection that they ruled the charts for long.
For this album, The Foreign Exchange collaborated with Victor St. Clair, Darien Brockington, Muhsinah and Yahzarah that added more colors to this beautiful album.
Besides being on constant rise for their work, The Foreign Exchange is also the best bet for live acts as they promise more fun, more thrills and more music in their concerts.
So if these guys are performing somewhere near your place, make sure to check them out as you will have a rewarding listening experience. Go for The Foreign Exchange and have fun!
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