Born and raised in the Netherlands, classically trained multi-instrumentalist and producer Nicolay played in a number of hip-hop and R&B bands around his homeland, but it wasn't until 2000 that he decided to start producing his own beats. In 2002 Little Brother MC Phonte Coleman stumbled across one of them on Okayplayer's message board and asked if he could put his rhymes over it, and soon a friendship and a musical relationship was born. This transatlantic collaboration, which they called the Foreign Exchange, led to an album, Connected, in 2004, after which Nicolay continued producing tracks for Little Brother and Cesar Comanche, releasing City Lights, Vol. 1.5, first only online and then through BBE Records in 2005. The Dutch Masters, Vol. 1, which featured Nicolay DJing, came out that same year, followed by Here in 2006.