Tuesday, April 6, 2010

King Sunny Ade Engineer Phil Nicolo

Phil received a Bachelor of Science from Temple University in 1977. He and his brother Joe began their music careers as teenagers, fixing speakers at a nearby drive-in theater. In 1980, they founded Studio 4, a recording studio in Philadelphia. Individually and together as the Butcher Bros., they quickly established themselves as a force in all genres of music production, from rock to R&B, mainstream to cutting edge. Mr. Nicolo has attained the most coveted form of success in the music business: he has succeeded in every music genre he has tackled. His early rock credits include the Hooters, Nighthawks and Willie Nile. At the same time, he was creating music with Kriss Kross, Teddy Pendergrass and Taj Mahal. Mixes of Billy Joel's River of Dreams, the Rolling Stone's Love Is Strong, Aerosmith's Falling In Love and James Taylor's A Little More Time are all Mr. Nicolo's work. He co-produced and mixed Sting's When We Danced and re-mixed Message In A Bottle for the Police. Other credits include John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Amy Grant, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Santana, Pete Yorn, Luscious Jackson, Urge Overkill, the Pretenders, Jon Bon Jovi, and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam.

In 1989, Ruffhouse Records was launched out of Studio 4 operations, and over the next ten years it moved more than 100 million units through Sony distribution. Responsible for the careers of Lauryn Hill, the Fugees, Cypress Hill, Kriss Kross and Wyclef Jean, Ruffhouse alone accounted for 12 of Columbia Records 39 Grammy nominations in 1997. In 1993 , Mr. Nicolo founded Master Voice, a mastering lab based in Conshohocken, PA. In 1994 He joined producer Rick Chertoff and Polygram Records. Rick's label Blue Gorilla had great success with Joan Osborn.

While maintaining a busy stable of multi-platinum artists, Mr. Nicolo has continued to work with cutting edge talent. He produced the critically acclaimed Train EP for Aware/Columbia. Phil has produced Hamell on Trial, the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, Dishwalla, Fig Dish and Cibo Matto, a veritable who's who of cutting edge rock. His hard rock credits include Life of Agony, Dog Eat Dog, Urge Overkill,Boy Sets Fire and Anthrax. He mixed the Butthole Surfers Pepper, the Cults Gone/Coming Down and produced the Fugees Live Bootleg EP. Projects include mixes for John Lennon & Yoko Ono, remixes and live recordings with Depeche Mode, mixes for the band New Order, an EP for Columbia artist Pete Yorn, and a live recording of The Moby Area One tour featuring: Moby, Incubis, Nelly Furtado, Outkast and The Roots. A recient thrill was working with Bob Dylan on a track for the "North Country" film soundtrack, produced at his Studio 4 facility in Conshohocken.

Phil recorded a remake of Queen's "Under Pressure" with Keane for a BBC tribute CD . The band loved working with Phil and the sound of the new "A" room. Current projects include new releases from King Sunny Ade' and Schooly D.

He produced Rock School , a documentary soundtrack with the Students from Paul Greens School of Rock and various artists including Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Jon Anderson (Yes), Ann Wilson (Heart), Ian Gillan, Marky Ramone, Dave Mustaine (Megadeath), and Stuart Copeland (The Police).

Phil is a national trustee of NARAS (the Grammy people) and is active in the community with various NARAS events. He has been nominated for 4 Grammy awards, and won for mixing and mastering The Spanish Harlem Orchestra . Phil is the proud recipient of the 2003 Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award, placing him in the Temple University Communication Hall of Fame, where he teaches as an adjunct professor.

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