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His first parties in London were in 1985, booking DJs like Gilles Peterson, Nicky Holloway and Norman Jay amongst others, playing funk, jazz, northern soul, and disco.
After a hedonistic weekend in Glasgow in 1988, Nigel decided to move there and soon began DJing at the Sub Club and The Tunnel and started his own nights at the infamous Arches. While working at Bomba records and the first ever Fopp, he began lasting friendships with future label mates Colin Gate (Deep Sensation/ Guidance Recordings), and Lars Sandberg (Funk D Void).
Lars and Nigel went on to form the innovative “Chaser” project… releasing the hugely successful ‘Game On’ album on Soma, which also produced the massive single “Sides of Iron”, followed closely by the NuJazz classic “Blue Planet” remixed by Ian Pooley, Fila Brazilia and Abacus. They also released a sublime remix for Marcel on Nuphonic Records.
Seeking new (and warmer) experiences, Nigel spent some time in Italy in the early nineties and played at some of the most celebrated clubs; Cellofan, Bahia Imperial, Peter Pan, Cocorico in Rimini, and Magazini General in Milan, and then in 1995, he moved to New York, to manage the world renowned record store; Joe Clausells’ Dance Tracks.
This was at a time when the New York underground scene was exploding with new and established DJ’s and producers like Masters at Work, Francois K, Danny Krivit, Ron Trent, Nicky Siano, David Mancuso, David Morales, Junior Vasquez, Danny Tenaglia, Doc Martin, Mateo and Matos – all regulars at the store – and Nigel worked closely with all of them, and many more, both for their sets to play out and their own labels to stock in the store.
It was a great place to meet people with the same attitude to music, and Nigel quickly met fellow Londoner, DJ Conrad (Musn’t Grumble), who introduced him to many of the bars and clubs where Nigel would go on to run his own underground House and Latin parties in New York’s Lower East Side for the next few years.
It was at this time Nigel teamed up with one of house musics’ original innovators, Abacus (Prescription/ Fragile), for releases on the legendary Guidance Recordings from Chicago, as Charley Brown, and also helped secure releases for Blueboy “Remember Me”, Deep Sensation’s Colin Gate, Paul Hunter and Nu Spirit Helsinki.
After moving back to London in 99, Nigel started his own label Twilight Recordings – which produced several underground hits including the now much sought after Charlies Vault (Hear My Answer/Like I Like It – both licensed to the Fabric Tyrant Mix)
Also at this time, Nigel began writing his first album “….But is it Art”, which was signed by Sunshine Enterprises. They invited him to Vienna to record the album with a full array of live musicians. Nigel also worked on A&R for the label, signing the spiritual Frankie Valentine, and Irelands’ hugely talented jazzers, Bellcrash.
His album, “….But is it Art” went on to receive critical acclaim and propelled his career to a new level. Already gigging extensively in North America and Canada, thanks to the massive “Que Pasa” on Contrast Music, Nigel was now also in great demand all over Europe, especially in Spain – so much so that in 2001, he moved to Barcelona.
Whilst there, he wrote his second album for Sunshine, ‘It’s Your Move’ and his DJ career continued to flourish, especially his own nights in Barcelona. These ranged from Sunday open mic Jazz nights at Cafe Royal, where he was also a resident DJ along side DJ Fred (legend) to regular underground parties all over the city, including a long standing residency at the great little after hours spot “La Macarena”.
To date Nigel has released over 70 records; 3 albums, numerous EPs and remixes, and his music regularly appears on many of the worlds best compilations, such as Buddha Lounge, and Composts’ much loved “Future Sound Of Jazz” series. He has released his music on some of the most respected labels in the world of electronic music, including Soma, Guidance, Playhouse, L.I.A. Nuphonic, NRK and of course Sunshine.
Nigel continues to release consistent, quality tunes. Remixes for Here and Now Recordings, the huge ‘Odyssey’s Return’ on Urban Torque, a remix of “Blood” for Francois DuBois, a remix for Mateo and Matos, and more recently his original work on Intelligent Audio. So far Nigel has released 6 EPs with IA and is working on an album due for release later this year.
Nigel is currently running weekly Sunday funk, latin, nu jazz and afrobeat nights at the Athenaeum in Aberdeen where he’s now based. He’s assembling live jazz musicians for some exciting new projects, as well as writing more nu jazz, deep house and funky grooves than ever. Stay tuned…
Releases By Nigel Hayes on Intelligent Audio:
Northern Lights Part 2 EP – Released June 4th 2012 : IA2.8
Northern Lights EP – Released April 2nd 2012 : IA1.8
Tales From The Shed Part 4 EP – Released October 2011 : IA2.6
Tales From The Shed Part 3 EP – Released October 2011 : IA1.6
Tales From The Shed Part 2 EP – Released November 2010 : IA2.4
Tales From The Shed Part 1 EP – Released November 2010 : IA1.4