T Kolai


Name variation: T. Kolai, Taha Elroubi & Nicolas Laget
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T.Kolai
Real Name:Taha Elroubi & Nicolas Laget

T.Kolai is the collaborative effort of DJ Taha and flutist Kolai (Nicolas Laget). This core duo never misses an opportunity to include in their music the many talented musicians which reside around the DC area. Percussionist Tony Tavaras often joins t.kolai live at club Andalu where they have a residency. Other local and international talents swing by the studio for impromptu sessions: Will Smith (tenor and soprano saxophone - no relation with the actor), Max (santur - traditional Iranian instrument), David Cosby (Jazz guitar), Mustafa (vocals), Ishara (vocals), etc.

Taha Elroubi (one half of T.Kolai / A&R and also a partner in Vinylicious Recordings) was born in Germany in 1965 to a Sudanese father and Persian mother. He was introduced to the world of soul, funk, reggae and African sounds from a record collection that his father bought him at the age of 13 while living in Sudan. Through that collection he got introduced to the likes of Weather Report, Grover Washington Jr., the Temptations, The Jackson Five, Bob Marley, Shirley Bassey, Stevie Wonder, Brass Construction, Earth, Wind & Fire and the list continues. By age 15 he moved to Cairo to attend the American School in Ma’adi and would then travel to London every summer where he spent a couple of months vacationing with his family . During this period he started to discover the underground sound by listening to the various pirate stations and Capitol Radio. He then started hitting record stores such as Blue Bird Records, Record Shack in Soho, Unity Records, Flying Records in Kensington, Catch A Groove with Ricky Morrison in the house, now it’s Chillifunk’s home base, Black Market, Vinyl Solution @ Portabello Market and of course the dopest reggae store at Ladbroke Grove (the front line).

In 1995 he moved to the United States to attend the American University in Washington D.C. It was then that he decided to get a couple of SL1200’s and try to express his vibe. On occasional weekends he would travel to NYC to see Timmy @ The Shelter or just listen to Humphries on the radio. In 1997 he got offered a one-night gig at Washington’s best venue at the time, The Fifth Column. At the end of that night he was offered a residency, which lasted until 1991, when he graduated with a BA in Finance, and moved back to the Sudan to join his family’s business. This kept Taha out of the music loop until 1997 when he returned to the United States once again, this time with a wife and daughter.

In 1998 he was contacted by a couple of friends from back in the day and was offered to start a label that would be run by him. He accepted the offer with pleasure and it was at that time that Vinylicious Recordings was born. Inexperienced in the field of running a label the company got off to a rocky start from an experience point of view but all the releases have been top notch. A catalogue to be proud of until today. At the same time, Taha was approached by Fabio Beggiato, a successful Swiss Italian young man, owner of the hippest Italian restaurant in D.C., Sesto Senso, he offered Taha to be the resident DJ and music director of his upcoming club/lounge. In September, 1998 Andalu opened its doors to become Washington’s deepest and most soulful club.

In June 2000, Taha joined forces with Nicolas Laget who is part of Nicolicious Productions (Vinylicious Recordings artists). Both being brought up in Africa, they shared a common love for the organic sounds and live percussions, string arrangements, sultry vocals and deep grooves meshed with all their past musical backgrounds and experiences. They found themselves in perfect music harmony and the duo known as T.Kolai was formed. They locked themselves up in the studio for three days and produced their first project entitled N.Kosi which was eventually picked up by Ibadan and is now featured on Chillifunk’s "True Spirit 2" Compilation among a group of top-notch producers. Their second project entitled "Exodus" gained the attention of Jerome Sydenham from the respectable Ibadan Recordings while he was visiting Taha in Washington. It was signed to Ibadan a week later and achieved huge success in Japan, and made it on the play lists of the one and only David Mancusso from The infamous LOFT, Dimitri from Paris, Alex from Tokyo, Yoshi from Flower Records and MKL from Spiritual Life. The third project by T.Kolai entitled "One Another" is a deep track with the vocals by Mustafa, a track that has been caned by Danny Krivit, Dr. Bob Jones, Alan Russel from Black Vinyl, Deli G. on Galaxy, Jeremy Newall and all the deep musical cats.

T.Kolai ( Taha & Nicolas) are currently working on their first complete album, which is due to be released on Vinylicious around mid February. So far, every T.Kolai production has gained much respect & acceptance from the "musically orientated" in the underground community and a few well-respected labels have shown interest in their work. They have been reviewed on DJ magazine, Muzik, Discoid, Echoes, Wax and Jockey Slut.

T.Kolai Residency : "Andalu" Washington D.C. 1998 until the present.

taha@vinylicious.com OR kolai@mac.com

Releases by T Kolai

Exodus
T Kolai
Ibadan Records
Ibadan DJ Tools...
Various
Ibadan Records
Ibadan EFX - DJ...
Various
Ibadan Records
Space Lab Yello...
Various
Ibadan Records
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