Nicolas Jaar is a Chilean-American composer and recording artist based in New York. Nicolas Jaar was born the 10th of January 1990 in New York but spent most of his childhood in Santiago de Chile, only to return to his place of birth as a teenager. Haunted by Mulatu Astatke, Erik Satie, Ezekiel Honig and Villalobos’ “Thé au Harem d’Archimède”; Nico started to make organic electronic music in 2004 at the age of 14.
At 17, he debuted with "The Student EP" on Wolf + Lamb Music, with remixes by Seth Troxler and Kasper. At 18 he continued producing and played live at Club der Visionäre and Arena in Berlin, at the Marcy in Brooklyn and at Mutek in Mexico City, alongside Deadbeat, Flying Lotus and Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, amongst others. At 19 he studied at Brown University in Rhode Island. Nico has many releases coming up, including some on Circus Company, Wolf + Lamb (with remixes by Ryan Crosson) and on his own label, Clown and Sunset, of which he is the owner and founder.
Jaar then spent four years in underground dance circles, crafting rough, hip hop influenced house music (examples include "Love you gotta lose again", "Angles"). Initially made as jokes to make his mother laugh and dance, Jaar made two songs where he sang in his native Spanish ("Mi Mujer" and "El Bandido"). Jaar did not intend for them to come out. He changed his mind in 2010, as he felt the songs were his way of answering to what he deemed as exploitative sampling of Latin American culture by white European DJs.
He released his debut album, Space Is Only Noise, in January 2011 to critical acclaim, receiving a score of 8.4 and the title of Best New Music from Pitchfork and four stars from the Guardian. It was ranked #1 album of the year by Resident Advisor, Mixmag, and Crack Mag.
Jaar toured the album for three years with guitarist Dave Harrington (later of Darkside) and keyboardist Will Epstein. Jaar was voted # 1 Live Act on Resident Advisor for the 3 years he toured the record.
In 2012, he debuted a live concept called From Scratch, where, in front of a live audience, he samples records he bought that day. The first iteration happened in Queens, NY at MOMA PS1; it was a 5-hour concert with collaborator Will Epstein, videographer Ryan Staake, dancer Lizzie Feidelson and singer Sasha Spielberg. He has also performed From Scratch at the Museum of Modern Art in Denver, Colorado and Montreal.
On May 18, 2012 Nicolas Jaar made his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix' debut, which was voted Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year of 2012.
On October 4, 2013, the debut album from Darkside, Jaar's project with longtime collaborator Dave Harrington, was released to critical acclaim and a 9.0 score on Pitchfork. The band toured the record for the entirety of 2014.
In February 2015, Jaar released a largely ambient record entitled Pomegranates, which he intended as an alternate soundtrack to The Color of Pomegranates.
Later that year, Jaar scored the soundtrack to Dheepan, a thriller by French filmmaker Jacques Audiard about a family of Sri Lankan refugees living in the suburbs of Paris. It was the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2015.
Jaar is the owner and founder of the New York-based imprint Other People. Notable releases include works by Lydia Lunch, DJ Slugo, William Basinski, Valentin Stip, VTGNIKE, Lucretia Dalt and 12z. Although the label predominantly releases vinyl, it also offers a membership where fans can download new releases and gain access to the entire Other People archive for $4 a month. Other People only publishes creator-owned content and splits all profits made from records sales 50/50 with artists.