About Phil Nicolo
What can you expect from working with Phil? You can look forward to a professional studio experience with one of the most talented, versatile producers in the industry.
Phil began his music career as a teenager, fixing speakers at a nearby drive-in theater along with his brother Joe. After receiving his Bachelor of Science from Temple University in 1977, the brothers founded Studio 4, a recording studio in Philadelphia. Individually and together as the Butcher Bros., they quickly established themselves as industry leaders in all genres of music production, from rock to R&B, mainstream to cutting edge.
Phil has worked with a multitude of artists, and his position as studio head has allowed him many opportunities to work with the industry’s best musicians. It was during this time that Phil honed in on his craft: developing his ‘ear’ for producing discernible, well-defined and sonically pleasing recordings. His technical know-how and expertise in the field are surpassed only by his love for music.
While producing, mixing, mastering, and live sound are his mainstay, Phil is also involved with several educational organizations. Aside from being an adjunct professor for Temple University’s Media Studies and Production (MS&P), Phil sits on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and is a member of the Recording Academy’s steering committee for the Producer and Engineer wing.
What makes artists continue to work with Phil is his reputation for innovatively improving their sound with an adept use of both analog and digital equipment/software. Furthermore, his sangfroid and undeniable love for good music allow him to impart truly effective advice to his clientele.
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The Butcher Bros.
The Butcher Bros. are an American production team made up of brothers Phil and Joe Nicolo, originally based out of Philadelphia. In 1989 the brothers Nicolo teamed up with Chris Schwartz to launch Ruffhouse Records using Studio 4 as a base of operations. Over the next decade the label 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 accounted for 12 of Columbia Records 39 Grammy nominations in 1997. To accommodate a busy production schedule, the brothers renovated a warehouse in Conshohocken, PA and converted it into studios, digital editing rooms, a mastering lab (MasterVoice) and offices.
In 2002, Joe joined forces with Merv Griffin and RKO Pictures as Executive Producer of the film Shade - a movie that can be best described as being a cross between The Sting and Pulp Fiction. The movie stars Jamie Foxx, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Sylvester Stallone and Melanie Griffith. Joe also serves as music supervisor on the film and will be overseeing the music on several other RKO films in the future. In April 2003, Joe Nicolo was honored by the Philadelphia Chapter of NARAS (The Grammys), being awarded ‘The Heroes Award’ as recognition of his outstanding work and contributions to the U.S. music industry on both a national and local level. In 2004, Joe entered into a production and distribution deal with Light-year/Warner Bros. Warners is currently distributing (for Joe's company Judgment Entertainment) a DVD series on funny cars and dragsters, "Jailbait," "Laura Smiles,” as well as the Judgment Entertainment picture Shade. Joe also produced several new movie releases including Return to Sleepaway Camp, Southern Gothic and Tooth N Nail - both directed by Mark Young, and One Part Sugar starring Danny DeVito, Justin Long, and Dylan Walsh.
Joe is currently President of a new label venture based out of Philadelphia called Revel Music Group.