1974 to Present
Lee John Nicklen is a self-taught / 'naturally ear-trained' musician. Nicklen's love for music was prominent from an early age of 6 with his fascination with a myriad of music styles and musicians. He was forever raiding his parents old vinyl records from the 60's and 70's that included greats such as Earl Grant, Andy Williams, Russ Conway, ELO, Toto and then his addiction for collecting 2nd hand great movie classics - legends including composers Geoff Love, John Williams, Bernard Herrmann etc. He then later showed interest in great Russian composers such as Sergei Prokofiev, Eduard Nikolaevich Artemyev and contemporary/pop artists Nik Kershaw, Vince Clarke etc.
Technology has always played an important part in Lee's life. His first setup included a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer in conjunction with a Micon MIDI interface - this was his first sequencer. As music technology progressed, Nicklen promptly began using the Atari computer running Cubase - which allowed him greater creativity. As samplers and synthesizers became ever more affordable and now 1990, Lee finally made his first major investment in purchasing a Roland W-30 sampling workstation.
Nicklen's music and sound design career started in 1995 when he was fortunate to land a job working for Brighton based multimedia company - EMG (Epic Multimedia Group PLC) producing sound and music for early formats such as Philips CD-i and CD-ROM.
A year and a half later (1997), he was approached by management duo - Modern Wood and was asked to audition for act Imogen Heap as session keyboard player - at the same time as being offered a job at Virgin Interactive Entertainment (VIE). His decision was set in the games industry and so therefore moved into the world of computer game sound design and music composition.
Starting afresh, and now working with the internal development team, Lee took privilege in the setup of VIE's audio department - thus furthering his 7 year career as lead musician and sound engineer/designer. Over this 7 year span, Lee had managed to produce sound work and music for a myriad of game titles such as Screamer Rally, Super Bikes, Dino Crisis, Heist, Viva Football, European Soccer League, Falcone : Into the Maelstrom.
After leaving VIE in Autumn, 2002 - he decided to start his own venture: Kayotix - offering a plethora of affordable multimedia services, including license free music, sound design, web design for computer games, film/TV and the internet.
To date, Lee still continues to run his small business Kayotix, whilst in his spare time peruses live performance. Lee can often be seen debuting with various bands as a session keyboard player. Nicklen's love for all music talent worldwide can be observed by his exhaustive record collection, those musicians of which play a major influence in his own work.
Airto Moreira, Marcos Valle, Deepak Ram, Prokofiev, Bernard Herrmann, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Romano Mussolini, Avishai Cohen, Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Del Shannon, Lyle Mays, Toto, Sarah Mclachlan, Moloko, Røyksopp, Manu Chau, Enya, Steps Ahead, Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheney, Chicane, Amon Tobin, A-ha, Erasure, Nik Kershaw, Aimee Mann, Crowded House, Edie Brickell, The Sundays, Fila Brazilia, Mandalay, Mauro Picotto, Norah Jones, Vis-A-Vis, The Uhuru Dance Band, The Sweet Talks, City Boys Band, Christy Azuma, Oscar Sulley, Billy Taylor, Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor... pretty much all music.