Ayjay Nils

Despite being the offspring of an architect and a chemical engineer, Ayjay Nils and his four siblings started playing musical instruments at a very early age. Ayjay had a viola put in his hand and he’s been playing it ever since. In 2007, while enrolled at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, he began writing hip-hop beats that sampled classical music, while also composing “classical” music itself.

In 2015, Ayjay joined the Berliner Philharmoniker (where he is still a fixed member). In his first five years in Berlin, Ayjay put his creative activities on pause to make way for his new job and family. But eventually, his impulse to make music began to re-manifest itself. Ayjay hoarded synthesizers and drum machines, sampled his children’s annoying electronic toys, and resumed composing at the piano. His influences are too much of a hot mess to glean from merely listening, but they range from Eastern European and Middle-Eastern folk music; MF DOOM; Henry Miller; Louie Barletta; the biographies of the great composers; the Sopranos; and crucially —the 1990s Chicago Bulls.