Audio engineer, producer and musician
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Growing up in Athens, Greece, Niko Lyras played guitar in local rock bands and signed his first record deal at 17. Convinced that music was his career, he moved to the U.S. two years later and settled in Memphis, Tennessee, home of the soulful music he loved. Through his college years, Niko established himself in the local music community, playing everything from straight-ahead jazz to rock and R&B.
He opened Cotton Row Recording in 1980, steadily building a reputation as one of the city’s top studios for both emerging and established artists. Over the years, Niko has engineered, produced, and played guitar on hundreds of projects at Cotton Row and other studios in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
The walls of his Cotton Row studio are lined with the covers of albums recorded there, representing virtually every musical genre, from contemporary jazz artists to bluesmen like Albert Collins and Luther Allison, rockers like Roxy Blue and Saliva, gospel artists like Edwin Hawkins and the Clark Sisters, contemporary rappers like Three Six Mafia and Lil Jon, etc.
Niko’s musical and production talents have also been heard in major motion pictures and television shows, with music recorded both in his studio and live on location. His work has been widely honored by his peers, including a BMI songwriting award, a Critics Choice award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Canadian Juno and Felix awards, a Stellar award, three NARAS Premier Player honors and four Addy awards.
From his home base at Cotton Row, Niko continues to produce, engineer, run three music publishing companies, and stay busy as a studio and live guitarist. He performs with the instrumental group The Justus Brothers, and produced the band’s nationally-charting album on Memphis International Records. Other releases of his work include two smooth jazz albums by his instrumental group Voodoo Village on the 40 West label and a solo album, “Chunk Of Space Funk”, on Icehouse Records, featuring guest performances by Victor Wooten, Futureman, JD Blair, Eric Gales, MonoNeon, and Wendy Moten.
Partial recording credits:
B.B.King,John Lee Hooker,Ruth Brown,Buddy Guy,Albert Collins,Little Milton,Luther,Allison,Gary Moore,Bobby “Blue” Bland,Jimmy Vaughn,Eric Gales,Keb’ Mo,Koko Taylor, Coco Montoya,Lonnie Brooks,Ronnie Baker Brooks,Eddy Clearwater,Bonnie Raitt
Al Green,Eddie Floyd,Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes,The Bar Kays,Mavis Staples,Ike Turner,Duck Dunn (Booker T. & The M.G.’s, The Blues Brothers),The Roots,Wendy Moten
Z.Z. Top,Saliva,Roxy Blue,Foghat
Edwin Hawkins,Walter Hawkins,The Clark Sisters,Dottie Peoples
Najee,Kirk Whalum,Victor Wooten
P. Diddy,Three 6 Mafia,Lil Jon,Raekwon,Krayzybone,Hot Boys,Eightball & MJG,Al Kapone,
Jim Corcoran (Quebec),Diane Tell (France),Sylvie Tremblay (Quebec),Omadiki Apodrasi (Greece),George Trandalides Global Vision (Greece),Craig David (England)
Hustle & Flow (Paramount),Big Bad Love (IFC Films),Foreign Student (Universal),A Pyromaniac's Love Story (Hollywood/ Disney),The Ref (Touchstone),Going to California (Showtime),Soul Comes Home (PBS)
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