Niko Tsonev is a guitarist’s guitarist and a gifted songwriter and producer who really stands apart from the pack of new similar artists with a unique personal style, and a sassy edge. His guitar work is a melting pot of progressive rock, djent, jazz fusion and classical impressionism reminiscent of a dark, modern and edgy Treznor-esque film soundtrack.Niko has performed and recorded with artists and producers from very diverse stylistic backgrounds: Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), JJ Grey (Mofro), Youth (Paul McCartney, Joy Division), Die So Fluid, Digitonal, Aquilina and Fabrice Quentin, encompassing genres from Progressive Rock, Jazz, Blues, Urban through to World music. His stylistic flexibility is showcased in his solo work as well as his work as a film and TV composer.Niko’s debut album Black Feather was released in 2008 resulting in collaborations with fellow guitar heros such as Mr Fastfinger (aka Mika Tyysk), Christophe Godin (Mrglbl) and Mathias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen).
2011 saw the release of “Nix Hydra” which lead to Tsonev being invited to join the Steven Wilson Band as a lead guitarist for his 2012 Grace for Drowning World Tour. The band consisting of Steven Wilson, Adam Holzman, Marco Minnemann, Theo Travis, Nick Beggs and Niko Tsonev filmed the live concert “Get All You Deserve” DVD/BluRay in Mexico City (2012). Niko also contributed guitar solos and additional guitars to Steven Wilson’s 2013 album The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories).
Tsonev’s guitar and production approach on his 2013 solo album “Banshees and Harpsichords” depicts sonic broken landscapes of desolate crystalline beauty, incarnating heavy, glitchy, distorted and intentionally “ugly” guitar sounds as well as the lyrical and near-vocal expression found in Niko’s guitar melodies.
Acid Tears features the amazingly talented Grog from the British alternative band Die So Fluid on vocals (also known for her work with Ozzy Osbourne, Kylie, Goldfrapp among numerous others). On the title track Banshees and Harpsichords the call of Niko’s guitar is answered by the soaring jazz violin work of Samy Bishai ( Natacha Atlas, Tom Jones, Basement Jaxx and Shakira). With elements of progressive rock, djent, jazz fusion and classical impressionism brought forward from Tsonev’s previous works, this record breaks new grounds in terms of sonics and pure guitar creativity.
After being a part of Lifesigns for three and a half years, Niko have made the decision to depart from the band in August of 2016.