We caught up with dance DJ legend Nicky Romero to talk about music, career highlights and what’s in store for 2018.
When did you first realise you could make a career in music?
I was working as a bartender after I finished studying – that’s when I started making music on my own, playing a few gigs here and there. It wasn’t my breakthrough as such, but I think the turning point was my track Toulouse. After that went off and started to get international traction, combined with the way the dance music movement was evolving at that time, I realised there was serious potential for a career in music.
Where and when was your first ever live performance?
It was in Scoob, Elst – a small bar for about 200 people. That night I brought my own CD players, which were JB-Systems 19inch players because I was too nervous to play with the setup at the location.
What’s the best part of being a DJ?
Being able to travel the world and connect with fans from all walks of life is truly rewarding experience I can’t even begin to describe with words. The places I’ve seen while touring and being able to work alongside other DJs and talented people has been amazing. Seeing both myself and other DJs change and evolve is a major motivator.
If you could collaborate with one other artist, past or present, who would it be?
There are a lot of artists I find very talented but the one that sticks out above the rest right now is Dua Lipa. She has so much talent.
Have you got any new releases out now or coming out soon that you can tell us about?
I have a collaboration I just finished coming with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike which will be dropping early this year. Some remixes for Martin Garrix and David Guetta are also wrapped up which I’m really excited for. More solo tracks are also in the works. 2018 is set to be awesome!
What song have you got on repeat at the moment?
To be really honest I’m digging the 80s now for inspiration for songs, so at this very moment its ‘Toto – Rosanna’ because its like 3 songs into one, amazing.
What was your 2017 highlight?
I spent a lot of time playing the worldwide editions of Ultra Music Festival this year and spending a notable period in Asia was a really inspiring experience. There are always too many great moments these days to just pick one.
What has been your career highlight?
There are so many parts to having my job and my opportunities that continue to amaze me every day. Specific highlights are hard to define, although the first major season I toured the world’s dance music festivals will always be a special time for me.
Where and when was your most memorable performance and why?
Every performance is truly unique and different. Comparing one massive event to another really doesn’t do each show justice. Some of the events I’ve played this year in places of all shapes and sizes mean something totally different and can leave a different imprint. Having said that the first time I played Tomorrowland main stage was really special. Something I’ll never forget.
How do you spend your down time?
Playing Fifa haha.
If I wasn’t a DJ I’d be…
I’ve always wanted to have my hand in music and media, I’m grateful my career as an artist took off when it did. I have been playing some form of instrument since I was a child and really am living my dream. Id want to be involved in music somehow even if I wasn’t a DJ.
Favourite film & TV series?
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Drink of choice on a night out?
I’m not a big drinker at all. I might have a beer on the odd occasion but that’s it.
If you could have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Describe your style/fashion?
I like to think of my style as current, laid back and modern. I definitely always have my eye on what’s happening now in both music and fashion – the two often have been intertwined at times in my experience.
Who’s your biggest style inspiration?
For fashion? I think there are a lot of well dressed guys, but I love how creative Pharell is with his clothing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
For 2018 I want to keep making music that I love, and also commit to finding some variety in different sounds of dance music. There are so many talented producers out there and we’re seeing some new variety in the scene. I want to add more artists to Protocol this next year I see that quality music output and great potential in.
Thanks for chatting with us Nicky.