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Poll 2019: Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero

Next to the usual non-stop touring of the world’s largest festival stages and huge club rooms, Nicky Romero has also been focusing on new music and experimenting with new sounds this year. “I tried to update my own sound to make sure it was still Nicky Romero, but change it a little as that is the only way to grow,” he tells us. 

After so many years of traversing the planet and being away from home, the Dutchman also tried to spend as much time as possible with family and friends. “Quality time is important to me and helps me balance life on the road,” he says. “We are not robots and we also need our time off and time to recharge to make great music again.” 

He cites some of the year’s highlights as playing all new songs at Tomorrowland 2019 and also managing to play an unusually long — for EDM artists — 90-minute set on the Ultra Miami main stage. 


Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?


What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“I think presence, and the fact we actually admit that the pressure is high, already helped a lot.” 

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“I changed all the lamps in my house to LED, changed my TV to OLED, use a bike a lot to go to the studio.” 

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“Probably my Tama drumkit.” 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“FIFA 20 and McFlurry M&M Caramel [laughs].” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-16 14:49

Best known for: 
“‘Toulouse’, Protocol Recordings, ‘I Could Be the One’ with Avicii.”

Poll 2018: Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero

From: Netherlands
DJ style: “Progressive house.”
Best known for: “‘Toulouse’, ‘I Could Be The One’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “‘Be Somebody’, my collaboration with Steve Aoki & Kiiara.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “I love how incredibly talented Ookay is. We hung out during rehearsals in LA and he plays so many instruments live. He’s incredible.”

He might still be baby-faced, but Nicky Romero has now been touring the globe for more than a decade. This year the Dutchman has been trying to push himself further than ever, while at the same time staying true to the fundamentals of what got him where he is today.

“I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with many talented artists across genres this year and I plan to continue doing so in 2019,” says the man who worked with ROZES on ‘Where Would We Be’, Spyder on ‘PRTCL’ and also remixed Steve Aoki’s ‘Lie To Me’ in 2018.

“I’ve found a lot of joy returning to progressive house,” he continues. “Going into the studio and pulling up old projects or sounds I haven’t explored recently has been really exciting and reminds me why I love producing and performing.” Romero has previously admitted to having suffered burnout owing to his jam-packed touring schedule and recognises that losing Avicii was a tough moment for him this year. “He was a dear friend, collaborator and an inspiration. I don’t think we’ll see anyone like him again.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-11 12:23

Poll 2017: Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero has been hitting all the big notes this year across multiple touch-points. He’s been touring the festival main stages around the world as part of the Ultra Worldwide events, as well as holding down a residency both in Ibiza at Amnesia and in Las Vegas at the Wynn.  

“This range of different shows gives me the chance to play a lot of different material, at clubs and festivals alike, and I love to be able to promote new talent as well as play my own records,” Nicky tells DJ Mag. “It’s also been exciting to celebrate five years of Protocol Recordings this year — the new talent coming through via my inbox has been incredible. I’m looking forward to seeing these artists develop.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2017-10-17 09:46

Poll 2015: Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero

For Nicky Romero, 2015 was another typically hectic year. Playing at all the biggest festivals across the world, including Ultra Miami, Europe and Japan, at EDC Las Vegas and Tomorrowland in Brazil and Belgium, the DJ/producer still found time to drop the first installment in his new ‘Lighthouse’ trilogy of productions.

Nicky also knuckled down to get his Protocol label bubbling more than ever before.

“We’ve got some seriously great talent on our roster,” he says, “and we had our 50th release at the beginning of the summer. We’re also taking our Protocol nights around the world, and they’re always great fun. I’m so proud of everything that is coming out there.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-10-20 16:34

"Full-on energy.”
Best known for: 
“Lately, ‘Lighthouse’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Had a blast collaborating with Volt & State on ‘Warriors’.”
Amerongen, Holland
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Volt & State — they are mixing the official Protocol x ADE compilation. If you haven’t heard of them, you’re missing out!”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
"The ability to connect with their crowd. The fans are more important than anything else, so it’s crucial that you can read what they want and give them the best time.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
"Of course, but I think we are going to see a change. The dance music landscape is already changing and evolving, which is all part of the process.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
"Yes, absolutely. It can be hard switching time-zones and going from one gig to the next with next to no sleep. As a DJ, you want to be the very best you can be for each and every fan you play for.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I’m actually a worldwide ambassador for [voluntary work organization] 10,000 Hours and really admire what they do. One of the best aspects is that rather than just donate money, people are fully involved as they are contributing themselves and their time.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in saying I would love to bring back The Guvernment, Toronto. It was an amazing venue and it was a sad day when it closed just over a year ago.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
No answer
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
No answer


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