“I've just gotten back from a long tour,” chimes the youngster from the Netherlands. “It started on Boxing Day in England which was an awesome way to start. I did two gigs in one night — one at Gatecrasher Birmingham and the other at Cream in Liverpool! After that, it was straight off to the United States. I started out in Miami where I played the Space Terrace for the first time! Some more gigs after that we landed safely in Los Angeles where I had the pleasure of recording my label's first official video clip for my track with the Nervo twins, ‘Like Home’.”
So at the end of a whirlwind year that he says was an amazing experience, Romero is getting ready to smash Australia with some countrywide dates. But it hasn't been all-roses for the youngster, who could just as easily have headed a different path if it wasn't for his drive, commitment and determination.
“It can be a very intense life in music,” he admits. “Though I feel blessed to be in the position I am in today. It is every musician’s dream to be successful so I have to be very thankful to be doing what I love every day. My career is everything I hoped it would be — and more. The people I get to meet, the places I go, as well as the overall impressions I get every day — it is all one great gift!”
Touring aside, the lad has been rather busy in the studio since his 2012 EP ‘Sparks’ rattled a few feathers (in a good way). “Many things have been going on musically recently. I produced a track for Rihanna that features on her latest album ‘Unapologetic’. I also released that track with the Nervo twins, that was released on my own label Protocol Recordings which was great as well.” Label wise too, Romero explains how he has signed another track on his imprint by Tony Romera called ‘Pandor’. “David Guetta also asked me to do a remix for his track with Ludacris and Usher called ‘Rest Of My Life’ which will be released shortly too; so all in all we have some great collaborations lined up for 2013!”
The notion of ‘keeping busy’ for Romero may well be an understatement — it doesn't hurt to dream, though, and despite having released tracks on some big labels already, he’s got even bigger goals for the future.
“It's my lifetime dream to work with Timbaland, actually,” he admits. “This is aiming for the stars but I hope that things will become reality some day! Otherwise, some of my collaborations have just come about by hooking up with artists who I had respect for. I am very happy with my collaboration with Avicii for example. My team has played a great part in my success too and we all work really hard — and the results keep coming in, so that is very exciting!”
He acknowledges the special feeling you get as an artist when you receive recognition from your peers, especially since many of them have been in the music business for considerable periods. “It is very special and I am thankful every day,” he professes proudly. “But what is also really great is that I have such an enthusiastic and loyal fan base. Just this week I received a video put together by my hardcore fans to wish me a happy birthday. It was absolutely touching and overwhelming! Also, playing to crowds all over the globe and seeing people partying to your music is one of the most fulfilling things in my life next to making the actual music.”
Clearly then, the Dutchman couldn't be happier. His performances have developed now to the point where he is playing his sets with a majority of his own music. “I try to mix the hottest tracks of the moment into my sets; and I try to feel out the crowd I have in front of me to see what gets them going. I always try to bring a mix that is fresh and reflective of what I am feeling at that time. I always play a good mix of different genres but I do try to stick with a story — it depends on the vibe of the festival, the crowd and so on.”
Finally, while Romero longs for a day off, he admits that even when he does get one, he usually spends the time in the studio doing an even longer session than normal. “A far distant second to music is my motorbike, too,” he says, almost as though he’s surprised to remember he has a life outside of music. “Riding that is a passion and helps me clear my head! Otherwise, at the gigs you can expect me to go all out and bring the freshest tunes, new productions and loads of energy!”
Nicky Romero plays the Big Day Out at Gold Coast Parklands on Sunday January 20