For 23 year-old Dutchman Nicky Romero, the month of October brought tremendous news. After being named the No. 17 DJ in the world by the DJ Mag Top 100 Poll (the highest newcomer to the top 100 chart this year), the electro-house mainstay embarked on yet another tour of North America to share his signature sound with his fans.
VIBE magazine caught up with Nicky after his first-ever appearance in Seattle, Washington, where he shared the Super You and Me stage with fellow Dutchman Laidback Luke to a sold out crowd of more than 20,000 fans.
Here’s what he had to say about his new title in the Top 100, why he loves his American fans, and he even gave us a heads up on some new tracks that he debuted that will be released in the coming months.
VIBE: You just came off stage of your first Seattle performance, after coming off of huge news in Amsterdam last week. What was that like for you to play to a sold out crowd at the biggest EDM event to ever be thrown in the northwest?
Nicky Romero: Well the Seattle crowd, we’re super spoiled on the stage here, because everyone is so into it. It’s so cool to play on this stage because everyone knows your music, they know the tracks, even the new tracks, unreleased stuff. They know it because they look it up on YouTube and they’re super involved, and that’s something we sometimes miss out on in Europe, and I’m super happy that I can play to a crowd like that.
Why do you think there’s that difference in the American fans vs European fans right now as far as knowing your music?
I feel like Europe is a little used to the artists that they have – there are a lot of good artists who have been touring Europe for a while, because back in the day it wasn’t too easy to get your work permit here in the States so everyone toured in Europe, and I think that’s one of he reasons people are very used to hearing famous DJs, whereas in the States its quite new, the scene is new and people are curious, open minded and into new music and new kinds of genres.
Not more than two years ago, the festival you played tonight had only about 9,000 in attendance. Tonight there are more than 20,000 people here. Do you see shows getting bigger and bigger like this everywhere you go?
Especially in the States, yes. This is my second year touring the states, and of course my profile has gone up -- I have more tracks -- but also with the scene going off, it’s going to get bigger, it’s going to rule the United States. That’s what I think.
You played some new tracks out here tonight – tell us about them.
I did, about five, I think. I played “Like Home” with Nervo which will be out in two weeks on Protocol. I played some "Symphonica," a solo track that will be released in December. I played "Legacy," released in January. I played "Pandora" from Tony Romera, and I played "Let’s Get the Party Started."
Do you prefer East Coast or West Coast shows when you play in North America?
In Canada, I love the east coast more, but in the States I love the west coast more. In Toronto there’s a club called the Guvernment, sickest club I’ve ever played, energy is insane. In the states, I play good shows in San Diego, Los Angeles, now Seattle, and El Paso was amazing. But this is like comparing the nicest car in the world with the other nicest car in the world. It’s both the best of the best areas to play in the world probably.
Do you prefer playing festivals or your own shows?
There’s two different things. First, it’s cool when you play a large show for a huge amount of people, it gives you a rush and energy level. But if you do your own tours, people come dedicated for you, and that’s something that feels really good. I had my first label show last week in Holland, and the people that showed up couldn’t even fit in the room, that was the best feeling in the world. Some festivals, people are so far away from the stage it feels like you’re playing in your bedroom, with a huge plasma screen with people, that’s how it feels for me, but when I play a club show, I feel the energy of people.
You’re only 23 years old and have already been named as the No. 17 DJ in the world. What’s the key to your success?
There is no particular trick, it’s just being dedicated to what you like, to what you want to reach. I have a goal for myself: I want to be one of the best DJs in the world, if not one of the best producers in the world, and as long as you stick to your own vision and your goal, that’s the key to the success where I am now. I don’t feel like I’m doing something that nobody else can, but I’m at least dedicated to what I do, and that’s what brings me to the point in my career where I am now.