Refusing to take his foot off the gas since catapulting himself into the global spotlight back in 2012 with the release of “Toulouse,” Nicky Romero has since been a household name in the world of electronic dance music.
Not only does he continue to add to his evergrowing discography with his sound continuing to evolve, but he’s also launched his alter-ego Monocule which focuses on the sounds of the underground in addition to being quite the avid gamer with quite the collection of cars and motorcycles.
Always being one who is always up to something and keeping quite busy over his time unable to tour do to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we took the time to chat with Nicky Romero to discuss his new single under Monocule, “Awakening,” staying connected with fans using Twitch, gaming and much more. Check out our interview with Nicky Romero below!
DJ Life Mag: What was the pandemic like where you’re living?
Nicky Romero: I was spending a lot of time with friends and family. I love to BBQ when the weather is right or driving my motorcycle to switch off the world for a while. Also, I’m really into gaming and streaming on Twitch and the whole eSports industry.
DJ Life Mag: How were you able to stay sane & relatively positive throughout this coronavirus craziness?
Nicky Romero: It was a welcome pause and I’ve spent the time trying to get in the best shape possible for my health. I’ve spent a lot of my time working out, gaming, and focusing on my personal relationships.
DJ Life Mag: You seemed to have made the most of your time off touring; what new skills have you learned during your downtime?
Nicky Romero: Tennis.
DJ Life Mag: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing?
Nicky Romero: Friends and family are everything. I didn’t realize how distant I’d become from my personal relationships over all these years of touring. Reconnecting has helped me in so many ways.
DJ Life Mag: How helpful has Twitch streaming been staying connected with fans during an unprecedented time without live shows?
Nicky Romero: What an incredible platform. We have real one on one connections. My twitch channel ranges from music content to gaming and I’ve really enjoyed jumping head first into the community and making so many incredible new friends across the world.
DJ Life Mag: Many DJs started live streaming but when did you come to the decision to start gaming consistently?
Nicky Romero: I’ve always loved gaming. I invested in a company called ReKt Global who has several esports teams across the world and the community that I found in gaming reminds me of the early dance community. Everyone is sharing and helping each other grow. Streaming more and more has contributed to a level of consistency on my channels that allows my community to grow. Its something I’m passionate about and am grateful to have found during the pandemic.
DJ Life Mag: What’s the most challenging part of gaming?
Nicky Romero: Staying consistent with on streaming despite my travel schedule now that I’m touring again.
DJ Life Mag: You’ve taken on the role of teacher of the past year with your demo Twitch streams, how has that experience been?
Nicky Romero: Teaching helps me refine my own techniques. It allows me to flex different muscles in production and music discovery. Sometimes the process of explaining things to others or sharing your experiences can be the best way to reinforce your skills and discover new ones.
DJ Life Mag: What words of wisdom do you have for up-and-coming producers looking to make their presence felt in the near future?
Nicky Romero: Keeping developing your own sound. Learn from the greats but be your own artist. Just keep moving forward.
DJ Life Mag: What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career?
Nicky Romero: I have reorganized my schedules to make more space for studio time. My daily schedule is still very busy but more balanced. This way I’m able to focus fully on music production more.
DJ Life Mag: In the studio, what’s your set-up?
Nicky Romero: My go-to D.A.W. is Logic Pro for many years now. I used to work with Fruity Loops and Cubase before, but switched to Logic approx. 10 years ago and never looked back.
DJ Life Mag: What’s your creative process in the studio?
Nicky Romero: I really love to start with jamming and playing around using my piano. Once I’ve found a nice chord, pattern or melody line, I switch into my Logic and play around with different sounds to find one that fits the melody I wrote. When I have what I like, I go spontaneously from there and add more layers to the base melody, percussion, drums, etc.
DJ Life Mag: Tell us a little bit about our Monocule side-project?
Nicky Romero: I spent much more time in the studios during the lockdowns, which made it possible and gave me the inspiration to make deeper sounds. Also, experimentation is part of growth and it’s always good to try something completely new to stay inspired. I’ve really been enjoying the experimentation that goes along with releasing music under a different moniker. The plan for now is to keep creating and releasing music under Monocule as the inspiration comes.
DJ Life Mag: Would you say your sound/production has evolved over the past year?
Nicky Romero: I’m always evolving. Passion projects like monocule will always influence the Nicky sound as well.
DJ Life Mag: Now that things are slowly getting back to “normal” what can fans expect from Nicky Romero/Monocule throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond?
We have a full schedule of releases that I’ve spent the last months creating. You’re going to have to wait and see! I’m also really excited to be back on the road and perform again for the fans. I’ve missed that energy.
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