They must be putting something in the water in the Netherlands, because the amount of Dutch DJs becoming full-fledged international sensations is extraordinary. And 26-year-old progressive house DJ and legendary producer Nick Rotteveel van Gotum, better known by his stage name Nicky Romero, is proving the Dutch are a serious powerhouse when it comes to all things dance.
After watching (and you know, mostly dancing) to his insane show at EDC Las Vegas last weekend, I saw first-hand how Romero turns the genre into an actual art form. I also began to understand why he’s ranked the No. 8 DJ in the world out of 100 for DJ Mag’s annual top DJ list.
With 6 million Facebook fans and almost 2 million Twitter followers, Romero has become a festival favorite all over the globe. He’s established a residency at OMNIA Nightclub in Vegas, and just released his new progressive single “Lighthouse”, which he debuted and famously closed ULTRA music festival in Miami with this year.
I sat down with Romero before his Friday night set at Circuit Grounds at EDC, and besides talking about his music, I explained to him what exactly a Playboy “centerfold” is.
FYI, he approved of Miss June 2015 Kaylia Cassandra.
Can you tell me about your new single “Lighthouse”?
It is the start of three new songs I’m about to release this year. I’m focusing on three big singles, and this is considered one of them. It’s more for the streaming audience and not so much for the clubbing audience. I try to make a balance for the streamers and the clubbers. I will have club songs as well, and the next one will be different from anything else that’s being played right now. It’s 120 BPM, which is really interesting, and the third song is inspired by the ‘80s.
Who’s your favorite artist that you’ve collaborated with?
Calvin Harris or Avicii.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Now that’s a good ritual.
I always prepare my set list of course. I try to meditate for 20 minutes. I try to have some food and take a nice shower, and that’s about it.
What is your Vegas lifehack?
What I do a lot is the IV here. It’s like this multi-vitamin mineral injection. It’s this bag of fluids that really helps hydrate your body and protects your immune system from the sun and the dust from the desert.
If there were one crime you could commit, what would it be?
My parents are both police officers so it’s so hard to think of crimes. Hmm. I would fly a helicopter without a license. I just flew in one but I didn’t fly myself, you know I was a passenger. I find it so cool to be in one and I want to get my license someday.
What’s the first song you knew all the words to?
Billy Jean by Michael Jackson.
What’s your favorite city to play in?
That’s unfair because if I just name one, I’d definitely hurt others.
Okay, let’s do top 5 cities then.
Capetown, Caracas, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam—there’s really so many. New York. Miami.
What’s your pop culture blind spot?
I would say there’s this Hollywood camera that tries to capture all the stars at airports. TMZ I think. I’m like, “Guys does that really have to be apart of our industry?” You know. I don’t like it when people to break into people’s privacy.
Missed EDC Las Vegas? Watch Playboy’s recap right here.
For more Nicky Romero, check out his official Facebook page.