After breaking into the DJ Mag 100 with one of the highest new entries ever in 2012 at #17, Nicky Romero has had a huge 2013. His collaboration with Avicii, ‘I Could Be The One’, debuted at #1 in the UK, with similar success all across Europe. He also leant his production savy to Rihanna’s latest album, ‘Unapologetic’. On the heels of the release of his latest single, ‘Symphonica’, on his own Protocal Records, Nicky Romero is looking to grow his star even bigger and brighter. Live For Live Music had a chance to sit down and talk to the superstar after his set at Ultra Music Festival’s Main Stage, where he talked about his production styles and collaborations with superstars like David Guetta and Calvin Harris.

On the difference between playing festivals and small clubs:
“I think the main difference in playing festivals, is that the divide is so much different – people save money, save everything, to kind of live the moment at a festival. It’s different – people look forward to it for weeks and weeks, and months probably, to goto a festival like Ultra. Clubs are more intimate; to be honest, I believe both have their charms. I enjoy both a huge festival, and a small club – like, maybe only like two hundred people, because people really can absorb you at a club like that – you’re so close people can touch you.”

On his favorite collaborations:
“One of my favorites definitely is Calvin Harris, he’s such a great guy – he writes songs, he produces, he sings, and he plays. I think that’s unique. Also, David Guetta is one of my favorites, he’s been helping me a lot. Of course, Rihanna, it was a big honor to work with Guetta on her album.”

On working with Rihanna:
“Rihanna, when she comes over to the studio – she came into the studio, I actually met her, I worked with her in the studio – it wasn’t something over the internet, we were really together in the studio. It’s really amazing, you really feel her charisma add something to the atmosphere in the studio. You really get excited to make new music. That’s something different from when your working with a producer – with a producer you’re more thinking of the technical stuff, but when you’re working with an amazing vocalist, they work so much more on the song. Not especially on the technique – about a kick drum or something, if you work with her it’s more about the atmosphere of the song.”

On his overall experience working with David Guetta:
“I think the great thing about David Guetta, is he’s one of the few artists – actually, I think he’s the only artist who went from a DJ to a superstar. He’s not even a DJ anymore, he’s a pop artist, and I respect and admire that about him. He’s really amazing when it comes to hooks and arrangements; I can learn a lot from that. I am more a technical guy, I’m more into the mix and creating new sounds. We really help each other out. Sometimes I can help him create new kick drums – he can be happy with a kick drum for a week, and that’s unique with a superstar like that.”

On his new releases on Protocal Records:
“I have a new release called ‘Symphonica’ coming up the 25th of March, I’ve been working on that song for…almost a year actually. I played it for the first time at Tommorrowland, and, I just finished it before Tommorrowland. I actually produced it because I was so tired of the same drops, the same atmospheres. I was really inspired by the classical music, and that’s why I added this classical drop. It seemed to work well – I was not really sure if it was gonna work great, but the reactions were just really good.”

On labeling his music with specific genres:
“I don’t want to think in boxes. I rather just make music and people stamp me a music producer, rather than a house producer….I love the trap guys, of course Bauuer with the ‘Harlem Shake’, there’s this guy Bare who did a remix of ‘Symphonica’ that I played on the Ultra Main Stage, he’s amazing, an amazing talent, and I really respect that type of music.”

On the success of ‘I Could Be The One’:
“Honestly, I was pretty insecure about the record because it was out for almost a year – it was played for about a year before it was released. We actually produced that song towards the end of 2011. And it was released towards the end of 2012. And it still – the hype went on until now. It’s crazy how a song can last one and a half years without losing hype.”

On his quick rise on the DJ Mag 100:
“I think the people that the DJ Mag especially support, are the people who have a signature sound. A familiar type of sound for the crowd to relate to. So I’ve been trying to create a Nicky Romero sound. And I’ve been working on that for years now, and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found my twist. It’s just the way that I produce my kick drums, and the way I produce my bass lines, I think that’s kind of like a massive, electro type of sound. I kind of owned it with the release of ‘Metropolis’, I think that says a lot about my music.”

Nicky Romero’s latest track, ‘Symphonica’ is out now via Beatport and can be heard below: