Back in 2012, Future Music visited White Villa Entertainment. A complex where 22 year-old producer Nicky Romero crafts his speaker spanking music.
The facility is a beautiful space over three floors, which Nicky shares with Dutch pop producer John Dirne, with its own swimming pool, guest house and even a fully-stocked bar, which doubles as a mix check environment. Downstairs, spread across three rooms, there's a vocal room and Nicky's own studio, efficiently kitted out to make the most of his mix space.
At just 22 years of age, Nicky joins a collective of young producers making a huge impact in clubs and charts around the world. Avicii, Afrojack, Skrillex, Porter Robinson and Max Vangeli, to name a few, all check in at under 25 and are playing some of the world's most-famous superclubs and collaborating with some of the biggest names in dance music. Romero is no exception having had his tracks played by Fedde Le Grand, Tiësto and David Guetta all before he'd even secured management. Speaking of Guetta, he recently submitted a remix for the Pop superstar that the label loved so much, it's now set up to be an original collaboration.
Having started out in his bedroom only four years ago, Nicky's story is one that's becoming more and more familiar. With his tracks charting comfortably in the Beatport Top Ten, MTV having named him an 'EDM rookie to watch' and new collaborations with David Guetta and Avicii, he's becoming an A-lister of the dance scene.
Nicky's advice for amateur producers looking to go pro
There are a lot of amateur producers reading this that maybe have a DAW and some plugs, one or two hardware synths or bits of outboard and are working out of their bedrooms. What do you think is the best next step for them, considering you were in that position only two years ago?
"The most important thing is the drive and discipline to get somewhere. You need to have the drive because you're going to go through a lot of disappointment – unfair people, people not keeping their word. But the most important thing is that you stick to the music. I want to be the best producer in the world – if it's not going to happen that's OK, but I still have that goal.
"If you know your software and you know your hardware, you can reach anything."
"Listen carefully to other tracks, why did they do certain things? Why did they put that drop there and that breakdown there? Think about it. How did they do that kick? What kind of kick is it? Keep listening and compare your music to other people's music, that's really important. You don't have to get Logic to sound professional – Avicii and Afrojack both use FL Studio and they're two of the most successful young DJs around. If you know your software and you know your hardware, you can reach anything."