Over the last couple of years Ben Nicky has become one of dance music’s busiest and strongest selling DJs in the world. Racking up over half a million air miles last year alone, selling out major global iconic venues on his own plus regularly featuring on the world’s largest festival line ups including Tomorrowland, EDC, Ultra Music Festival, Creamfields, Paradiso, Spring Awakening plus many more. His recent releases have been signed to Mad Decent, Ultra & Spinnin’ Records with his musical style cleverly crossing a full spectrum of genres including Trance, Psy Trance, Techno, Hardstyle, Bounce to name just a few.
Tell us, what does a normal day in the life of Ben Nicky involve?
No problem. A normal day where I am not touring is actually pretty mundane and boring, I hate it when I have free time to be honest. When I am home in the UK you can normally find me in the gym, cooking some crazy healthy recipe or working on music in the studio.
What makes your style unique among others?
I play very short tracks, I edit it for 3 minutes, I don’t wait for 5 minutes for the break. In the old days, in the 90s it worked but now crowd get bored very very easily and lots of fans in the crowd are not always knowledgeable in Trance, so I keep their excitement & anticipation, I mix really quickly, lot of energy quite similar to Eddie who’s playing with me tonight. Anyone who seen me DJ will tell you I’m quite energetic, I like to mix mashups & exclusives no one got.
Which aspect of your profession do you prefer; creating new sounds in the studio or getting behind the decks in clubs?
I love being able to sit on an airplane and create a crazy mashup or work on new music and then be able to play it to 1000s of people… So I guess I love both. I am a lot more confident at DJing than producing and I don’t doubt myself at all when it comes to spinning decks but production is something that has a lot more skill to it. I don’t think you can ever learn enough as a producer and I still have a lot I want to learn.
Where do you get your inspiration from when working in the studio?
I try not to conform to conventional patterns when writing new music. I take influence from many other music genres which I think helps when you come to writing blocks and lack of motivation. Some of the tracks I have done have had chord progression influences from bands such as Metallica, Kiss + Foo Fighters so I guess I just like to be different and try and incorporate many different styles within my “trance” sound.
What’s your relationship with social media?
Apparently I am the most viral dj on Snapchat and Facebook, well, my videos … the amount of likes against the amount of followers I have is the biggest interaction, someone told me! So I do my own social media and if you see something rad it’s normally me , tho,it’s very hard because I tour so much… but I like to have a really good interaction with my fans to make them feel what they read it’s truthful, without that I would not have stood where i am now.
What’s your current opinion of the Trance Scene & what the future hides?
I’m not really a political person, I only worry about myself. I don’t really care about what other people do as long as I am happy, I am busy & I can make people happy with my music, that’s what matters. The hardest sound is definitely coming back again, it keeps going into circles but everybody who knows me know that I’m loyal to my sound & my fans so I won’t change. It’s a hard question to answer, I just worry about myself.
Paul van Dyk himself has been a big advocate of yours throughout your career so far and you have toured with him a number of times already. What’s it like to work so closely with one of the trance scenes iconic artists and pioneers?
Paul was one of my idols when I first starting DJing and he has been a great mentor to me over the years. I have signed multiple tracks to his Vandit Record label and toured with him in many amazing cities including Miami, Berlin + London. You will be seeing a lot more work between us in the near future so it’s an exciting time.
How do you balance your work schedule and leisure time?
I don’t! I literally work as my life. If anyone follows me, I’m on an airplane every day. 3 or 4 times a week, I’m in a different country. I had to sacrifice a lot of my family-life and relationships to do this job. But then I hope in 3 or 4 years I can stop and retire so I can have a normal life for the rest of my life. People don’t realize this, they think it’s all glamorous but on your body, it’s very tiring.
What’s your most memorable gig so far?
I might annoy the country by saying the wrong country. I think Belfast in Iceland is my biggest market. I do my own solo show with 6-7000 people there. That is probably one of my special places to go.
What’s your advice to upcoming producers and DJs?
Don’t copy anyone. Don’t try to be “I want to sound like this DJ or that DJ”. Just do your own thing, create your own identity and be different. Because if you’re just the same, you won’t be able to stand out. Don’t be scared to take risks, just have fun and be positive. Do what you want to do and it will always work itself out. It definitely works for me.