The appreciation and perspective on a DJ artist is split down the middle. Are they harmless fun or nail bitingly abrasive? Are they even a genre? Nicky Romero is a full-blooded DJ artist. He is so much in the world of DJ production that when he released an original in 2010, fans and followers expressed it as a huge deal (the core hook of the tune was a sample, anyway). Even now, he has yet to release an album and his biggest tunes are reinventions or collaborations. It is par for the course with electro house, where the bulk of any one track is built with bits and pieces from most other tracks. It is also a staple of hip-hop even before the Beastie Boys created one of the best hip-hop albums ever using almost solely samples from jazz, pop, and R&B standards.
But, Nicky Romero should not be confused with a remix artist. He creates unique compositions far more than he did in the past, and he only formerly released two remixes in 2015- the more popular being a version of One Direction’s ear-splitting “18.”
Your intrigue for Nicky Romero will depend on where you rank electro house and progressive electronic in the canon of modern dance. Nicky Romero is not a singer, so he does not have that feature working for him. He hardly has his own signature voice or style. His compositions sound like elevator music sped up to 220 beats per minute. He has drops where they need to be and he has a core hook weaving in and out of the song to tie it all together. It is by-the-numbers house music.
But, is that a particularly bad thing? If all the pieces are intact and upheld, you cannot fault the artist. His desire to innovate is marginal. Considering his young age and relative newness to the industry, it may be some time until he establishes an identity. He is far away from a David Guetta or Diplo. And he is never trying to be an artist like Burial who has embraced experimentation to an astounding degree. He is more about the formula- the palette for creating music that can fade into the background yet remain at the forefront. It won’t crossover to other outlets, unless American Eagle wants to pick up something with a little more punch. But, for retaining the formula to perfect levels, Romero is fitting the outfit of his audience.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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