The past 12 months have certainly cemented Nicky Night Time as a big name on the Australian House scene. After achieving critical acclaim with the electropop group Van She, Nick Routledge began DJing under the alias Nicky Night Time, sweeping up an ARIA Award nomination for Best Dance Release for his single ‘Gonna Get Better’ along the way. Not only has he released a new track ‘Flowers’, but he’s also heading down under for an extensive Australia and New Zealand tour of the same name from November to New Year’s Day. To find out what we can expect for the future, we had a chat with the man himself.
The past year have been really big for you. Is there one moment from the past year that really stands out?
I guess the big moments for me were really behind the scenes ya know … Lil breakthroughs like making a track work and enjoying that moment or recording an amazing vocal with someone that you didn’t expect. These are the moments I love. I think celebrating the small things along the way as well as the big things make life more consistent rather than having to endure such big peaks and troughs.
Your debut release ‘Everybody Together’ and 2015 track ‘Gonna Get Better’ received excellent reviews and became huge dance floor hits. Did you ever expect they would be so successful?
Not really at all. I just make the music I love and the music I love to play in my sets so that was just a bonus.
How did it feel being nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Dance Release for ‘Everybody Together’?
It felt really great! Considering I had no intention for it to be that or still have no idea why but it does feel nice to be recognised for doing something in the field you love!
Can you describe the artistic process behind your new release ‘Flowers’? What’s it about?
I write most of my vocals with a piano and when we wrote ‘Flowers’ the chords behind the vocals were a lot darker which made the vocals even eerier than they are. It was only when I went back to it 6 months later that I took the chords away and made it into the dance version you hear now.
You’ve previously worked with Nat Dunn on your single ‘Gonna Get Better’ and she now features on your new track ‘Flowers’. What is it about working with her that you enjoy?
I think we work really well together and her voice is one of my favourite I have ever worked with! She wasn’t going to feature on the record but after trying a few other singers nothing else came close, so Natty stayed.
You’re playing at Cargo Bar’s NYE On The Harbour in Sydney on 31st December and then heading to Melbourne to play The Party at The Prince on 1st January – that’s a hectic schedule! Are you excited?
Yeah it is pretty hectic, then I fly to Melbourne in the morning and helicopter up to port sea that night for a gig! Hectic indeed is the word!
What are you most looking forward to on your 2015 Australia and New Zealand tour?
Meeting other producers and younger DJs that are pushing boundaries and creating music
Would you rather perform to audiences on your home turf or explore new places?
I think both! It’s like food: you can’t just eat pizza every night of the week! Even though I would like to… Change and travel is key for me.
Do you get much chance to travel around the places you visit? Where would you say has been a highlight destination?
Well I am in LA at the moment writing new tracks but I went to Ibiza this year and played and got to know the island more than I used to. Sometimes it is in and out but that is usually a personal preference or sometimes due to timing of gigs, so my way of exploring the different countries I play in is by always trying their local cuisine! Except in some cases where food poisoning is an imminent threat.
Do you change your set to suit different audiences and venues or generally stick to the same set list?
I always change depending on the the gig or venue and also the crowd.. My one pet hate is DJs who are not headlining playing a headline set as a warm up! Don’t do it! I recently supported MK and I was playing at around 123bpm which meant by the time he got on he could jack up the tempo 1 or 2 just to take the experience up a notch. When you play after some DJs who have it all the way up near 128 and your tracks are all at 125bpm it’s like come on man seriously go be a hero somewhere else.
Who are you currently listening to? Any new artists or tracks we should be listening out for?
I am liking some of the new Redlight stuff and I’m a massive fan of Bicep. I also just did a new remix for Major Lazer so I’ve been checking out their new record a bit.
Do you have any big plans for 2016?
Yes, big ones, but the only things I can talk about are that I have a few more NNT tracks on the way and more touring for sure.
Nicky Night Time Australia Tour Dates 2015
Friday November 13th – Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wiseman’s Ferry
Wednesday November 18th – Your Paradise, Fiji
Saturday November 28th – Stereosonic Festival, Sydney
Saturday November 28th – Upstairs Club, Queensland
Saturday December 5th – Taylor’s Rooftop, Sydney
Sunday December 6th – Sets On The Beach, Perth
Saturday December 12th – The Tbc Club, Birsbane
Friday December 18th – The Beery, New South Wales
Saturday December 19th – Flinders Social, Queensland
Saturday December 26th – Electric Circus, Adelaide
Thursday December 31st – NYE On The Harbour, Sydney
Friday January 1st – That Party, Melbourne
See Nicky Night Time at NYE On The Harbour in Sydney. Book tickets now at cargobarnye.iwannaticket.com.au
By Amelia Edgell-Cole