June 6th see’s BEN NICKY return to the Sheffield decks on what promises to be an epic night. Here’s what he had to say ahead of his set…

Ben Nicky Interview May 2014

Thanks for taking time out to chat to us today. 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 (which luckily is quite rare at the moment). 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.

It’s safe to say that you are a prolific producer with originals including your recent vocal track ‘Brave Heart’ on Vandit as well as ‘Tears’, which was named Tune of the Week on Armin van Buuren’s ASOT radio show. 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.

2013 saw the launch of the Ben Nicky ‘Headf**k’ brand… Can you tell us a bit more about this? What’s the idea behind the concept?

Anybody that knows me personally will tell you that I am quite a random person and my music also reflects this. I love to create tracks / edits / mash ups with different affects, glitches, and samples with lots of crazy things going on – in essence, a “Head F**K”.
I made a crazy 140 mash up of Porter Robinson’s track – ‘Language’ and named it “Ben Nicky’s 140 Head F**K” which was quickly picked up by Armin and played on ASOT as well as his live shows. From there, the brand totally snow balled. I launch Head F**K radio on AH.FM which trended worldwide on Twitter on its first show and was the second most listened to show on the station by the end of the year. I made a series of new Head F**Ks such as Simon Patterson vs Aizen – Thump Most of You, Astrix vs Gareth Emery & JOC – Concrete Mel, Faithless – We Come One and Tiesto and Eddie Bitar – Lethal Roller-coaster, some of which I gave away for free which helped with the following of the brand and its awareness.
Fast forward a few months and the brand has gone global – fans on my recent Asia tour as far away as Vietnam have turned up with Head F**K branding, I’ve ran a serious of Head F**K nights in cities such as Seattle, New York, Sydney, Los Angeles, Singapore and consistently push the brand in my social media. I’m working on some big plans to launch a range of merchandise, world tours and promo material. Without a doubt, in a crowd, over saturated market, this has made me stand out and has brought new fans, new shows and more and more people ‘buying in to’ the Head F**K concept.

Ben Nicky Interview May 2014

With the Headf**k brand we have seen you concoct regular mash-ups using a variety of current and classic tracks. What kind of reaction do you receive when playing these tracks out live in nightclubs?

Over the years I have DJ’ed in a variety of countries and over that time you start to see patterns within crowd reactions. I always enjoy reading the crowd and seeing which music seems to get the best reaction. The “Headf**k” mashups I do have always been some of the best and most responsive tracks In my Live Sets and I try to bring in Classic tracks and give them a little spice in the trance direction whilst still keeping it current and respectable.

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.

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.

Having played numerous tours across different continents as well as major events such as Tomorrowland and Nature One, is there one event you’ve played that stands out as your favourite?

It’s hard to choose a best gig because there are many factors that come into it. I will narrow it down to 3!

1. Tranceport , Buenos Aires Argentina.
2. Nine Bar Psy Festival, Goa India.
3. Open Gate Festival, Moscow Russia.

Give us a hint of what we can look forward to from Ben Nicky over the coming months…

Lots of new singles including a big collaboration and also some vocal remixes. Tour wise I am pretty much booked up for the rest of the year so I am excited to be constantly visiting incredible places.

Which 3 tracks are doing the damage for you in the clubs at the moment?

1. Liquid Soul – Have You Ever
2. Ben Nicky ft. Chloe Stamp – Brave Heart
3. Luke Bond ft. Roxanne Emery – On Fire (Aly & Fila Remix)

Ben Nicky interview May 2014

Finally, what can the OTR clubbers expect from you in Sheffield on 6th June?

Random twisted uplifting filthy f**ked up music with an extreme amount of energy!

And now for a couple of light hearted ‘get to you know you’ questions…

If you could invite any 3 people to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington + Bam Margera. 3 Celebs I’ve followed for years, I think it would be a laugh!

Did you have a nickname at high school?

Benny Boy, nothing impressive I’m afraid.

Which animal would you say best represents you and why?

A Monkey. Cheeky, random and always up to mischief.

Ben Nicky interview May 2014

If you weren’t involved in the music industry, what job do you think would you have?

Would definitely still be in the sales industry, used to absolutely love it.

Finally, do you have a most embarrassing moment whilst behind the decks you’d care to share with us?

Ejecting the wrong CD at my first ever gig certainly wasn’t the highlight of my career haha…Luckily it was in front of about 3 people!

Ben’s UK Headf**k Tour stops down in Sheffield on Friday 6th June. See you there!

OTR & Sean Tyas present Tytanium Tickets