It’s the first week of 2018, and Tyler Marenyi finally has a day off.
The DJ/producer, better known by the moniker NGHTMRE, thankfully gets a reprieve from the turntables tonight, having capped 2017 with a cross-country NGHTMRE Before Xmas Tour and an all-star blowout at San Diego’s OMFG! NYE.
Not that’s he complaining. It’s just hard to find time for an interview when you’re as in-demand as the “Gud Vibrations” artist. He’ll soon board a Florida cruise ship for this month’s Holy Ship 2018! (an EDM festival at sea), and then it’s back to Las Vegas for his January 16 residency gig at OMNIA Nightclub.
The new year sounds promising, but it will be a challenge for NGHTMRE to top 2017, when his Vegas residency took off and he was among those called upon to help the city heal at Hakkasan Group’s benefit concert for the October 1 shooting victims.
“It was cool seeing everyone come together, seeing all of the residents,” he says of the show. “Getting to meet Tiësto, Steve [Aoki], Zedd—it was just good I got to meet all the team and all the people who work on the shows.”
The year also saw NGHTMRE expand his catalog with some high-powered collaborations—think “TTM” with Wiz Khalifa and “Another Dimension” with fellow Las Vegas headliner Dillon Francis. It’s a trend he wants to continue in 2018.
“I feel like there’s a million [collaborations] I want to do, but it has to take good timing,” he explains. “Sometimes you want it to happen and it doesn’t happen; sometimes it happens and it’s done right away.”
Just a few minutes before this conversation, fellow trap DJ Kayzo hit up NGHTMRE on Twitter, asking about a possible collaboration. When asked about it, NGHTMRE says nothing’s been planned, but you never know.
“He’s just another one of those guys I’ve always gotten along with, we’ve been talking about doing music for a long time but the timing hasn’t worked out,” he says. “But I fucking love that dude. Obviously I’d love to work with him.”
One team-up that fans can look forward to is NGHTMRE’s currently untitled track with A$AP Ferg. It’s been rumored for weeks, but he’s not ready to announce a release date.
“We have a verse and it’s all done,” he says. “It’s really, really dope, but we have to retrack a few things. I’m super, super excited about it.”
The collaboration came through a mutual friend, NGHTMRE says. The DJ shared some beats with Ferg, but says he left the lyrics up to the rapper.
He adds: “I do OK if I’m sitting with a songwriter, but I’m definitely not a lyricist by any means. Definitely more of an engineer.”
In between polishing the Ferg track, NGHTMRE says he’s going to make time this year to finish off some of the work piling up in his studio, including a new EP and tracks with Big Gigantic and Flux Pavilion, the latter being “a song that we started, like, two years ago that sounds amazing. It’s almost there; we’re, like, 90 percent happy with it.”
“Sometimes [I think], ‘I’ve written 50 songs and I have to put out a certain number,’” he says, laughing. “I’m just gonna put out EP parts until I feel like I can do an album—like a NGHTMRE and Friends thing, something that makes the 16-year-old in me happy.”
NGHTMRE returns to OMNIA Nightclub on January 16. Find ticket information on the Hakkasan Group website.
COLLABORATING WITH NGHTMRE
The Hakkasan Group resident DJ answers our questions about working with another Vegas headliner and sharing advice with fellow artists.
You dropped “Another Dimension” with Dillon Francis in 2017. Why do you two work so well together?
Dillon obviously is a hilarious guy and fun to be around. We originally met maybe three years ago and wrote “Need You” together, and as soon as that was done, we were like, “What else can we do?” We started the idea almost as soon as “Need You” came out and then we let it simmer, passed it back and forth. Working with him is always pretty easy; we use the same production software, everything is easy.
What kind of advice do you exchange with other artists?
I usually try to emphasize working on music that gets you personally excited, focusing on the things that I really like and not making it sound like a radio hit. If you’re doing that, you’re already behind.
The times that my music has been most successful is when I don’t really know if people are gonna like it, but I know I like it. Focus on what you think is cool rather than what other people think is cool. Focus on doing it for you ’cause you like it.
Another piece of advice, from my dad, is: No matter what you do, a third of the people are gonna hate what you do, a third are going to love it, and a third are not gonna care. It’s not going to please everybody.