“The last 12 months have been kind of crazy, a lot of fun,” Martin Garrix tells DJ Mag down the phone from Holland. “I'm very happy with how everything went. We released a lot of tracks. After 'Animals' it's gone crazy, for one-and-a-half years now it has been really wild.”
Martin Garrix was a new entry at No.40 in 2013, and has shot up to No.4 in the last 12 months — making him officially one of the biggest DJs in the world. And yet he is still a teenager. Yes, Martin was only born in 1996 — after the release of 'Born Slippy' by Underworld, the 'Timeless' album by Goldie, and well after when his mentor Tiësto first started releasing material. Indeed, it was watching Tiësto's DJ performance at the 2004 Olympics, at the age of eight, when he first expressed interest in becoming a DJ.
He was soon teaching himself how to produce, and ended up at the Herman Brood Academy in Utrecht — a music production school. “I was in school until June, I did a three-year course but finished after two years,” he says. “I'm not studying now, no — I'm locking myself in the studio, creating a lot of music, and DJing a lot.”
Martin was due to play at the Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF) on 18th October, the event at which the Top 100 DJs party was the centrepiece. “I'm super-excited for AMF,” he says. “I'm working on lots of new music to premiere on the live stream.”
Martin, whose real name is Martijn Garritsen, headlined a few arena shows this year — selling 15,000 tickets a pop. He's also about to play a couple of spots on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs tour alongside Armin van Buuren and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano. “It should be awesome, man — I'm really excited,” he says. “The line-up just got announced, and I got a lot of tweets about it.”
Having great slots at two of the biggest dance music festivals in the world was another of the most memorable events for him this year. “One of the biggest highlights was playing on the main stage at Ultra in Miami,” he tells DJ Mag. “The same thing with Tomorrowland — I went to both festivals as an attendee last year, and then this year you play the main stage!
“Miami in general was really special for me,” he continues. “I met a lot of people. Being able to work with Ed Sheeran was another highlight, it was kind of surreal for me.”
Martin's track with the singer-songwriter is called 'Rewind Repeat It', and it took them about half a year to finish the track — both being busy boys, and all that. “We were in the studio two weeks ago, and we properly finished the tune,” Martin says. “It's getting released in December or January.
“How did the hook-up happen? I met him in Los Angeles, and we played each other some stuff,” Garrix continues. “He'd never made a dance record, and at that time I'd never done a vocal track. Right now I've done 'Gold Skies', but when I met him I was only making instrumental stuff.
It was interesting for him to work with an electronic artist, cos he'd never worked with a producer in my genre before, and for me it was really interesting because he's from a completely different scene. I'm really excited by the result.”