Martin Garrix made a swift and sensational rise to the No.1 spot of our Top 100 DJs poll back in 2016 when he was just 20 years old. After first appearing at No.4 back in 2014 (propelled initially by the worldwide success of his breakthrough hit ‘Animals’), he retained the title in 2017 and 2018, but after that incredible run, he has finally been knocked off his perch.
He's still had an amazing year that started off with his ‘No Sleep’ single in cahoots with Bonn back in February. It has now been streamed more than nine million times on YouTube alone and features some of the guitar playing he has been honing since his teenage years.
Since that big single came out, the baby-faced assassin has performed at the Ultra Music Festival Australia, headlined Tomorrowland Winter and Ultra Music Festival in Miami, as well as Ultra South Africa. On that trip, he also took time out to visit the SOS Children's Village — funded by the charity he’s involved with — and played a one-hour set to an excited crowd of one hundred children and young people.
Known for his electric mix of prog and big room, Dutch house and future bass sounds, Garrix is not afraid of a pop vocal and lush hook, as evidenced by his new tunes this year. As we write this, he is preparing to unveil his spectacular new show ANIMA Presents the Void at Amsterdam RAI for the annual ADE. It promises a vast stage that will take up one-half of the space, as well as some of the most technologically advanced production in the world right now. Moving lighting effects on the ceiling will make the whole space come alive and feel like a tri-dimensional experience, all soundtracked by a two-and-a-half-hour set from the man himself that promises to find him playing tunes that span his entire career.
"As always, my touring schedule was super-busy," Garrix tells DJ Mag. "I got to play at the most amazing festivals and venues again! We have been making big steps with STMPD RCRDS with a lot of music, new artist signings and stages all around the world. I also made a lot of new music with some incredible artists such as Fall Out Boy, Macklemore, Bonn and Dean Lewis. And I have been working on a very special project that will be revealed soon!"
He may have been tipped to the summit this year, but really Martin Garrix’s career has only just begun. As he no doubt works to regain his crown in 2020, we can't wait to hear what the young star has up his sleeve.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“I think the fact that everyone is more open about the issue is very positive and will help to make a change. It’s not a taboo anymore to take a break from touring, or being honest on how you are feeling, and that will inspire other people to do the same and take care about themselves and other people around them."
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“Yes. For our own shows or stages we host at festivals, we always try to include both male and female artists.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“I have continuously supported two of the charities that are close to my heart: SOS Children Villages and War Child. Both of them are helping kids to have a better future. Our climate also needs help for a better future, so that could definitely be a cause that I will focus on as well.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“I was already DJing as a kid, so my gear was my favourite toy!”
What’s your guilty pleasure?