Martin Garrix has gone from the next big thing in electronic dance music to recently being named the No. 1 DJ in the world in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll.
The 20-year-old DJ’s journey from releasing 2013 club banger Animals, a record he produced in his bedroom, to starting his record label in March this year, is nothing short of meteoric.
Garrix is the latest top DJ to emerge from the Netherlands in a line-up that includes Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren and Hardwell.
How does it feel to be voted the No. 1 DJ in the world at such a young age?
Making music started as a hobby. I did it because I liked it and never expected to become this successful. I still can’t believe I got ranked No. 1 DJ – it’s a huge honour.
Does the No. 1 ranking add pressure on you to keep performing at such a high level?
I have always felt pressure for my shows. I want to better myself every time and my team and I are always looking to see how we can improve the shows.
In The Name Of Love, your latest hit featuring pop singer Bebe Rexha, has been blowing up the charts. Are things such as chart success important to you?
The reaction of the crowd is always the most important thing to me. It’s the most amazing feeling to see the crowd go crazy when you play a new track. And, of course, I’m also happy that In The Name Of Love is doing so well on the charts.
Do you want your record label STMPD RCRDS to be the biggest name in the business, or would you rather focus on grooming a small group of quality acts?
I didn’t start STMPD RCRDS from a business point of view. I want it to be a platform for talented musicians from all genres. I want to be able to give them a kickstart and show their talent to the world.
Now that you have your own label, will you be experimenting with your sound?
Definitely. I love to experiment with new sounds and genres. I get inspired by so many things and it’s great to have a lot of creative freedom to work on whatever I want to.
Why do you think so many Dutch DJs have made it big worldwide – what is in the water there?
The Netherlands is a small country and the DJs are very close. We all know and help one another. And maybe it’s also the fact that it’s raining a lot here, which gives you enough time to sit in your room and make music (laughs). – The Straits Times/Asia News Network/Anjali Raguraman