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In these fickle times, success stories come and go with shocking regularity. At just 20 years of age however, Martin Garrix has proven his uncanny ability to expertly navigate the competitive entertainment industry, and has established himself as a behemoth of both the electronic and pop worlds. This speaks volumes about his talent, maturity and vision.
If 2013 was his breakthrough year, 2016 was the year he staked his claim as more than a dance music A-lister. Indeed, dance music remains his love and focus—but as was evident from his all-conquering #1 hit “In The Name Of Love” with Bebe Rexha – Garrix’s horizons have broadened dramatically.
Racking up over a billion cumulative streams since the release and dominating airwaves across the world, the track was the sound of Garrix laying a marker in the sand. A marker that reminded us that he leads and doesn’t follow, breaking away from the status quo and showing that his musicality translates potently from the dancefloor to the world of pop.
This smash hit was also set to elevate him to household name status, as well as marking the beginning of Garrix’s global deal with Sony Music International. On top of that, his own STMPD RCRDS label – launched in 2016 as an output for his original tracks and collaborations – has already begun to support and release new music from other great artists and up-andcoming talent alike.
Becoming a mentor for other artists at the age of 20 is just another of Garrix’s remarkable feats and his commitment to using his position to bring through more new talent is highly admirable. “There’s so much music out there in this whole EDM thing that sounds so similar” he says. “I want to make my label more diverse.”
Martin’s move into the world of pop and the mainstream at large should come as little surprise. His 2013 debut Animals went to No. 1 in the UK, a true crossover track that was created with nothing more than the dancefloor in mind. He quickly embraced his appeal to the wider world, collaborating with megastars like Tiësto, Avicii and Usher.
“In The Name Of Love” sent Garrix stratospheric, and marked the next chapter in his efforts for crossover domination, including an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where he performed live on guitar and two wins at the MTV Europe Music Awards where he once again brought out his guitar. The several high-profile live performances are a testament to his expert musicianship that got him interested in music in the first place. Most recently, in January 2017, he released another stunner of a single: “Scared to be Lonely” featuring Dua Lipa.
Yet he doesn’t seem phased in the slightest, keeping a cool head, carefully choosing his next move. He hasn’t followed some tried-and-tested route to success: instead he’s ripping up the rule book and doing what he believes in.
Whether that’s working on crafting a slew of club bangers, trying his hand at film scoring or working on his hip, top secret new alias, he’s sticking to his guns – and it seems to be working pretty well so far.
Despite all these exciting new opportunities and challenges, there’s no chance of him letting up his DJing activities any time soon. The synergy between his studio and live shows is undeniable, and has propelled him to the #1 spot on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll for 2016, just three years on from the release of his debut single as an unknown. The biggest festivals in the world clamor for him to perform, from havens of populist cool like Coachella and Lollapalooza, to the cream of the dance scene like Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland.
Perhaps the cherry on his cake right now would be his massive residencies in dance music capitals Ibiza and Las Vegas. Highlighting his phenomenal global reach, this year will see him hold down a residency at Omnia, Las Vegas as well as not one but two season-long shows on the white isle. After a wildly successful summer at Ushuaïa Ibiza last year, Martin will be returning to the iconic open air club as well as taking on a residency at the brand new Hï venue, giving him the perfect opportunity to indulge even more of his creative desires.
‘’This year I will have not one, but two residencies on my favorite island – Ibiza’’ he says. ‘’This time I got the chance to return to Ushuaïa with a brand new concept to give the crowd a unique Martin Garrix experience. While at the same time, I can bring back Multiply to Ibiza at Hï. The two residencies will have their own unique vibe, showing different sides of myself’’.
Forging a phenomenal career that belies his age, in just four years, Martin Garrix has achieved what many could only have dreamed of in a lifetime. Yet for someone who has yet to have his 21st birthday, one thing is for certain, Garrix is only just getting started.