Martin Garrix talks age, balance and life past 'Animals,' primes new music for 2014
12-months ago, Martin Garrix was just another promising young contender amongst the masses of Dutch hopefuls. Having since shed his new-school stripes with considerable style, a trail of live global landmarks, chart topping maneuvers and bold professional advances, the 17-year old trailblazer has quickly become one of electronic dance music’s most hotly discussed assets of 2013. Rather than becoming the poster boy of young EDM fandom, his journey from early Spinnin outbreak “Keygen” to influential offering “Animals” made both Beatport and UK chart domination a precedent seldom set even in the hands of Holland’s elite national players. Add ongoing duties for Spinnin’ Records, a spot on Scooter Braun Projects and the prospect of extended festival domination for 2014, and it’s fair to say where many have dreamed of underdog domination, Garrix has aligned the pieces seamlessly. With his “Wizard” track ready to pop and a whirlwind global tour to see through before 2014 is out, Dancing Astronaut took a rare opportunity to sit with the young trailblazer in London before the pace picked back up for Europe’s youngest and hungriest force on the beat.
“It still feels unreal sometimes,” he admits, as we reflect on the immediate UK chart topper that propelled his name past the club-savvy masses. With a powerhouse stature in both the UK and Belgium, and top ten action throughout Europe, one would have forgiven Garrix for a bit of humble bragging enroute to his follow-up “Wizard” alongside Jay Hardway. Much to our surprise, the Dutch youngster appears to be keeping his cool in spite of all the attention. “‘Animals’ just felt immediately right to me,” he explains. “I felt it had the potential for a club hit, but I never expected it to turn out as huge as it did. Of course I felt some kind of pressure when it came to following up with ‘Wizard,’ especially now that the bar has been set, but at the same time that keeps me driven and motivated to do even better!”
He points to the pros and cons that his tender age has dealt him, suggesting that for every bit of attention he’s earned for “Animals,” he hopes for another pair of eyes to see the bigger picture that is his ever-expanding career. But far from a ‘Bieber-esque’ mark on the global dance skyline, Garrix embodies the can-do attitude that the Millennial generation and its aspiring pool of young talent now flocks towards. When asked if he believes that the road map for aspiring artists is getting any less gruelling, the positivity drawn from his own professional spoils come incredibly well tested; “I think it has become easier to produce cool and interesting stuff,” he explains. “Technology is so widely developed and available for everyone who is really driven. Being a break-through has become harder because of the big amount of talented producers in this scene now. For me, the really hard bit is to combine studio time, gigs, school and personal time with friends and family. That has certainly been a challenge for me, especially when the schedule is exploding like it did this year. That is always going to be the challenge for young and aspiring producers, but when you get there it is worth it.”
With impending productions alongside Dillon Francis, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, as well as suspected collaborations alongside Tiësto, Hardwell and a much-anticipated follow-up to his Sidney Samson collaboration “Torrent,” the job of excelling next year looks relatively simple. For Garrix, hitting the road running is the only way to start. He explains: “I would love to play at all the big festivals like ULTRA and Coachella, but I also want to do a lot more collaborations and crossovers with cool artists. Past the release of “Wizard” and the Asia tour I will hit Australia and the US. I also already have five tracks ready to release and I can’t wait to start showing these off into 2014.”