Before his set on day two of ZoukOut 2016, we catch up with Dutch wunderkind Martin Garrix
Feeling like you've over-performed and given your best in the past year? Think again — your 2016 could very well be eclipsed by Martin Garrix's. This year, the Dutchman has released 11 singles to date, a third EP, Seven, and was crowned the world's number one DJ by DJMag.com and best electronic act and best world stage act at the MTV Europe Music Awards — all accomplished at the tender age of 20. Talk about overachieving.
Playing his first gig when he was just 13 and working on Animals, his debut hit in high school, Martijn Gerard Garritsen (his real name) learned the beginner's ropes by watching YouTube tutorials, teaching himself along the way. He's close allies with Justin Bieber — the two share notable manager Scooter Braun — with Garrix slated to participate in Bieber's Purpose tour next year. Apart from that, he's been working big time alongside industry greats such as Tiësto (his idol) as well as Usher with their 2015 hit, Don't Look Down. Recently, he collaborated with Bebe Rexha for In the Name of Love, which you'll hopefully get to hear when he takes to Siloso Beach's decks at ZoukOut this weekend.
Welcome back to Singapore, Martin! How will your set be different at ZoukOut this time round? Thank you. It's great to be back, it's been a while! I have lots of new music to play and the show is so much bigger than before!
Everyone brings up the fact that you're really young in interviews. Tell us: Does age really matter? I don't think so. It's about the music you make, not your age. I do think it is an advantage that nowadays kids are starting to produce at a very young age. The hours of practicing are very important if you want to be successful later on.
Speaking of youth, what do you think our generation wants right now in house music? How would you say you feed that need? Because there is such a big range, music-wise, I think they want a lot of diversity. They don't want things to sound the same. I never try to think too much when it comes to producing. I just make what I feel like in the moment of the process.
Do you prefer playing in big festivals or in clubs? How does each setting bring out a different side in you? The settings are completely different, which makes them both really nice to play. I think playing at a festival is amazing, but there's also something special and intimate about playing at a club.
Besides music, what are your other passions and what's the best way for you to unwind? Music is by far my biggest passion and I like to support others in the development of their careers, that's why I decided to start STMPD RCRDS in the first place. The best way for me to relax is to hang out with my friends and family. If there's time I like to try out new things. I recently went dirt biking which was awesome!
You've won a number of awards and accolades this year. If you could thank just one person, who would this be? It's been such an amazing year, I'm still buzzing! One person is very difficult since I have so many amazing people behind me like my parents, team and of course my fans. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today.
Finally, what advice would you give a teenager who's just starting out in music? Make sure that you enjoy what you do! This eventually makes it easy to work hard for it. I believe that with hard work and determination you can reach everything you want to. This would also be the advice I would give my younger self.
Martin Garrix will be performing at ZoukOut 2016 at Siloso Beach on 10 December. For more information on the lineup, click here.