LOS ANGELES, Las Vegas, Mile End. These may sound like an incongruous assortment of destinations, but today they are just three of the many locations pencilled into the busy schedule of young EDM phenomenon Martin Garrix. “My touring schedule is very crazy: I am going to Amsterdam tomorrow, then I am heading to South Africa on Monday, then I do Johannesburg, Cape Town. Then I’m off on a full Australian tour; Sidney, Perth, Adelaide. Then I go to New Zealand. From there, in March I go to Miami and then we head directly to South America”, says the DJ, musician and record producer, summing up several months’ worth of life lived on the road.
And yet, surrounded by our team of photographers and stylists and all their gear for today’s shoot – rails of clothing, suitcases, backdrops and lighting equipment – a patient and cheerful Garrix clearly takes his hectic lifestyle in his stride. In fact, he’s keen to make room for new projects. “My dream collaborator is Pharrell [Williams]”, he says, a picture of calm surrounded by the frenzied activity of our small army. “Such a legend; such a nice guy. Amazing producer, amazing singer and just his entire spirit – he’s such a humble guy. I really look up to that. He is so thankful for every single thing and that inspires me a lot”. Garrix is equally focussed on his craft and grateful for the opportunities his talent has afforded him. “I just want to be creative and inspire”.
Blue-eyed and tousle-haired, the twenty-year-old is an inspiration for an industrious group of aspiring talents keen to put their stamp on a changing music industry.
Growing up in Amstelveen, a small municipality in the North of Holland and a suburban district of Amsterdam, Martijn Gerard Garritsen started rehearsing the guitar from the age of eight. In 2004, he discovered electronic music, when high-profile Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto performed a live set as part of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens. “It started as a hobby, and it still is a hobby”, he says, describing those early days experimenting with sounds, beats and melodies at home. “Some people like to game, I like to make music.”
Garrix’s dedication paid off. In June 2013, shortly after signing his first record deal, he released his debut solo single Animals. Garrix created the catchy tune at home; it’s almost instant success catapulted him from teenage sound mixer to music wunderkind, a success that he has managed to repeat and build upon.
Martin Garrix Something About SS17 – Print Issue released Thursday 13.04.17
How has your approach to your craft changed since recording your own songs at home in Amstelveen?
I started producing music when I was twelve. You learn and you programme from everything that you do, even if it is a mistake or accident. I love being creative and trying out new things. Especially with what happened [over] the last few years. My brain went into a different mood. If you look at the last two singles, I tried to experiment with new sounds, new BPMs [beats per minute]. A lot of people know Garrix for house stuff like Animals, but I have been experimenting. So, if you ask me what has changed between now and then, it’s that I am freer in the studio. I go into the studio not thinking about what I want to make, or what I have to make. I just do whatever I feel like. I started my own label last year so I have total creative freedom. I can really do whatever I want and release it, and that’s an amazing feeling.
Photographer: Joseph Reddy
Fashion: Ola Ebiti
Grooming: Porsche Poon
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