2015 has been a ‘year of collaborations’ for him, and it seems that 2016 will continue in the same direction, recently confirming a project with Steve Aoki. He’s only 19 years old but his music has already gotten thousands of fans up dancing: He’s Martijn Garritsen, stage name Martin Garrix, the young blue-eyed Dutch DJ that is causing everyone to fall in love.
You’re just 19 and yet you are already among the 4 most influential DJs in the world. How did you get to this point? What do you like about your job?
My secret is to use the energy I get from people. To feed them your emotions and to bring them joy- to have a good time together. If they see that the DJ is having a good time while he is spinning they will have even more fun, and I join in their happiness. It’s a win-win situation: I make them happy, and they make me happy as well.
What is your secret for expressing yourself as DJ?
To always continue to try, to recreate myself in different contexts, to remain full of energy and never forget that my job is to amuse people: I don’t take myself too seriously, it’s all matter of lightness and spontaneity.
What was your life like before your music career. What were some of your interests?
It was very different. I liked to collect shells and stones – so much that I have a full collection now [laughs]. I also played a lot of sports. I started windsurfing when I was twelve, and I still go anytime I’m able. Ever since I started my music career I don’t have much free time, especially when I’m on tour, but I love working so I work all the time. But whenever I have some free time I run off to go windsurfing.
What do you think is the most important thing to consider when you’re producing music? What sets you apart from other musicians?
Surprising people. If you do what everybody expects you to do, people get bored. But if you do something that totally shocks people, they go, ‘Oh, my God, have you heard what Martin Garrix wrote? What was he thinking?’ And that’s something very important for me – if you have the power to surprise people, to do something that no one expects, then they talk about it, they tell their friends about it. So whenever I’m in the studio, I always try to find something that’s a little bit weird or a little bit new for me.
Which artist surprises you most?
Skrillex. I love Skrillex, and he surprises me the most. As a producer, as a DJ, and as a person, I look up to him so much. He’s the kind of a producer who is constantly evolving, and that’s why I really, really look up to him.
If you could travel back in time, with whom would you have liked to play or to remix?
Surely it would be a dream to have been able to play with Michael Jackson.
What are your plans for the coming year? You have an official album on the horizon, correct?
I hope so. It’s a process, it takes time and I don’t want to rush it, because it’s my first album so I want it to be good. I also love to be in the studio and work with other artists. I recently worked with Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park last week. It’s exciting because an artist like him does such different music from mine, when we come together it pushes me to create something completely new.
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