Martijn Garritsen (born May 14, 1996), commonly known by his stage name Martin Garrix, is a Dutch DJ, record producer and musician. He is ranked number 1 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list for 2016. In 2016, he founded the label STMPD RCRDS months after leaving Spinnin' Records, before signing with Sony Music. In 2017, he was announced as a resident DJ at Hï Ibiza.
Garrix learned to play guitar at age 8. In 2004, he expressed interest in becoming a DJ after seeing Tiësto perform at the Olympic games in Athens. He took particular inspiration from the track "Traffic", prompting him to download specialist software, FL Studio, and enabling him to start composing. In 2013, he graduated from the Herman Brood Academy, a production school in Utrecht. Garrix ghost writes tracks for other artists, and despite this, only one in fifty of his tracks have made it out to the public. In an interview when asked about his social class, Garrix said middle-class. He also said his 'dream mentor' was Calvin Harris.
Releases on Spinnin' Records
Garrix was discovered by Tiësto, whom he described as inspirational, humble and legendary. He had his beginnings with the songs "BFAM" (with Julian Jordan) and "Just Some Loops", a collaboration with TV Noise that appeared on the compilation album Loop Masters Essential, Volume 2. He signed to Spinnin' Records in 2012, releasing "Error 404" through the label.
In 2013, Garrix co-released "Torrent" with Sidney Samson on Tiësto's Musical Freedom label. He gained fame through his own solo release "Animals" released on 16 June 2013 on Dutch record label Spinnin' Records, becoming a hit in a great number of charts in Europe, and became the youngest person to reach the No. 1 spot on Beatport. The track appears on Hardwell's album Hardwell presents 'Revealed Volume 4'. On 30 September 2013, Garrix released a remix of "Project T" by Sander Van Doorn and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike which quickly hit No. 1 on the Beatport charts. He appeared on DJ Magazine's top 100 DJs list in 2013 as a new entry at number 40. In 2014, he appeared on DJ Magazine's top 100 DJs list at number 4.
Deal with Scooter Braun Projects
In November 2013, Garrix signed a deal with Scooter Braun's Scooter Braun Projects (later School Boy Records). In December 2013, he released "Wizard" with Jay Hardway, the song has peaked to number 6 in Belgium and number 17 in the Netherlands. His collaboration with Firebeatz, "Helicopter", placed No. 1 on the Beatport Top 100 charts for 2 weeks. He performed at Ultra Music Festival 2014, where he debuted several new and unreleased tracks, including collaborations with Dillon Francis, Hardwell and Afrojack.
In 2014, Garrix released "Proxy" as a free download. He released a song with MOTi with the title "Virus (How About Now)" which was later in the year as well as his collaboration with Afrojack releasing "Turn Up the Speakers" which Afrojack and Garrix both premiered at Ultra Music Festival.
"Forbidden Voices", "Don't Look Down" and collaborations
In 2015, Garrix experimented with progressive house and started producing progressive style apart from his signature big room sound. On 6 February 2015, he released the track "Forbidden Voices" as a gift for 10 million likes on his Facebook page. In February 2015, he released the single "Don't Look Down" featuring Usher. He also released two video versions for it on Vevo, "Towel Boy" and "Towel Girl." The track was written by Garrix, James 'JHart' Abrahart and Busbee. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs.
In an interview with DigitalSpy in early 2015, Garrix noted that Usher is a "humble" artist and a great collaborator to whom he can direct input. He also worked with multi-Grammy winner Ed Sheeran on a track called "Rewind Repeat It" which he played at Ultra Music Festival in Miami in March 2015. On 4 May 2015, he released a track with Tiësto, called "The Only Way Is Up". On 22 May 2015, Avicii released a lyric video of the song "Waiting for Love" co-produced by Garrix. On 6 July 2015, Garrix released the Break Through The Silence EP with Russian DJs Matisse and Sadko. Later, on 31 October 2015, he released a track titled "Poison" as a promotional single.
Termination of agreements with Spinnin' Records
On 26 August 2015, Garrix announced that he had left Spinnin' Records and MusicAllStars Management, due to a conflict over the ownership of his music. A point of contention was the release of "Animals," which appeared when Garrix was 17 years old. He also announced that he had filed a lawsuit against his then-manager Eelko van Kooten. In November 2015, Garrix announced that he would create his own record label.
On 2 December 2015, Garrix has reportedly settled with Spinnin' Records in their ongoing legal dispute over the ownership rights of his music, he released a statement confirming that he had withdrawn the summary proceedings after his former record label transferred him the ownership rights to his music in exchange that exclusive licence of all his tracks released before August 2015 are retained by Spinnin' for an undisclosed period. However, Garrix also stated that their other outstanding disagreements will likely be the subject of further legal proceedings.
On 31 December 2015, Garrix released "Bouncybob", his final track of the year, for free, which he had co-produced with Justin Mylo and Mesto.
STMPD RCRDS and Ultra Music Festival
Garrix launched his own record label called STMPD RCRDS in the first quarter of 2016. On 11 March 2016, he released his first single via STMPD RCRDS titled "Now That I've Found You", featuring the vocals of John Martin and Michel Zitron. Speaking about the label, he said that he wanted it to be a 'platform' for artists of various genres.
On 20 February 2016, Garrix announced that his debut album will be arriving this year via Twitter after the social media platform asked some of its content curators to use its new video platform to announce their plans for 2016. On 18 March 2016, he made use of his one-hour set to premiere ten new unreleased tracks at Ultra Music Festival, including collaborations with Jay Hardway, Julian Jordan, Ed Sheeran, Bebe Rexha and Third Party along with AREA21, a music duo believed to be Garrix himself with Maejor. On 27 May 2016, he released his second single "Lions in the Wild" with British DJ duo Third Party.
Deal with Sony Music
On 13 June 2016, Garrix released a promotional single titled "Oops" which became the E3 2016 anthem. On 26 July 2016, it was announced that Garrix signed a 'worldwide' contract with Sony Music International. He explained that, "their forward thinking approach to streaming and incredible roster of talented artists combined with their passion and understanding for my vision of the future of my music made this a no brainer." On 29 July 2016, he released the track "In the Name of Love" with Bebe Rexha.
On 22 August 2016, Garrix made his first ever live performance of his own music, with Rexha on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, accompanied by The Tonight Show’s house band, The Roots.
On 14 October 2016, Garrix announced on social media that he was releasing seven songs for seven days. Several of the released songs have been premiered during his performance at Ultra Music Festival 2016. The songs were uploaded onto his YouTube channel as music videos with seven visual artists who live-painted their interpretations of each song.
DJ Magazine number one DJ
On 19 October 2016, Garrix was named the world's top DJ in DJ Mag's annual Top 100 DJs poll and, at the age of 20, he became the youngest ever recipient of the award. Speaking to the press, he said "It feels unreal to have won. I 100 percent did not expect it at all. I've had an amazing year, with awesome shows and amazing fans -- I'm so thankful for their support. I didn't even do a campaign, and it just shows how dope the fanbase is." He was presented with his No.1 trophy by his mentor and four-times winner of the award, Tiësto at the Top 100 DJs Poll Awards Party in Amsterdam's famous Heineken Music Hall, the opening party in this year's Amsterdam Music Festival, the largest festival of the Amsterdam Dance Event.
It was announced that Garrix will co-star, alongside Carl Cox in an upcoming EDM-themed documentary titled "What We Started" which shows thirty years of EDM history by focusing mainly on the diverging careers of Cox, one of the scene’s founders who just announced his retirement from iconic Ibiza venue, Space, and Martin Garrix, currently ranked the number one DJ in the world. The documentary is co-written, produced and directed by Bert Marcus alongside executive producer and music supervisor Pete Tong.
Awards won at European Music Awards
On 6 November 2016, Garrix won "Best Electronic Act" and "Best World Stage Performance" awards at the MTV European Music Awards 2016. He was presented his award by American rapper G-Eazy. During the awards ceremony, Garrix performed "In the Name of Love" on stage with Bebe Rexha.
Collaboration with Justin Bieber
Garrix announced that he would be supporting Canadian singer Justin Bieber on his Purpose World Tour in Australia which begins in March and at the 'Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park' show on July 2, 2017. Speaking to NME about a collaboration with Bieber, Garrix said "We've been in the studio and we have some rough ideas, but we have no actual song yet where we're both like, 'OK, this is what we’re gonna release".
Hï Ibiza residency
Garrix was announced as a resident for the 2017 season at Hï Ibiza, previously known as Space Ibiza, a popular dance-music club owned by Ushuaïa Entertainment. He previously had a DJ residency at HÏ Ibiza’s sister venue, Ushuaïa in 2016.
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