Martijn Gerard Garritsen (born 14 May 1996), known professionally Martin Garrix (stylized as Mar+in Garri×), 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.
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.
STMPD RCRDS and Ultra Music Festival
Martin Garrix live at Air Festival 2016
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.
World’s 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.