Creamfields, the premier dance music festival from the UK, returned to Hong Kong for a second installation in 2018 and with it came a star-studded lineup of who’s who in EDM.  No bigger name exemplifies this than the man who has topped DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll for the third year in a row, Martin Garrix.  Garrix was nice enough to take time from his busy schedule to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Billboard Radio China in which he discussed his methodology while in the studio, a particularly special collaboration, and his new book.

Similar to many artists, Martin Garrix does not rely on any preconceived notions of what he should or shouldn’t do in the studio when it comes to his musical approach.  Instead, Garrix relies on his instinct and whatever feels good to him.  “That’s the fun thing to me about music, there are no rules, there’s no certain approach, you just do it.  That’s the fun part,” says Garrix.  He describes the studio vibe as “fun”, which is a direct result of the people with whom he works.  “I can’t work with someone if I don’t connect with them.  I have to be on the same frequency of how I think, the energy, it has to be very positive because if I don’t connect, the music won’t be good.  Whenever I am in session, it’s just good vibes.”

One collaborator with whom this connection was very strong is Mike Yung.  Yung has an inspiring story having spent much of his life as a New York City subway busker before a run on “America’s Got Talent” made him a household name.  Purity and raw emotion are the qualities in not only Yung’s voice, but also his character, that Martin says make the artist so special.  It’s something that he feels is missing in music and something that he wants to bring back.  

“I wanted to combine my music with his old soul voice.  It was interesting to find a balance between both our sounds and even though we have such a big difference in the music we make, there were so many things we were on the exact same page on.  I could really relate to him because of the passion he has.  He’s been doing it for so so long, he never gave up. This guy is just a ball of passion, a love for music, and whenever you see someone smile it makes him smile and that’s how I feel as well.”

Born of the partnership between the two artists is the song “Dreamer,” a song that was written for everybody because, as Garrix explains, “everybody is a dreamer, everybody has dreams and we wanted to make a song that 20 years, 30 years, 50 years from now, people will still put on and will still be able to relate to.  Everybody has hope, a goal and we want this song to be the little extra push of motivation.”  For many, it has taken some getting used to, but the “no rules” approach to his music that enabled the collaboration and the response is what he likes so much about it. 

    Intriguingly, fans of Garrix will now able to get an idea of what life as the number one DJ in the world is like in minute detail via the new book “LIFE = CRAZY.”  The book is a compilation of photographs by photographer Louis van Baar that chronicle Garrix’s life and career through the camera viewfinder.  

    “Of course people see the moments when I’m on stage or DJing but they don’t see what’s happening behind the scenes, how I feel seconds before going on stage, the adrenaline after I come off stage going from 50,000 people at a show to just by myself in my hotel room.  Those balances, the crazy part of touring, [Louis] captured and we put it in the book, and it’s a lot of photos.  I’m really really stoked, and the feedback on it has been amazing.”

    Fans can also rest assured that more music is on the horizon.  Garrix says he has been in the studio with many of his favorite artists and describes it as “crazy” how much unreleased music he has lying in wait that he is anxious to share with the world.  His team is also confirming many new shows so keep an eye out for a date and city near you.

Author: Rikki Plante