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INTERVIEW: Martin Garrix talks Dubai



At just 19-years old, it’s hard to believe what Martin Garrix has achieved. The DJ and producer is best known for his debut single “Animals”, which was 2013’s sound of the summer, reaching number one in the UK and Belgium, and going double platinum in the US. But far from being his biggest achievement, this only served as a springboard for his music career. Considered one of the youngest influencers on the electronic scene, he was in Billboard’s prestigious ’21 under 21’, as well as Forbes’ ’30 under 30’.

It’s just been announced that Garrix will play for 3-hours during his special New Year’s Eve gig in Dubai, and it’s clear that he’s buzzing about it. We grabbed him for a quick chat…

You were in Dubai last year with Sensation. What did you think of the city?
Dubai is insane, it’s got like a Las Vegas feel to it, this huge city in the middle of the desert. I think it’s awesome how nice everything here is and it’s really special to see all those amazing buildings like the Burj Khalifa.

Are you looking forward to coming back to Dubai? 
Yeah obviously I’m looking forward to it! NYE is always a special night and to celebrate this at such a special place is great!

You’ll be playing with the Burj Khalifa fireworks in the background. How cool is that?
I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right, that’ll make for some really great photo moments.

A few people on our Facebook page commented to say “He’s not 21! He can’t go to the clubs here!” Do you get tired of hearing this from people, or does it make you more proud of what you’ve achieved?
I think it’s a misconception that a lot of people have. I don’t really get tired of it because I do understand the logic of it. I think it’s actually a compliment like you mentioned as well.

Your track “Animals” exploded all over the world. We’ve heard other DJs remixing it at the likes of Tomorrowland and Ultra. How did it feel seeing some of the most famous DJs in the world playing your track?
It’s crazy but nowadays it’s become much more common. When I heard people play it all over the world for the first time I couldn’t believe my ears, I was like, how the heck do they know my music? The funniest part about it is that I never intended for the track to become like a huge radio hit, it was meant for in the clubs, but I guess people liked it too much in the end.

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And now you’re a headliner in your own right! You’re bringing some of your good friends to support you in Dubai for New Year. Do you act as a mentor to them?
I don’t really think I’m qualified to act as their mentor. I mean, sure you can’t argue that someone like my good friend Justin Mylo has less experience but he’s the same age as me, it feels weird to be a father-like person for him. I do love to help those guys out whenever they have a question or an issue, but then again, I turn to them when I have a question or an issue a lot too.

All of you on the Dubai New Year line-up are Dutch. We have an inside joke in the ShortList office that all the best DJs are Dutch. What is it about that part of the world that makes such great DJs?
I’m really not sure, maybe it’s because it’s because it is raining here all the time, so we don’t get out of our bedrooms, so we produce music on our computers all the time hahaha.

You have lots of famous friends. What was your stint in Las Vegas like, lots of partying with Justin Bieber?
The time I was in Vegas with Bieber I was performing at Omnia and he was throwing his birthday party there, so yeah we partied and it was awesome. I think he’s such a great guy, he really turned his life around and he’ll be back even bigger than he ever was.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed playing to massive crowds?
Yeah, but in a good way. Like when I played Ultra Miami this year, that show had so much time and effort in it that it was an insane moment when I finally got on stage. Or when I performed at Sziget, there’s like a hundred thousand people in the crowd and to see all of them there especially for you, it’s an indescribable feeling.

This year you’ve worked with lots of artists including Ed Sheeran. Do you have any collaborations with artists coming up that you can tell us about? Or at least give us a clue?
I’m always collaborating with people, so yeah there’s new music coming up. I can’t really tell you who it was that I went to the studio with, but there’s a pretty awesome list of people that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

If you could make a track with any artist in the world, who would it be?
I’d love to collaborate with Lana del Rey, her voice is unparalleled and I think that making an electronic track with her on the vocals would be ground-breaking.

What can we expect from your set in Dubai?
Obviously you’re going to get the New Year’s Eve extra energy, extra excitement and just a lot of fun. We’re going to make sure that everyone will be up and jumping from the beginning of the night right until closing time.

Visit for information and tickets.

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