From Birthday Parties to Music Festivals: Martin Garrix is one of the Youngest, Well-Known DJs

By Cailey Muraca

Imagine a kid from your high school who no longer attends class because he or she is performing all over the world for hundreds of thousands of people.

Martin Garrix, only 18 years old, is living this life. As a teenager, he is traveling the world and doing what he does best – DJing.

On May 14, 1996, Martijn Garritsen – later changed to stage name Martin Garrix – was born in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

Garrix was slightly involved with music in his early years. His mom had always played classical piano. His dad would play guitar, and by the time he was four years old, he knew how to play the guitar, as well.

In 2004, Garrix was watching the Olympics with his mother. Little did he know, these games would change his life. He saw Tiësto playing, and that was right when he decided this is what he wanted to do. This was the first time he got in touch with electronic music.

“It was the first time I witnessed the beats, tempo, and vibe electronic music gives you,” Garrix told MTV.

After seeing Tiësto, Martin Garrix began listening to trance and eventually progressed to house music. He began buying Tiësto CDs, and started saving up his money for his very own DJ set-up.

Martin Garrix, 17 at the time, performs in Belgium.  Photo Credit: Sheidie Duteweert/Heidiefocus

Martin Garrix, 17 at the time, performs in Belgium.
Photo Credit: Sheidie Duteweert/Heidiefocus

When he was around 10 years old, Martin started to get asked by friends and family members to “DJ” birthday parties and weddings.

“It was just sitting there and doing the musical background stuff,” he explained to Jody Macgregor.

Usually he would be given a CD to change the songs for, but if not, he knew to just play the Top 40.

 A couple years later, Garrix’s money that he saved was spent on his first set-up. He bought it when he was about 10 years old. He describes it as “a super-cheap version of CDJs.”

Along with that, he installed a computer program in which he could create his own music. At first, he was just messing around, but in the last two or three of its uses, it became more serious.

It was a few years later when Garrix played his first proper DJ set. The 13-year-old boy took the stage on January 15, 2010. It was his own party that he held at P60 Club in his hometown. He asked all of his friends to come and to invite their friends. The turn out ended up being around 400 people.

Two years later, Garrix posted one of his mixes to his SoundCloud. It was an unofficial remix of “Tonight” by Enrique Inglesias. He was surprised when he learned that he had impressed many people in the music world.

Martin Garrix started interacting with producers and labels a couple of years ago when famous Dutch DJ, Vato Gonzalez, started playing Garrix’s songs.

A track that Garrix produced for someone happened to get signed to the very popular label, Spinnin’ Records. It got really big, and when the label found out that it was Garrix who made the track, things became big for him. He was invited to their office and he played his other tracks for them. Before he knew it, he was signed to Spinnin’ Records.

Once signed, his stage name, Martin Garrix, was invented. From then on, Garrix and his team tried to gain fans. They started releasing his tracks on the label, meaning people had to pay for them. Before this, he would give out his music for free.

In order to get his name out there, Garrix let Sander Van Doorn, popular DJ, release Garrix’s track “Error 404” on his label. He then collaborated with Sidney Samson to create “Torrent” and Julian Jordan to create “BFAM.”

Next up, he started releasing official remixes. He mixed Christina Aguilera’s “Your Body,” as well as “Project T” by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Vs. Sander Van Doorn.

Later on, Martin Garrix anonymously released his huge track called “Animals.” He was curious to see if people would still think it was good without a name behind it.

Well, it was. “Animals” blew up and Garrix became very well-known everywhere for it.

By the time he was 18, Martin Garrix started playing at some of the most profound music festivals out there. He took the stage in front of thousands at places including Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland.

Now, only 18 years old, Martin Garrix has already toured the world and made a name for himself as one of the most popular, richest DJs in the world.

Categories: Features