Martin Garrix opens up on dutch newspaper Het Parool
With ADE around the corner, Martin Garrix sat with dutch newspaper ‘Het Parool’, to talk about his shows at the RAI, but when asked, he talked very openly about the DJ MAG ranking, his label STMPD RCRDS, the status of women in the industry, and Avicii.
The ceremony of the 2019 ‘TOP 100 DJS‘ list by the music magazine DJ MAG, the world’s most prominent EDM-related voting awards, is taking place on October 19th, during AMF ‘Amsterdam Music Festival’. Martin Garrix has been voted 3 times in a row #1 Dj in the world. When the artist was asked about it he answered:
“I really don’t care about the so-called world ranking. I don’t need a list to do what I like. I am the #1, yes, with Tiësto many places below me. That doesn’t make sense, does it? I started playing music because of him. I am not a better DJ than him, I just have a bit more hype around me. By the way, there are also people in that list that I have never heard of, so I have my questions about it.”
“I have never made a call to vote for me and I will never do so. Whether that list should be abolished? If it was for me, it could, but it will continue. There is great importance attached to it, particularly in Asia. But the only thing that really matters is how many tickets you sell and whether you make people happy. ”
After leaving Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars Management in 2015, and filing a lawsuit against them over music ownership rights, Martin Garrix decided to create his own label in order to regain control of his career.
“My father had his own auction house for old coins, postcards and stamps. It was situated around the corner of our house, so I often even went to watch. I found those special stamps interesting because of the story behind them. If you like history a little, there is a lot to discover about a stamp. I named my own record label STMPD RCRDS, which is pronounced “stamped”. The logo is a stamp, a nod to my father. He no longer owns his auction house, but he’s been taking care of all my financial affairs for a while.”
Gender equality is obviously non existant within the electronic music scene. The percentage of women working as performing artists, or in the business side of it, is very low. When Martin Garrix was confronted to the fact that only 6 women had place in last years DJ MAG poll he said:
“I had not counted the number of women in the list, but six out of a hundred is an extremely small number. The DJ scene has always been a man’s world. While studying, there were only nine boys and one girl in my class. DJs were at the start of those real computer nerds, a bit of fiddling in the attic rooms. Maybe that didn’t appeal to girls that much and now there are no great female examples. It’s a shame, because of course it’s just boring if there are only men in our world. Strange too, because there is a good balance between men and women in the audience. ”
“What works against it is that many well-known female DJs are TV stars. Actresses and reality show figures who “become djs” to earn some money. I have seen a few of their sets: what a drama. They screw it up for women who are serious about music. Rezz or Alice in Wonderland could fulfill that exemplary role. They are very good, both from the US, where they are further developed in this area. I hope they break through here too and inspire young girls, as Tiësto did with me.”
2018 was a dark year for the electronic music scene, who in April 20th, received the news of Avicii’s passing.
“I was really devastated by his death. I was a good friend of Tim and I often toured with him. I could see that life was meant nothing to him. His decision to stop concerts must have been difficult, but it was wise one. We talked a little less often because of that, but I thought he was fine. His death did trigger something in the scene. There is more awareness of the fact that we DJs are just people. This also applies to the members of the crew. They also have extremely strange working hours. ”
“After Tim’s death I received countless messages from other DJs saying: “ Please Martijn, take it easy. DJs and producers have been paying more attention to each other and you hear often the question: “Are you getting your rest?” It brought us closer together.” “Of course the charge is not only physical but also mental. It is a crazy life: one moment you are in front of a hundred thousand cheering people, the other you are in bed on your own. That does something to you. Fortunately, I have a great team. Nowadays my family comes more often and I am almost always surrounded by childhood friends. It’s good, they can also keep an eye on me.”
Martin has prepared 3 shows during this years edition of ADE:
“I’m going to give the craziest show ever next Saturday. Even though we sell out twice, I’m going to lose a lot of money on it, because of how much we’ve invested in visuals. We are filling the entire roof of the RAI convention center. Everything can move. I see that show as a business card. Concert promoters from all over the world are coming to Amsterdam this week. They don’t know what they will experience when they come to see me.”