Martin Garrix ‘Animals’: A Breakthrough Hit That Defined an Era
In the realm of electronic dance music, few artists have left as indelible a mark as Martin Garrix. A true prodigy of the genre, his meteoric rise to stardom was propelled by a single track that took the world by storm: “Animals.” In this article, we reflect on the success of this groundbreaking hit, its impact on the electronic music scene, and how Martin Garrix ascended to global stardom.
The Birth of “Animals”
In June 2013, a young Dutch producer named Martin Garrix (real name: Martijn Gerard Garritsen), who was signed to Spinnin’ Records at the time and had already released a string of tracks, including “BFAM” with Julian Jordan, “Keygen,” “Torrent” with Sidney Samson, “Error 404” with Jay Hardway, and his memorable remix of Roy Gates‘ “Midnight Sun” had just finished “Animals”. Little did he know that this release would catapult him into superstardom. The track’s minimalist and infectious drop immediately caught the attention of the EDM community and DJs worldwide.
The track’s mystique grew as it was initially played anonymously at events, sparking speculation about its creator. Dutch record label Spinnin’ Records added fuel to the fire by releasing a tantalizing teaser online titled “Animals (Teaser).” This move intensified the curiosity surrounding the track’s authorship. The intrigue escalated further when a Vine video featuring Agnes from Despicable Me was posted, further fueling speculation.
Adding to the mystery, “Animals” was at times attributed to other prominent acts like Hardwell, GTA, Sidney Samson, and Bassjackers, further shrouding its true origin in secrecy. The identity of the producer remained a closely guarded secret until it was officially revealed.
According to Garrix himself, the infectious melody of “Animals” was based on a previous, never-released track that he had composed two years prior. The “ruthlessly minimalist” rhythmic sound of the drop was an interpretation of Busta Rhymes’ “What It Is.” Additionally, the first part of the track was inspired by a song called “D.A.T.A.” by Aura Qualic. While “Animals” is mostly instrumental, the only vocal verse to appear is “We’re the f**king animals,” which is spoken by a friend of Garrix, delivered with a low pitch, and makes two appearances in the track.
“Animals” quickly gained momentum, thanks in part to the unwavering support of some of the biggest names in the industry. DJs such as Tiësto, Hardwell, David Guetta, and Afrojack were among the first to champion the track. Its unique sound, characterized by a pulsating beat and an unforgettable melody, made it an instant anthem for festival-goers and clubbers alike.
Achievements and Awards
The impact of “Animals” was staggering. The track reached the number one spot on Beatport’s Top 100 chart within a week of its release, a remarkable achievement for a relatively unknown artist at the time. It went on to receive platinum certifications in multiple countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Perhaps the most significant recognition came in 2013 when Martin Garrix was named the youngest DJ ever to top DJ Mag’s annual Top 100 DJs poll. At the age of 17, he had already achieved what many seasoned DJs could only dream of.
Rise to Stardom
“Animals” served as a launching pad for Martin Garrix’s career. It not only brought him global recognition but also paved the way for a string of chart-topping hits, collaborations with renowned artists, and headlining performances at major festivals worldwide. “Animals” was more than just a hit song; it was a cultural phenomenon that defined an era in electronic dance music. Martin Garrix’s breakthrough with this track showcased the power of a well-crafted melody and infectious drop, proving that even a young, relatively unknown producer could make a significant impact on the global stage. Martijn populated the Big Room genre, taking it to a whole new level. This success led to waves of newcomers trying to emulate that sound and follow in his footsteps for the next three to four years. As of today, the track has over 1.6 Billion views on YouTube alone, with nearly 600 million streams on Spotify alone.
In the end, whether you can’t stand “Animals” or absolutely love it, you can’t deny the monumental impact it had on electronic dance music. This track, born out of Martin Garrix’s creative genius and supported by the industry’s finest, marked a defining moment in the genre’s history. “Animals” may have divided opinions, but its legacy as a cultural touchstone in EDM remains undeniable.
Image Credit: Louis van Baar