GQ Japan, 30 August 2019
Dutch DJ Martin Garrix came to Japan in July to perform at Fuji Rock Festival ’19. Two days after the festival, I had the chance to spoke with him in Tokyo.
I = interviewer, M = Martin Garrix.
I: At the Fuji Rock Festival two days ago (July 27th), the main stage was fully packed despite the heavy rain and the audience was dancing.
M: I also enjoyed it so much. After all, I was a little bit anxious because of the downpour, but the audience’s energy was impeccable. I also love to play in a festival that mixed artists from various genres, so this time I thought again that diversity is wonderful. It was also an opportunity to come across new music.
I: Your live performances shows large-scale productions using video. What is the concept of this world tour titled “ANIMA” (Latin word for “life” or “soul”) that will be done for 34 performances from July to August?
M: The theme is artificial intelligence, which I’m very interested in. The setting is the show starts inside the computer server, the robot who has self-awareness wakes up, starts singing, and steps into the real world. That is the scenario.
I: Of course, there’s some of the festival’s audiences that never go to clubs. Is there a mission to show the appeal of dance culture to such people?
M: No. I just want to convey the charm of Martin Garrix’s world. I think it’s hard to put me into specific genre. Rather, I want to jump across genre boundaries. For example, I make songs that are close to pop music, and I also create aggressive club songs for making people dance. I just think about what kind of music I want to make at that time. In the future, I also would like to challenge myself doing movie soundtrack.
I: How are your feeling when there’s a lot of people dancing willingly at the festivals, etc (when you performed)?
M: Actually, it hasn’t sink in at all that I’m doing it. I’m happy when I’m on the stage, adrenaline rushing in. I’m even happier when I see people also have the same excitement as me. Most of the music I play (at the concert) are the music that I made myself in the studio. Doing my work, finished it, then the moment when I finally show it to public and getting a reaction are experiences that cannot be replaced.
I: Now dance culture has gained status in cities all over the world and boasts great influence. What do you think is necessary for further development in the future?
M: Maybe by going out outside the scene. I think if you are only confined inside the dance culture, there are many things you cannot see. In the first place, music has the power to bring many people together. That’s why it’s wonderful, and when you come to a festival like Fuji Rock, you can see people from different origins and tastes enjoying music together and can witness the unity. And I can realize that I have the power to give people joy. I would like to also make positive footprints through music while affirming my role like that in the future.
I: At the end of July, voting for the 2019 DJ MAG’s Top DJ ranking has started. There is plenty of chance that you will get fourth consecutive win.
M: I can’t say anything yet about that (smile). To be honest, I’m not very interested in awards or rankings. Every artist has unique charm. Isn’t it impossible to make a comparison of superiority between an apple and a pear? Also, there are many great artists who are my role models such as Tiesto, and even in my dream I never think I’m better than them as a DJ. My career has gone through dramatic development that all of the crazy things that have happened to me so far feels unreal.
I: Lastly, your outfits today is casual. Please tell us about your pickiness in regards to fashion.
M: I wonder if I often wear clothes in dark colors. I don’t think about things that are too difficult. When I first started my activities, I had no sense of fashion. Even now, I only buy and wear clothes that I thought were cool. But I’d like to think that it showcased my personality somewhere.
Original interview in GQ Japan. Translation to English by @GarrixInterview.