AREA21 is the alter ego of Martin Garrix and Maejor, a joint project of two aliens travelers (known as M&M). Their long awaited first album, Greatest Hits Vol 1 was released on 12 November 2021. This time we interviewed Martin Garrix and Maejor, from the background of AREA21 formation, the meaning of the unit name and the reason they choose the concept of aliens. In addition, they also talked a lot about the differences between individual activities and this unit project, and their future plans.
AREA21 WAS BORN NATURALLY WITH FOCUS ON FUN
— Are both of you in Amsterdam?
Maejor: Yes, we’re in the Netherlands. We’re making music and rehearsing for live performance together.
— I heard the story of how the two of you first met (meeting at a party in LA and shortly thereafter encounter each other again on an airplane). But how you came to make music together and form a unit called AREA21? Can you tell me how it happened?
Martin: From my point of view, I think to be able to play completely different music is very exciting. Up until that time, I focused only on electronic music and appearing in big festivals, the so-called EDM, I was thinking only about that kind of music.
However since I started working with the Maejor, I feel like I’ve opened my eyes in many ways. Experimenting with new sounds or play a guitar that you haven’t touched for a long time. The works that we started together was so much fun and it’s still the same. I think that’s the core of this project. To have fun.
Maejor: I totally agree with you. To enjoy the fun. I think that’s the driving force behind this project. We didn’t start by saying, “Let’s do a crazy project with aliens.” It was born naturally from the two of us. I open my heart and pursue the possibilities. After removing the restrictions, trying new ideas, and having fun, I felt like I was here with something really cool and I think “Isn’t this amazing?”.
When he released “Animals” in 2013, Martin Garrix became world-famous in the EDM and house music scenes, and he’s been releasing great music ever since. From 2016 to 2018, he held the No. 1 slot in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs for three consecutive years, and has established himself as a leading figure — DJ, beat maker, and producer — on the international stage.
Martin Garrix came to Japan to perform at the Fuji Rock Festival, 2019. He tells us what he felt during his performance in torrential rain at the festival, about his thoughts on EDM’s momentum, and he talks about The Martin Garrix Experience, his compilation album which covers from his 2016 music to his latest tune, and also about his stance on EDM’s future.
His schedule was so tight that we had to get right to the point. But he still took time to share footage of himself in the studio, took us through his Spotify playlist, and even started to dance: we could feel his infectious energy in the interview.
— What did you feel on the stage of the Fuji Rock Festival?
The mountains in Japan have a really distinctive atmosphere, and every little while the weather kept changing. I heard about that from artists who had performed at Fuji Rock before, but when I experienced it myself, it was much more exciting than I’d expected. The rain was really heavy during my performance, so I know it was tough on the audience and I don’t want to take that for granted; but I think it was an amazing performance because of the mixture of the dramatic natural phenomena and the technology like the video and laser show. It all came together in the moment.
Martin Garrix give insight on how he make his latest song Higher Ground. The song started as a chord progression that evolve into a melody. Then Martin think about the feeling that was expressed by the melody and start brainstorming about the lyrics. You can listen to the interview here.
Martin Garrix praise Dubvision which he said are genius producers and the exclusive Dubvision remix of “Higher Ground” is featured in Martin Garrix’s Summer Session Playlist on Amazon Music! You can listen to the playlist here if you have Amazon Music account.
Martin also give recommendation of several tracks for different mood. Listen here: