Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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Q+A: DJ Martin Garrix, newly 18, aims to bring ‘loads of energy’ to Hakkasan


Brenton Ho /

DJ Martin Garrix at Hakkasan in MGM Grand Las Vegas.

DJ Martin Garrix

DJ Martin Garrix. Launch slideshow »

Martin Garrix Animals

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Martin Garrix performs at Coachella Day 1 2014.

DJ Martin Garrix was 8 years old when he saw fellow DJ and Dutchman Tiesto perform at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, the first DJ to grace the lineup of the Opening Ceremonies in the sports games’ history.

Fast forward 10 years later, and Martijn Garritsen, at the ripe old age of 18, is part of the five-day 2014 Memorial Day Weekend lineup at Hakkasan in MGM Grand — due in large part to his global mega-hit “Animals,” which as of this posting was at nearing 247 million(!) views — alongside Tiesto, who takes the stage Saturday night with opener 19-year-old Spanish DJ Danny Avila.

Garrix is the headliner Monday night, wrapping 2014 MDW at the mega-club that just celebrated its first anniversary. On Thursday night, it was Afrojack, Hardwell (the reigning No. 1 DJ in the world) with DJ Fergie are tonight, and Calvin Harris (the world’s highest-paid DJ last year), Michael Woods and Burns are Sunday night.

An enthusiastic Garrix, exclamation points and all, answered questions via email ahead of his gig Monday night at Hakkasan.

Happy Belated Birthday, Martin! What was the first thing you did when you turned 18 on May 14? How did you celebrate?

Thanks! I had a great birthday! I had a good sleep, worked on some new tracks and chilled during the day. My parents took me out for dinner at my favorite restaurant, where they have the best steak in the country!!! When I came home, I found out that my close friends organized a surprise party at our home. That was so much fun!!!

You DJs get younger and younger. How did you get started with DJ’ing?

My first inspiration was Tiesto. I saw him playing at the 2004 Olympics. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to become a DJ. I saved up money and bought my first turntables. That’s where it all started.

What was the biggest change in your life after the global success of “Animals”?

It changed almost everything. My tour schedule literally exploded. I meet so many nice people, see some amazing places in the world and get to work with some of the most talented artists on the planet!

It’s hard sometimes — I miss my family and friends when I’m away — but I feel very lucky to be in this position, and I’m very thankful for the support of my team and fans, of course!

What can fans expect from you at Hakkasan over Memorial Day Weekend?

I played there earlier this year, in February. I love Hakkasan! Fans can expect one big party with loads of energy. I will play a lot of my new tracks, as well.

Who are your favorites and inspirations in the DJ world and outside the DJ world?

Tiesto and Hardwell are two of my biggest inspirations. Outside the DJ world, I really look up to artists like Pharrell. He’s just amazing!

If you have time for fun away from the DJ booth, what would you like to do while you’re in Las Vegas?

I’d love to hang out and chill with some friends actually! Maybe see some other DJs play. … Who knows?!

Martin Garrix wraps up 2014 Memorial Day Weekend at Hakkasan in MGM Grand on Monday night.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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