Martin Garrix recently sat down in his studio to speak with Fuse.tv about a variety of topics, including his collaboration with Dua Lipa on “Scared To Be Lonely,” and collaboration in general, as well as his Seven EP and finally returning to Coachella.
First, Garrix reveals that Dua Lipa was actually on his bucket list of vocalists to collaborate with, and it was a dream come true to work with her on “Scared To Be Lonely.” Because they were working remotely, the entire collaboration was finished without them ever meeting – their first time seeing each other in person was on the set of the music video!
Garrix also talked about the reasoning behind releasing his Seven EP during Amsterdam Dance Event, as a way to give back to fans, and also because nearly the entire dance music industry was present in the city while tracks were being released.
Founding his own record label, STMPD Records, has allowed him to work in the studio without any restrictions and little oversight, which he says has improved his creativity. He also says he has a lot of new music coming out this year, some of which we might be lucky enough to hear at Coachella in April. Garrix hasn’t played Coachella since 2014, so he’s obviously happy about coming back.
Chuckie has been busy preparing his fans for the relaunch of his new label Dirty Dutch Music, along with a release of a fresh new track called “Vamonos.” With a label that’s over 10 years old, Chuckie continues to release crowd-pleasing bangers and manages to keep his music different and fresh. I caught up with the Dirty Dutch producer to learn about his latest track, his label relaunch, how he stays innovative, and his thoughts on EDM’s explosion onto K-pop territory (in case you hadn’t heard it yet, he remixed a K-pop track called “Sugar Free” by girl band T-ara).
You’ve got a brand new track out called “Vamonos,” in which you collaborated with Kronic and Krunk!, who are known for their Melbourne Bounce style of music. What drew you to collaborate with these guys, and how did you all come up with the idea for Vamonos?
I ran into Kronic and Krunk! while on tour in Australia. Melbourne Bounce is big there, and I definitely wanted to play around with that sound. I like to collaborate with new artists, and after Kronic and Krunk! played me a couple of tracks, we decided to do a track together. We did “Vamonos,” where we blended Melbourne Bounce with the Dirty Dutch sound. We actually made the track pretty quickly because the flow between us was great.
“Vamonos” is the latest release off your record label, Dirty Dutch Music. At the Amsterdam Dance Event conference, you unveiled the relaunch of your label. How will it be different than before?
Through my social media channels, I want people to know that I want to work with a lot of new names, and also musically, that I want to take the label in a lot more directions. Kronic and Krunk! is a great example, working with new artists and having that Melbourne Bounce sound, and my next track will have more old-school breakdance/electro influence. I use Dirty Dutch as a platform for new artists. There’s a new generation of DJs and producers, and I definitely want to collaborate with them.
Who are some new artists under your label that we should be on the lookout for?
I definitely like the combination of Melbourne Bounce and Dirty Dutch, so I definitely want to work with more of those guys such as Joe Fletcher. There’s also a guy called Revolvr from Las Vegas and another guy named Diamond Pistols from Seattle. I’m setting up collaborations with these guys, so it’ll definitely be something to be on the lookout for.
I’ve read that a fan sourced streaming platform will be part of your label’s relaunch. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
I think you get more love when you have more fan engagement around the music you put on your label. I’m going to have more influence from fans of Dirty Dutch, lots of people who have been following the music for years. On a weekly basis, I’ll put out a stream of new tracks I find, and the fans can choose what they like.
In addition to your latest single, you recently did a remix of a Korean pop girl band’s song – “Sugar Free” by T-ara. How did you get into remixing their track? (Reading some Korean pop culture blogs, it seems like your remix is definitely getting a lot of positive reception!)
My name has been buzzing in Korea for a while, and my last show there was super awesome. One of the label managers came to my show and when they heard my style, they wanted to work with me. They told me there was an album coming out that would feature remixes of a track, and they wanted to include a remix from me. It’s Dutch style that blended well with K-pop. The label managers were really happy with it, and they said, “We should talk about doing original records for all of these K-pop artists,” especially since EDM is totally blowing up in Korea. For me, it’s always exciting to work with other artists and the whole K-pop scene is new for me and I want to give it my own style. So I’m now writing some tracks for some K-pop artists. And yea, after that remix came out, in that week only, I got so many Korean tweets, it was crazy!
As you mentioned, EDM is getting really big in Korea. For example, Skrillex worked with Korean pop icons for a few tracks for his Recess album, and just a few weeks ago, Diplo was seen on stage with K-pop singer/rapper CL. What about the K-pop culture do you think is attracting these huge EDM artists?
I think it’s a territory that we’ve never been in [musically], but we’ve always played there. And electronic music embraces so many styles that it can grow into anything, so why not into K-pop? Hopefully by the next show I play in Korea, I’ll have done a lot of Korean pop tracks that will be recognized by the local crowd, and hopefully they’ll embrace it, and eventually my fan base grows in their territory.
Speaking of crossing over, your roots are in hip hop, and before you got into EDM, you were spinning hip hop tracks. How did your interest for hip hop lead you into the EDM world?
I bought all types of music including electronic music because I was a fan of the music, but when I DJed at big parties, I wanted to be a hip-hop DJ. At a certain point, I got bored and the scene was all guys, and I wanted more women on the dance floor. So I started to do more open format sets and blended more styles of music. And electronic music became more interesting to me because it started to embrace all types of genres, and I felt more comfortable with the style. And then I thought, “Let me try to make some of stuff as well and make it fit into my set.” And that’s how I got into producing my own music, which is very hip-hop influenced, and I called it Dirty Dutch.
If you could collaborate with any hip hop artist who would it be?
I would say Jay-Z or Kanye. But if I were in a studio with them, I wouldn’t make an EDM track, but more like a crossover that they’d still feel comfortable with. Kind of taking it back to the roots!
Dirty Dutch celebrated its 10 years last year, which is pretty amazing! And early next year, you’ll be bringing an event called Dirty Dutch Metamorphism. Could you tell us more about that?
After 10 years of hosting Dirty Dutch parties all over the world from Vegas to Miami to New York, I wanted to turn it up a notch as far as entertainment. We always put it on ourselves to do crazy productions to create that wow factor. To present the new face of Dirty Dutch and the next 10 years coming, we are holding this Metamorphism event. As far as visuals and entertainment, it’s going to be the next-level thing with a lot of high-tech stuff on stage. We’re working on plans and drawings for the stage, which takes a lot of time since I want people to be amazed when they see it.
You’ve been quoted as saying “Dirty Dutch made its name because of the eclectic style. That has to come to the fore again, but in an innovative way.” How do you stay innovative, while still keeping true to your brand’s original vision?
The vision of my label was always eclectic and open-format. So the whole idea is to find interesting combinations of music. Like right now, I’m working on a new style that I call traphall that’s basically the combination of dancehall with trap music. And also Melbourne Bounce with Dirty Dutch. I think a lot of people will jump on that sound because they complement each other so well.
Considering how well-received their recent partnership with deadmau5 went, the ride-sharing service Uber has once again partnered with another ubiquitous EDM artist. This time around, Martin Garrix took some fans around Amsterdam during the famous Amsterdam Dance Event. The 18 year old star was behind the decks while users of the service were driven around town in an upgraded party bus. Called On-Demand Club, it’s unclear whether Uber will offer the service again, with or without Martin Garrix. But in case you missed it, you can watch the video below.