Martin Garrix, Steve Angello & Bieber's Manager Talk Creative Process, Partying & More
To build the hype for the release of their Top 30 EDM Power Players, Billboard brought together the young megastar Martin Garrix, Steve Angello of the now-defunct Swedish House Mafia and the man responsible for Justin Bieber's success Scooter Braun to discuss everything from recording deals to partying.
Steve Angello talks about leaving the Swedish House Mafia and branching out on his own.
"We had amazing success with Swedish House Mafia, but our “albums” were really compilations that we branded as albums for the tours. So I wanted to challenge myself."
He explains the desire for greater creative influence on his musical output now as a solo artist.
“I need creative control, and yes, we [Swedish House Mafia] have our differences. When I signed to Columbia, it was great, but as I got closer to the completion of the album I felt I needed more control."
Scooter Braun, who now manages both Steve Angello and Martin Garrix, elaborated on Angello's response to his creative dilemma and bold move in the face of the record label.
"Steve didn’t go in there and say, “Let me out of my deal.” He said, “How much money have you spent on me? Here’s a check -- we’re even.” I’ve never even heard of anyone doing that."
The highly successful talent agent talked about the open-mindedness of younger generations and how that has contributed to the success of his artists.
"The people who came out onstage at Ultra [including Bieber, Grande and Usher] this year, five years ago fans might have freaked. Now people are open to the fact that genres are crossing over.
There was a nice moment backstage at Ultra: Martin pulled Justin aside and said, “Listen, man, I don’t know what’s going to happen out there on that stage, but I’m really glad you’re doing this.”
Garrix talks about how he went from being a member of the crowd at Ultra to being a performer there just a few years later, and gaining the confidence to branch out in his DJ sets from mixing in lots of other producers' music to playing sets that focus mostly on his own creations.
When asked about how he takes advantage of the partying benefits that go alongside being a world famous DJ, the young star revealed a rather mature and responsible outlook.
“Of course I party, but I pick when. If I have a weekend full of important shows, I’m not going to do it.”
Hearing this, the older Angello responded to Garrix:
"When I was your age I was managed by a drug dealer. You’re managed by Scooter. My tour manager was selling blow off the street corner. We’ve come far! We’re in good hands now."