Martin Garrix Breaks Down How to Make a Hit Song
Martin Garrix discusses what is important to making a hit song and trying to stay fresh in the bubbling world of EDMThis article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly
Dutch electronic music star and newly-minted label boss Martin Garrix first broke out in 2013 with his club-banging Billboard Hot Dance Song No.1 hit “Animals.” Since, he’s released singles featuring Usher, Tiësto, Dillon Francis, and Afrojack, and has taken over festival mainstages across the globe.
Most recently he shared “In The Name of Love,” featuring Bebe Rexha, off his upcoming debut LP, due for release later this year. The track is already something of a hit, with more than 22 million times on Spotify. So what goes into crafting an earworm? Below, Garrix, who is playing the Billboard Hot 100 Festival at Jones Beach, NY. this weekend, dishes on his creative process and how to make a slam dunk single.
The 20-year-old says he finds muses everywhere. “When I come up with a melody in my head, it could be anywhere,” he says, “in the shower, on the plane, in bed—often when I’m on the go.” His first move? “I’ll record it on my phone with my own voice, humming.” Then, “When I get to the studio, I check which melodies work.”
“Lately, I love creating ideas on my acoustic guitar,” he says of how recent tracks have gotten their start. “I sit in my living room for hours trying different chords.” Once that’s settled he starts dissecting the tune. “I come up with a break, drop, and everything that the song needs to get better,” he explains. “Sometimes it can help to work with a vocalist.”
Speaking of singers, for Garrix’s latest, he tapped newcomer Rexha to man the mic. “She has that rough edge, but somehow also a very sweet voice,” he says of why he wanted to team-up.