I don’t know why it still surprises me whenever Martin Garrix reminds the world that he’s a living, breathing caricature of EDM excess. Perhaps I held out too much hope that following the mixed reception of “Animals,” the young Dutchman’s musical identity crisis would result in a more sincere approach to his craft.
However, while his recent split with Spinnin’ Records suggested that he might finally be ready for such a leap, his latest sponsorship deal finds him just as gimmicky as ever.
The most recent upload to Garrix’s YouTube channel is a video which depicts him cliff diving while wearing a TAG Heuer wrist watch, then cuts to him performing at a music festival against the backdrop of a frenetic firework display. The latter portion is set to an ID which Garrix premiered at Sziget Festival in Budapest a couple weeks ago, and flashes the hashtag “#DontCrackUnderPressure” – a phrase which TAG Heuer adopted as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign over a year ago.
Congratulations, Martin, you managed to stick it to the man in the absolute lamest way imaginable. Don’t get me wrong, this use of #DontCrackUnderPressure is the kind of copywriting genius that would get a Mad Men character all hot and bothered (well, after you took a few hours to explain to them what a hashtag was), but what does it say about Garrix?
As far as he’s concerned, it’s the second song he’s released for the sake of sponsorship in roughly half a year (the first being his and Tiësto’s “The Only Way is Up” for a 7Up campaign) and makes the kind of jab at Spinnin’ that could only serve to burn valuable bridges in the industry. I suppose we live in an era during which sacrificing your street cred and your business relationships is worth a little more money to an artist whose net worth is already estimated at $14 million.
Maybe the next time Martin Garrix shoots himself in the foot, he can repurpose “Don’t Look Down” as an explanation of why he refuses to assess the damage. If he does, we’ll be the first to let you know.