Martin Garrix Is a 18-Year-Old Phenom Rocking the Music World

Martin Garrix Is a 18-Year-Old Phenom Rocking the Music World
Martin Garrix
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

updated 07/17/2014 at 09:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/18/2014 08:30AM

Martin Garrix is not your average 18-year-old.

Just four years after he began posting his amateur tracks online for free, Garrix has produced a worldwide radio hit with his track "Animals" – which was Top-40 radio's first instrumental hit in years – and has become one of the most sought-after deejays and producers in the industry.

"So much has happened in such a short amount of time," Garrix tells PEOPLE.

Indeed, the Dutch teen has covered a whole lot of ground in a few short years: He played for an estimated crowd of 40,000 at Coachella in April, Facetimes with Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun and works with other artists, including Ed Sheeran.



"I didn't even realize how many people were there until I saw the pictures," Garrix says of the Coachella experience. "I was just, like, 'I can't mess up. I cant do something wrong.' But in the end it all went great."

Garrix, whose real name is Martijn Garritsen, grew up playing the Spanish guitar in the Netherlands and was first introduced to electronic music when he was watching überdeejay Tiésto (whom he now counts as a mentor and collaborator) perform at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

"After that, I started saving up money for a couple years so I could buy my own deejay equipment," Garrix says. "It didn't sound good at all at first – but I just kept on doing it."

And he's enjoying every bit of the ride, even though his mom still expects him to clean his room when he's at home.

"I get to travel the world and make people happy with my music," says the teen, who will continue to tour through the summer and just released his EP Gold Skies. "That's the best feeling in the world."

For more on Martin Garrix, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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