I say "quietly" because for something as interesting as Martin Garrix aligning himself with the Universal Music Group to have apparently happened four weeks ago and not so much as a peep was made officially, yeah, I'm confused. Given the commotion that occurred when "Animals" dropped (which we definitely had a part in), and the moves he's made on Beatport, you'd expect the cheers from his fans would have been ringing worldwide, right?
This all started when I noticed that Republic Records, which is a division of UMG that distributes music from acts like James Blake, posted Martin's humongous single "Animals" on their SoundCloud page earlier today. With the way SoundCloud works, posting things that you don't have business posting usually gets handled one way: immediate removal. So I did a bit of digging, and saw that not only is Martin Garrix listed as an "artist" on the Republic Records website, but they made a separate post on September 18 about the viral nature of his single "Animals." This seems to be pre-#WhenTheBeatDrops, but they made sure to post videos that are trying to make a meme about "Animals" months after its release... although in doing a search on iTunes, it looks like "Animals" was re-released on September 17 via Spinnin', although its now under an exclusive license from Silent/Republic Records. The only missing piece? An official announcement. All I could find was this September 10 post from radio station K94.5 FM in Shereveport, LA, who did a short piece on Martin Garrix, explaining that "[h]e was signed to Universal Republic Records in the US roughly four weeks ago."
So there you have it; the evidence in this curious case of the relatively-silent signing of Garrix to Universal. In an age where EDM is truly taking over, signing like these legitimize dance music to the masses, one huge single at a time. Why keep this silent? I hate to play conspiracy theorist, but with the post on Republic, as well as the recent attempts at making #WhenTheBeatDrops the next "Harlem Shake," it looks like they might be trying to maximize on the potential viral explosion of "Animals" turning into a lucrative meme for all parties involved. As with anything, time will tell, but this is all pretty interesting. Congrats to Garrix, an artist that's continuing to surprise us in 2013.