Anatomy of a Hit: Martin Garrix – Animals

Anatomy of a Hit is a new feature on This Must Be Pop, where my task is to analyse the highest new entry to the UK singles chart top 10 each week. This week another dance hit outsells the Q4 blockbusters…

#1 – Martin Garrix – Animals

The days of cheesy Europop hits like DJ Otzi and Las Ketchup crossing over from the continent may seem very distant now, but record labels still look to the European charts to decide which tracks to licence and promote in the UK. Of all the popular music genres, dance music hits spread between countries the most often, and the public’s taste in dance music seems to be more consistent internationally than other genres. I think the fact that there’s little focus on the lyrics is the main reason for this, and a completely instrumental single like Animals by underage DJ Martin Garrix is a great example. If it works in a few different European countries, it’s almost guaranteed to work in any other. It took nearly five months for Animals to appear on UK iTunes after its initial release on Beatport and other European iTunes stores, so by that time demand was at fever pitch, and the no.1 felt inevitable.


Like last week’s chart-topper Look Right Through, Animals went straight to no.1 on iTunes as soon as it was released. It slipped to no.2 later in the week, but it’s interesting to see a dance track performing more like a boyband single, with a peak on the first day as enthusiastic fans can finally redeem their pre-orders. I think this shows the impact the Internet has had on dance music. More than ever, there is a culture of dance music fans who don’t actually go to clubs. Because of their international appeal, commercial dance tracks rack up huge viewing figures on YouTube and spread among online communities much faster than they could ever spread through word of mouth on the club scene.

Come back next Monday to read my thoughts on the highest new entry in the top 10. Will it be Lily Allen, Gary Barlow, JLS or something else entirely? Tweet me your predictions now!


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