Review: Martin Garrix ft. Khalid – ‘Ocean’

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The stripped-back sound is a big risk for Garrix, but when combined with Khalid's soulful vocals, it pays off - 'Ocean' has all the potential to be a chilled summer hit.

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Martin Garrix is no stranger to success. Having been ranked no. 1 in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list for the past two years and producing hit after hit with a whole host of famous faces including Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and David Guetta, he’s most definitely one of the hottest names in the Dance world right now. Whilst Garrix’s latest venture is another collaboration (this time featuring American hip-hop singer Khalid), the Dutch DJ has diverted stridently from familiar territory here, as ‘Ocean’ is just as much of a pop-ballad as it is an EDM banger.

At first glance, the track tends towards the side of overused cliche. As the chorus catchily rings, “you could put an ocean between our love… it won’t keep us apart”, the lyrics of ‘Ocean’ feel a little too similar to many love songs that have come before it. Yet despite the tired lyrical metaphors, the smooth and stirring vocals from Khalid take the track firmly out of generic territory. He is no stranger to the EDM world and his work here looks set to repeat his success as the featured artist on ‘Silence’ by Marshmello, one of the biggest dance hits of last summer.

The real stand-out element of the track, however, is Garrix’s production. Although the DJ is best known for his heavy electronic drops, ‘Ocean’ couldn’t be further away from the likes of ‘Animals’ that shot Garrix to immediate worldwide fame. Instead, he favours subtlety in the post-chorus drop and, despite being risky, the understated approach seriously works, showing that Garrix not only knows how to produce a hit, but can do so in such a multitude of ways. It appears that no matter who these artists work with, success is guaranteed.

‘Ocean’ is available now via STMPD RCRDS. 

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