Gareth Emery

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Gareth Emery
Gareth Emery.jpg
Gareth Emery in 2008
Background information
Birth name Gareth Thomas Rhys Emery
Also known as GTR, Rue De Gar, Runaway
Born (1980-07-18) 18 July 1980 (age 37)
Southampton, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Genres Trance, Progressive House
Years active 2002–present

Gareth Emery (born 18 July 1980)[1] is a British electronic dance music producer and DJ. He is best known for his three artist albums: Northern Lights,[2] Drive[3] and 100 Reasons To Live[4] and winning the prestigious A State Of Trance Tune Of The Year award three times.[5][6][7]


Gareth Emery was born in Southampton, England, United Kingdom [8] His sister is the singer-songwriter Roxanne Emery.[9][10] He lived in Southampton until the age of 26[11] before relocating to Manchester, England, U.K. where he had a studio and ran a night club and record label, both called Garuda.[12] He has a degree in Politics from University of Warwick[11] and is trained in classical piano.[13] Prior to becoming involved in electronic music he played guitar in a punk band in the mid-nineties.[14] He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Kat and two daughters.[15]

Emery's production style is influenced by various genres of electronic dance music.[16]


Emery’s debut vinyl release was a white label remix of The Shrink's "Nervous Breakdown" which was released in early 2002.[17] However, the track that launched his career is generally considered to be his third release: GTR – "Mistral".[18] It was created entirely on a computer over the course of a two-week holiday in Provence.[19] Paul van Dyk debuted the track live on the radio during the Nature One Festival in 2002 and it subsequently received support from some of the world's leading DJs, including Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten.[20][21][22]

Emery was ranked at #34 in DJ Mag's Top 100 poll in 2006,[23] #31 in 2007,[24] #23 in 2008,[25] #9 in 2009[26] and #7 in 2010.[27] In 2011, Emery dropped to #13.[28] He was ranked at #14 in 2012,[29] and dropped further to #51 in 2013.[23] in 2014 he dropped to #74,[30] and in 2015 he is out of the DJ Mag Poll.[31]

Albums and remixes[edit]

Emery has released five compilation mix CDs during his career: The Five AM Sessions (2005),[32] The Podcast Annual (2007),[33] The Sound Of Garuda (2009)[34] and The Sound Of Garuda: Chapter 2 (2011)[35] and Electric For Life in 2015.[36] His debut artist album Northern Lights was released in 2010, and achieved considerable success, climbing to no.1 in the US iTunes dance chart.[37] The album also contained one of his most successful tracks "Sanctuary", which was voted the 2nd biggest track of 2010 by listeners of Armin van Buuren's A State Of Trance radio show,[38] and then became the most played record of 2011 on US' Sirius XM Radio dance station, BPM.[39] In 2011, a remixed edition of the album was released entitled Northern Lights Re-Lit with remixes by acts including Hardwell, Arty, Giuseppe Ottaviani, John O’Callaghan, Lange and Ashley Wallbridge.[40] On 1 April 2014, Gareth Emery released his second studio album Drive, which was followed by Drive Refueled remix album a year later.[41]

On 1 April 2016, Gareth Emery released his third studio album 100 Reasons to Live, featuring collaborations with Alex & Sierra, Janet Devlin, Lawson and Christina Novelli.

In 2016 Emery has also released a single "CVNT5" together with Ashley Wallbridge. The "CVNT5" music video is a satirical view on careers of popular electronic dance music acts.[42][43]

On January 30, 2017, Emery released a single titled "Saving Light" with artist Standerwick and HALIENE on the Canadian label Monstercat. The song and its music video were a collaboration with the charity Ditch The Label in an effort to prevent bullying among children and young adults. The music video for Saving Light has received over 2 million views on YouTube as of December 2017.[44] On December 21, Armin van Buuren announced that Saving Light won the A State of Trance "Tune of the Year" for 2017.[45]

DJ Mag controversy[edit]

Between 2006 and 2013 Gareth Emery ranked in DJ Mag's Top 50 DJs in the world, peaking at No. 7 in 2010.[27] However, in 2013, he publicly denounced the poll due to the huge marketing budgets involved, asking fans no longer to vote for him, and donated his marketing budget to charity instead:

"So here's an alternative Top 100 message: Don't vote for me. Seriously, when you buy a ticket to see me in a club, I consider that a vote. When you blast my music in your car, or share it on Facebook, or tell your friends about it, that's a vote too. Those votes, and the amazing support you've shown over the last year, is what matters to me."[46]

This move was covered by many dance music blogs.[47][48][49]


From 2003 to 2008, Gareth co-owned now defunct label Five AM under which some of his biggest hits from the time were released (Mistral / This Is That / More Than Anything).[50] In late 2008 he left Five AM and started a new label called Garuda.[51][52] The first Garuda release was his own record Exposure / Metropolis released in May 2009.[17]

Since then all Emery's records have been released through Garuda.[41] It is named after the bird-like creature from Hindu and Buddhist mythology, which Emery became aware of whilst touring Indonesia.[53] The label has released records by artists including Ben Gold, Tritonal, M.I.K.E. and Blake Jarrell.[54] The label also runs occasional club nights.[55][56][57] Guests have included Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz, Above & Beyond (band) and Sander Van Doorn.[12][58][59][60]

Podcast & SiriusXM show[edit]

Since March 2006, Emery has produced the 'Gareth Emery Podcast'.[61] It has been nominated for "Best Podcast" at the Miami Winter Music Conference's International Dance Music Awards three times.[62] In July 2012, Emery launched a syndicated radio show in North America called 'Gareth Emery Presents' on the SiriusXM channel Electric Area (Channel 52). The show is broadcast at 5pm ET Fridays with a repeat at 8pm ET Tuesdays.[63]

In November 2014, Emery announced that Episode 310 would be the final episode of the "Gareth Emery Podcast". He explained on social media:

"After doing the show more or less every week since 2006 I guess I'd become a bit too comfortable, and I sometimes felt like I was producing the show on auto pilot for the last year or so. Saying the same old **** and playing the same sounding music, and probably playing it a bit too safe, choosing the obvious bangers and hot promos rather than pushing myself to dig out those hidden gems like I always used to.[64]"

Emery then followed up with an announcement of a new podcast from his new SiriusXM show called "ELECTRIC FOR LIFE"[65] In May 2015, Gareth Emery partnered with Electronic Music lifestyle brand Electric Family to produce a collaboration bracelet for which the proceeds are donated to his charitable foundation, Electric For Life.

Electric For Life[edit]

Electric For Life is Gareth's new brand which replaced the eight year old Gareth Emery Podcast in November 2014. It is a radio show, live show, and charitable foundation.

All proceeds from the Electric For a Life Foundation shows are donated to help vulnerable groups in society. The first show was a fundraiser for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank which raised $15,000.[66][67]

On 28 November 2015, Gareth hosted Electric For Life Day: a 24-hour live broadcast involving Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, W&W, Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Aly & Fila, Dash Berlin, Cosmic Gate and Seven Lions. During the show he hosted an Electric For Life stage at the Stereosonic festival in Sydney which featured performances of Andrew Rayel, MaRLo, Emma Hewitt, and Mark Sherry alongside Emery himself.[68][69]


Gareth Emery's production aliases include GTR, Cupa, Digital Blues and a house project under the name Runaway.[70] His production history includes collaborations with artists like Lange, Solid Globe, Jon O’Bir and CERN with releases on a multitude of labels.[17]




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External links[edit]