Marian Haragoș also known as Maarten Sikke (English pronunciation: [ˈmartɪ(n) ˈsaɪc]) (born 4 April 1990) is a Romanian producer of electronic music and DJ from West Romania. He is most known for collaborations he had with many international DJ’s through his radio show Trance Update that was produced between 2009-2014. It was broadcast to nearly 8 million listeners in 6 countries on over 7 FM radio stations and over 20 online webcasting stations. According to Djs And Festivals, “the radio show propelled him to a new high level of creation and helped cultivate an interest in electronic music.”
Maarten Sikke has been ranked number 80 DJ by TheDJList.com in the category of Progressive Trance and also in same time he was ranked number one DJ in Romania for two years in a row in 2010 and 2011 by the same ranking agency. In September 2013, he released Lost Into The Deep EP (Drum and Bass), which appeared in 3 Various Artists compilation albums and sold over 20000 copies.
Maarten Sikke was born in Oradea, on 4 April 1990, but grew up in Vadu Crișului. Maarten started his first steps in music through the Romanian underground Hip Hop community at age of 14 and later on 3 years, at the age of 17 he decided to change his style for Trance Music, as he got inspired by the Dutch music producer Paul van Dyk. Maarten graduated as a Computer Operator from the Collage of Vadu Crișului in 2008, he post-graduate studied for 2 years at same collage the Assistant Manager field, graduating in 2010. In 2011, he was chosen to be part of a small group through an european project financed by the E.U. to study International Tourism Management, and in 2012 he graduated and got patented by the Ministry of Tourism in Romania to practice in this field. In 2013 he got a Certificate of Attendance in Athens from the Greek officials in Tourism, as he attended a transnational study. As his musical career began to take off, he putted his degrees on standby, and never actually practiced in any of the fields he studied.
On 13 May 2011, just short time after he got confirmed to be ranked as number 80 World Wide in Progressive Trance category, he received a dramatic news that will change his future for years will follow, by finding out on a routine eye checkup, that in just a few months he may go totally blind, as he got diagnosed with a chronic condition (last stage) of Keratoconus. In the following years, he had to drop off from being on stage and he had to stop from making new music productions, as he had to pass through over 14 surgeries which included, two cross-linking surgeries, eleven ICRS surgeries and one corneal transplant, all of these taking nearly 4 years of his life until January 2015, when he had the last surgery. Now his eyesight vision is fully recovered.
- On 21 March 2012, he got an offer to start the production of a movie about his musician life, but he declined the offer due to his health issues.
- On 28 December 2014, Maarten released the last episode of the 2 hours radio show called Trance Update with the number 177.
- On 20 March 2015, he relocate himself from Romania for the following years to come in United Kingdom.
- On 5 July 2018, he suffered a motorcycle accident in London (UK) due to which he almost lost his life, suffering many broken bones and complications, struggling in the Royal London Hospital for his life for over 50 days, recovering his health in a total time of 9 months.
2004–2008: Early career
In 2004, Maarten started his path into music, by getting inside of various groups in the Romanian Underground Hip-Hop music, and helping various artists to get into the FM radio stations, as he started his career as a Music Censorship in various FM radio stations. He played an essential part in the industry, as for many artists Maarten was the link between them and the radio audience, helping them to reach the public over the FM frequencies.
In April 2006, he start to make the first steps inside the electronic music, by getting into the genre of Electro music, being encouraged and sustained by many Romanian artists in the industry, as they will later say, “you could always see inside him something special, as always when he was DJing, you could feel the vibe he wanted you to experience”. Same year he started having bookings for private party’s and clubs all across Romania.
In July 2008, he changed his style to Trance music, for many years that will follow.
Between July and December 2008, Maarten has start putting the base of the project called “Trance Update – Radio Show”, thinking every step of what kind of radio show format he should host, which music styles should be involved, audience he wants to chase, what artists should be invited, what length the show should have, and countries where the show should be broadcasted.
In early January 2009, he released the first episode of the radio show called “Trance Update”, making the first serious step inside of the electronic music scene as a professional musician. Through the radio show that Maarten has hosting it, he accomplished the most of the success as he managed to get most of the guest mixes, exclusively from DJ’s ranked in top 100 world wide by DJ Mag, and fought to have the largest and most exclusively guest mixes in Romania, all along he had various guest mixes from Ferry Corsten, Jonas Stenberg, Snatt&Vix, Marcus Schossow, DJ Nifra, Matt Darey, Marcel Woods, Estiva, Tocadisco, Bart Claessen, Andy Moor, Ronski Speed, Moonbeam, Tomcraft, Fei Fei, Kenneth Thomas, Marco V, Andy Duguid, Arnej and many more.
Because of the hard work that he putted trough his projects the years before, he accomplished to be ranked in top 10 the best Romanian DJ’s in 2009. In 2010, he opened the year ranked in the 1st place in Romania. In 2011, not only that he managed to stay ranked on the same position in Romania, but also he got ranked in the first 80 best DJ’s around the world, in the category of Progressive Trance.
All of these, brought him a lot of attention at that time, as he was considered to be a borning star, who raised very fast from nowhere and surprising many specialists from the music industry, as he managed to achieve all of this without any management agency’s in the back, all by himself, and was considered as “a huge talent with unseen and unmeasured potential”.
In the years will follow until present, he released 22 remixes, over 14 unassigned singles, 1 unassigned album and 1 signed EP at Basswave Records (UK).
He preferred to release almost all of his tracks for free, as through one of the interviews, he declared that, “My feelings are not a secret. I got born with a mission in life. And that’s to spread my feelings through sounds, and to comfort the souls of those who listen to them.”
Just days prior of when he got the news about his health condition, Maarten had the last appearance on a stage in 2011 at Festival Șuncuiuș, canceling all the other events he had through that year.
Being on the stage during the live act of this music festival, he could be clearly seen that he was struggling already with his condition, as he barely could see anymore, and having an very close eye contact with everything surrounded him
As in mid May 2011 when he got the dramatic news about his health condition, he officially announced that in summer of 2012 he will be present on a last gig until his health will be fully recovered, which was at the biggest music multimedia show festival in Romania at that time, named Fusion Festival which was located in Gura Râului, Sibiu, where he was one of the headlines, next to Cosmic Gate, Șuie Paparude, Snatt&Vix, Horace Dan D and a few others.
2012 Onwards: Withdrawal and Life
As his health condition on the both eyes start to be more severe, the only way for Maarten to fully recover was a forced withdrawal, which came at the top of his career. In one of his blog posts he had, he was speaking about the years were following and how he still struggling with depression, having one suicidal attempt in 2011 and being saved at that time, by one of his ex-partners on the last moment.
He tries to raise awareness against depression, explaining through what he had to pass the years followed, as this it may have a dramatically impact effect on the life of a person, but also to the closed ones who are next to them.
After 2012, Maarten never stopped producing new music, changing his style from Trance and embracing by producing tracks from other genres of music like, Chillout, Deep House, Techno, Progressive and Drum and Bass.
Now, he continue working on his own projects…