This year’s Top 100 DJs is the biggest yet! Our worldwide poll cracked over a million votes for the first time ever, with dance music fans from virtually every country on earth voting for their favourites.
The most votes were from the US, followed by India, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Russia, China, Japan and Guatemala — ably demonstrating what a global poll this is.
Garrix has such a vast social media presence and engagement with his fans that he was odds-on favourite to win in 2016. He may be moving more into the pop world now, but he’s just at home producing more underground styles of electronic dance music — and has set up some aliases in order to do so. He’s mates with people like Seth Troxler and Carl Cox as well as fellow EDM Dutchmen like Tiesto and Hardwell, and hardly anybody has a bad word to say about the super-nice DJ/producer.
Garrix leaps to the summit from last year’s No.3, while last year’s winners, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, slip down to No.2. Hardwell also drops one place, to No.3, while the top ten overall remains largely unchanged — Armin van Buuren (No.4), Tiesto (5) and David Guetta (6) all keep the same positions as 2015. Avicii drops down to No.11, probably as a result of his impending retirement, with Oliver Heldens jumping into the top ten from last year’s No.12 — the Highest House DJ. Skrillex stays at No.9 for the third year in a row, and Afrojack stays in the top ten - just.
In the next ten, last year’s highest new entry KSHMR is up 11 to No.12 and Don Diablo is up 15 places to No.15. Ummet Ozcan is up 17 to No.19, while just outside at No.22 — up 10 places — is DJ Snake. Calvin Harris, despite being still one of the highest earners, falls three places to No.14, while DVBBS, Diplo and Blasterjaxx slide out of the top twenty.
Two of last year’s highest new entries, Kygo and Bassjackers, are up seven and five places respectively, while Alok is up 19 to No.25. Skrillex and Diplo’s Jack U project — also new in the 100 last year — is up five places, and Major Lazer are up ten places too.
The highest new name in this year’s chart are The Chainsmokers, although they are actually a re-entry. After busting in off the back of their ‘#Selfie’ track a couple of years ago, they slid out last year before returning — into the top twenty — this time around, largely thanks to a repositioning of their sound.
The Highest New Entry is actually Marshmello, the masked marauder whose identity was hidden from the public when he first broke out. Fusing future bass and future house with prog and trap, he may not be everybody’s cup of tea but he’s certainly made his mark.
The only other new entry in the top 50 is Florian Picasso, who is actually a relative of famous artist Pablo, although Brazil’s Vintage Culture and Lost Stories from India are just outside. The latter join DJ Chetas, up 26 places to No.33, as representatives from India, one of electronic dance music’s most exciting new frontiers.
Most of the other new entries have youth on their side, indicating that it’s less necessary to earn your stripes for years before breaking into the big-time — sometimes just one big hit will do it. These include Norwegian teenage wunderkind Alan Walker (who was born in Northampton, UK), whose big tropical EDM tune ‘Faded’ shot to No.1 in many countries; Martin Jensen, also from Scandinavia — Denmark, to be exact — who’s another clever teenager with a plan; bass boy Jauz, only just out of college in the US; and Dutchman Sam Feldt and Carl Nunes from Guatemala, both in their early 20s. Another Dutchman, Jay Hardway — signed to Spinnin’ — is only 25, while well-known Australian producer Flume — given the seal of approval by Elton John, no less — is still only 24.
Re-entries into the poll include Russian trance dons Bobina and DJ Feel; psy-trance Israelis Infected Mushroom; Brazilian electro duo Felguk; and diminutive French house veteran Martin Solveig, whose residency at Pacha Ibiza probably aided his reappearance.
In the world of hard dance, Angerfist is down eight places, but at No.46 is still the Highest Hard DJ — although there are a few others on his tail. Coone is down eight places to No.57 and Brennan Heart down six to No.59, although Radical Redemption is up four to No.68 and Da Tweekaz are up eight to No.71. Showtek, who ditched the hard dance sound a few years ago, are down 59 places, but Headhunterz — who also did — is up 12 to No.36.
Women are under-represented again this year. Only two female acts are in the chart — Aussie sisters Nervo are down 21 places, but Miss K8 from the Ukraine is up six to No.88. There’s only one drum & bass act in the Top 100 now — Netsky at No.85 — and Daft Punk are still in the chart, despite doing nothing all year and having not DJ’d for about a decade.
During the voting process, we asked everybody — a million-plus of you! — their reasons for voting for the DJs they did.
The top answer was Music Style (36%), with 28% opting for DJ Skill and 24% Production Ability. Only 3% suggested they voted for a DJ because of their popularity, and only 6% due to their showmanship. This suggests that it’s not about who is famous or who performs various antics behind the decks. It’s all about the music and the way sets are put together, and shows the importance of production in helping a DJ/producer to break into the big-time.
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