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Meet the winners of the Pete Tong DJ Academy Future Talent Awards

The winners of the Pete Tong DJ Academy Future Talent Awards have just been announced, and there’s now a whole raft of new talent set to break through to the next level of their DJ careers

In association with PTDJA

It’s been just over a year since the Pete Tong DJ Academy (PTDJA) opened up its doors. An online resource offering tuition and mentorship for anyone pursuing a career in DJing, PTDJA is headed up by leading figures in the dance music industry and friends of Pete himself. Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, Adam Beyer, Sama’ Abdulhadi, TSHA and Jamie Jones have all been on hand to guide and mentor the next generation of DJs.

At the back end of last year, Pete introduced a new element to the academy — the Future Talent Awards. This was designed to showcase and celebrate some of the amazing artists who have enrolled on the course, and help them along in their pursuits to make a career out of DJing. The structure of the awards was such that 10 students would be picked out by the tutors and given a chance to play with them at gigs around the world, where they’d receive further dedicated, career-building support. The final winner was crowned as the PTDJA Future Talent during this year’s IMS in Ibiza, where they also got to play the opening slot at IMS’ celebrated Dalt Vila closing party.

Thousands of students submitted their mixes to the PTDJA team, which they then critiqued and it was decided who would make up the final 10. What resonates clearly is the diverse selection of DJs who entered and were picked as part of the Future Talent Awards, with Argentinian DJ and producer Constanza making it to the hallowed top slot, thereby gaining the opportunity to play at the IMS event.

While Constanza was selected as the overall Grand Prix Winner, she was closely followed by a couple of DJs who also wowed the judges. Dahien is a Polish DJ now living in Berlin, and Liz Somes originates from Seattle. Both DJs caught the ear of their mentors Adam Beyer and Sama’ Abdulhadi with their mixing abilities and the way that they crafted their sets.

These three will now go on to receive continued support, guidance and mentoring as part of PTDJA, but there were seven more finalists who achieved acclaim as part of the Future Talent Awards too — all are profiled below.

Photo of Constanza wearing all black on a green collage background
Overall winner of the Future Talent award

“When I first saw the call to participate in the Future Talent Awards on Instagram, I knew it would be a great opportunity for me. Although I already took a DJ course a few years ago in Argentina, I chose to do the full PTDJA course to refresh my knowledge. In the first chapters I was able to reaffirm what I already knew. Then, in the advanced part of the course — I have to highlight the experiences and advice the teachers shared, as you know they are some of the most experienced DJs in the industry — they talk about topics that are not often touched on and what I consider very important for future DJs.

“I think in this sense the course is so invaluable, as they are not only educating future DJs technically, but also trying to train you in the correct way to conduct yourself professionally with good values. With that I focused on doing my best to be one of the finalists. I felt I was in a great moment and that is why I was very confident in myself, but then when I received the email notifying me that I had been chosen as the Grand Prix Winner, I actually couldn’t believe it. There was such great emotion. That memory is still fresh in my mind, and you know every time I think about it, I get goosebumps.

“Undoubtedly this is one of the greatest achievements in my career as a DJ, and in my life to date. I was chosen by Pete, Nicole and Carl, and the truth is I did not think I would be chosen by all of them — that brings me an immense amount of joy. It really is a difficult sensation to express in words. To be honest, I am still in shock because of what happened and what is going to happen.”

Photo of Dahein folding his arms on a green background with his name printed

“Going through this process gave me even more faith and confidence in myself, in what I was doing and that I was going in the right direction with the desire to pursue doing what I love in life (music) as a professional DJ. The decision to participate in the Future Talent Awards was a spontaneous decision. At the time I did not think of it as the ‘ultimate chance’ and that I would win something — I saw it rather as an interesting adventure — but I was aware that it was being judged by professionals and it was their opinion that I cared most about.”

“I knew that my work as a DJ would be judged on merit, and not as a specialist in social media and how many ‘Likes’ I have. One of my friends DJ Siasia once told me, ‘Learn not to be just another music player but a DJ’, and in PTDJA this is what you learn, exactly that — how to become a professional DJ and what it means. Then to be picked by Adam (Beyer) as his choice and one of the 10 winners, it’s hard to describe the feelings in words. I was bursting with energy.”

Photo of Liz Somes wearing a ‘No Music On A Dead Planet’ hoodie on a green background with her name printed
Liz Somes

“Honestly when I entered, I didn’t think I would win. I thought I had a shot, but once I hit enter on the form, it was out of my hands, and I forgot about it until I got the first email back months later. When I found out I had won, I cried, it was very emotional. To be chosen for this award by some of the best DJs in the world, I still pinch myself. It has already opened doors that were otherwise closed.”

“I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that people have said I have been ‘slept on’. If getting this award opens people’s eyes to the story I have to tell musically, I am for it, and all in. It also gives me a platform to represent women in the industry, to have those other conversations about ageism and tokenism, quite frankly, which have already started and have been wonderful and very positive. But most of all, I love being an inspiration to others and hope I can continue being that, just like others have inspired me. When you are an artist, you don’t have a choice to pursue something, you are driven... it is a part of you.”

Two photos of the other finalists playing live along with the seven names printed in orange on a green background

“Being a winner has made me feel so grateful for every step I made. The secret to winning is persistence and to make the right choice at the perfect moment.”


“The PTDJA team has provided a truly life-changing experience, and for this, my gratitude knows no bounds.”

Cozmic Cat

“I was beyond thrilled to be named one of the 10 global winners! The Academy has been an incredible experience.”

Mista Mani

“What I enjoyed the most is getting to know the mindset of all the teachers, who are celebrated DJs/artists in the dance music industry.”

2 nomads

“We always put our heart into everything we do. It was exactly what we needed to be able to take our passion for DJing onto another level and the evolution of our professional careers as DJs.”

Daniella Font

“Being amongst the 10 winners really means so much to me, and it goes to show that my work as a DJ is being recognised and appreciated by big heads in the industry.”


“The Academy is an incredible experience that allows you to learn from the best and to enter a network of personal and professional relationships that are very important for your personal and professional growth.”

Want more? Read DJ Mag’s recent feature on how open decks events are making DJing more accessible for everyone

Mick Wilson is DJ Mag’s tech editor and Ibiza editor. Follow him on Twitter here