Voting is now underway for Top 100 DJs 2018. Our annual poll is the definitive annual guide to the world's most popular DJs and is a living symbol of the strength and diversity of the global electronic music scene.
This year marks the poll’s 25th anniversary. Across its 24 previous winners the Top 100 DJs Poll has spanned the length and breadth of the electronic music sphere, from Carl Cox to Tiësto to David Guetta and Martin Garrix, proving that the poll is representative of the growth - or decline - of dance music scenes, reflecting the ebb and flow of genres as new sounds and scenes take hold and spread.
First launched in 1993 as an editorial list to celebrate the 100th edition of DJ Mag, the poll has grown exponentially into a global reference of a DJ’s popularity.
The first publicly-voted Top 100 DJs poll was back in 1997, and a fresh-faced 20-year-old Carl Cox scooped the No.1 award. What followed was a succession of newly crowned champions in Paul Oakenfold (2x), Sasha, John Digweed, Tiësto (3x), Paul van Dyk (2x), Armin van Buuren (5x), David Guetta, Hardwell (2x) and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike - all of whom remain some of electronic music’s most successful DJs.
Fast-forward to the present day and the poll is spearheaded by a new two-time winner, and the undeniable face of a new generation of DJs, Martin Garrix – who was the youngest ever World’s No.1 DJ when he first took the crown in 2016!
From headlining shows around the world to sold-out stadiums and countless record sales/streams to winning some of the biggest and most sought-after accolades in music, each and every artist that has topped the Top 100 DJs poll since it became a public voting system has left an unquestionable footprint on the culture of dance music.
But what will be the big trends of 2018's ranking? So far almost 200k votes have been received from across the planet, putting the poll on course to smash the previous 1m vote record. These are the themes that could define this year’s ranking...
RISE OF THE UNDERGROUND
A key theme of last year’s ranking, that looks set to continue in 2018, is a general shift towards genres outside of the big room/EDM bracket. Although the upper echelons of the poll are still dominated by this sound 2017 was a breakthrough year for house and techno artists in the poll. 2017 debuts from Claptone, Solomun, Maceo Plex and South African hero Black Coffee point to a shift change. While return-entries for techno artists Richie Hawtin and Paul Kalkbrenner suggest things may be coming full circle.
A MORE DIVERSE LIST
In line with the ongoing movement within music, and society in general, another feature of Top 100 DJs 2018 may be increased gender diversity. In 2016, Australian sisters Nervo and Ukrainian hardstyle DJ Miss K8 were the only female artists who made it into the final ranking.
In 2017 this number doubled with with entries from Alison Wonderland and Mariana Bo, while techno star Nina Kraviz was featured in the Top 150. It will be fascinating to see if the grass-roots work being done to level the playing field on festival main stages and elsewhere across the industry will have an affect on the voters in the poll.
INCREASED GLOBAL PARTICIPATION
In addition to Facebook and Google, this year's voting mechanism includes an optional sms login mechanism. The new verification significantly increases the potential reach of the poll, specifically in countries where Facebook and Google are not available or not prevalent, such as China. 2017's ranking saw debuts DJ L and Carta, two of China’s biggest DJs. 2018’s poll could pave the way for a new generation of DJs, from parts of the world not typically represented in the ranking.
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