Martin Garrix has been revealed as the winner of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll 2016, with the 20-year-old Dutch superstar becoming the youngest ever No.1 DJ.
Garrix, who takes the coveted top spot from 2015 winners, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, was awarded the No.1 trophy by his mentor, Tiësto, on stage at the Top 100 DJs poll award ceremony at the Heineken Music Hall. The event was the opening party in this year’s AMF Festival, the largest of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
The award caps a meteoric rise for Garrix over the past few years — ever since ‘Animals’ shot to No.1 around the world in 2013. He was odds-on favourite to win in 2016, after coming third in 2015.
On receiving the award, Martin Garrix said, “It feels unreal to have won. I 100 percent did not expect it at all. I’ve had an amazing year, with awesome shows and amazing fans — I’m so thankful for their support. It just shows how dope the fan-base is.”
This year, votes in the Top 100 DJs Poll exceeded one million for the first time ever, with dance music fans taking part from almost every country on the planet. The most votes came from the USA, followed by India, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Russia, China, Japan and beyond.
For 2016, the voting platform was opened up to more territories, reflecting the new frontiers of international club culture. The app was translated into Russian, Chinese (simplified) and Japanese, in addition to seven other global languages. Voters in China were able to use Weibo - one of China’s biggest social media platforms.
There are 13 new entries and 6 re-entries. Last year’s winners, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, slip down to No.2. Hardwell also drops one place, to No.3, while the Top 10 remains largely unchanged — Armin van Buuren (No.4), Tiësto (5) and David Guetta (6) all keep the same positions as 2015. Avicii drops down to No.11, with Oliver Heldens jumping into the Top 10 from last year’s No.12 — making him the Highest House DJ. Skrillex stays at No.9 for the third year in a row, and Afrojack stays in the Top 10.
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 — his continued rise earning him the new Audi #Untaggable Award. Ummet Ozcan is up 17 to No.19, while just outside at No.22 — up 10 places — is DJ Snake. Calvin Harris, despite still being one of the highest earners, falls three places to No.14, while DVBBS, Diplo and Blasterjaxx slide out of the Top 20.
The highest ‘new’ name in this year’s chart is The Chainsmokers, who’ve re-entered the Top 100 DJs poll. After breaking into it due to the success of their ‘#Selfie’ track a couple of years ago, they slid out of the Top 100 last year, but re-enter the top 20 this time around.
The highest new entry is Marshmello. One place above him is Swanky Tunes — this year’s Highest Climbers. Other acts who’ve notably climbed manyplaces up the chart include Quintino (up 48), Galantis (up 59), MaRLo (up 42) and Robin Schulz (up 30). The only other new entry in the top 50 is Florian Picasso, a relative of the 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.
Re-entries into the Top 100 DJs Poll include Russian trance DJs, Bobina and DJ Feel; psy-trance Israelis, Infected Mushroom; Brazilian electro duo Felguk; and French house veteran Martin Solveig. In the world of hard dance, Angerfist is down eight places, but at No.46 is still the Highest Hard DJ. Armin van Buuren is still the Highest Trance DJ.
Female DJs 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.
During the voting process, DJ Mag asked all voters their reasons for voting for the DJs they chose. The top answer was music style (36%), with 28% opting for DJ skill and 24% for production ability. Only 3% suggested they voted for a DJ because of their popularity, and only 6% due to showmanship. This suggests that it’s not about who is famous or who performs various ‘antics’ behind the decks, but it’s 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.