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Poll 2020: Kura

74
Kura
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34
KURA claimed the title of Portugal’s highest entry in the Top 100 DJs poll when he debuted in 2014, and the Spinnin’ Records affiliate has remained in the rankings since then. The past year has been typically fast-paced for the arena-filling electro-house DJ and producer, even with the obvious slowdown.
 
Releases over the last 12 months have included his 22 Bullets collaboration, ‘My Love’, the percussive-vocal anthem ‘Gunz In The House’, and the wasp-in-jar energy of appropriately-titled hoover track, ‘Rave’, which arrived during summer. Around the time fans were also given the ‘Holy Grail’ sample pack — a huge library of more than 400 production tools. Having spent months largely in the studio, “working on some different genres” and “having fun making music with no boundaries”, the musical momentum looks set to continue, building anticipation for a return of the live calendar as soon as possible.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Family, friends, and the gym.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“We can't take anything for granted. We, as artists, have a privileged position to do what we love the most. Let's just enjoy it.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“I was raised in a very multicultural environment where it is normal to interact with everybody, from a very young age. Music has always been a universal language that makes no racial distinctions — on the contrary, music unites people. Maybe both labels and artists could contribute more by diversifying their musical scopes even further, and bringing some underrepresented artists to the forefront.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I honestly work with everyone that inspires me, or that I look up to. I don't care about race, gender, appearance.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“DJ Rolando ‘Knights Of The Jaguar’.”
 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:43

Style: 
“Electro, house.”
Best known for: 
“KURA’s signature sound, energetic drops.”
Tune of the year: 
“Michael Calfan & Martin Solveig ‘No Lie’.”

Poll 2020: Fisher

76
Fisher
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13

Legendary surfer-turned-selector FISHER blew up in 2018 with the massive ‘Losing It’, elevating his status from unknown to headliner in a crazy short space of time. After two years of almost constant touring and big Beatport-smashing releases, 2020 has forced the Aussie house superstar to take a step back and appreciate just how wild his trajectory has been.

Ever the optimist, his consistent output of tongue-in-cheek videos, fun pranks and off-the-wall thoughts have kept him and his fans busy as he’s tried to keep smiles on our faces during the darkest of times, often with a tufty multicoloured lockdown hair-do. He’s also been busy with his own label Catch & Release. Having kicked off the year with his own ‘Freaks/Dance With Me’ double-header, he’s focused on championing the sounds of his peers and new artists with major league releases from the likes of Volkoder & Sam Supplier, Deeper Purpose and Andrea Oliva. Now looking forward to returning to whatever normality 2021 will bring, FISHER’s sights are set on Ibiza as he’s the first resident to be confirmed for the mighty Hï.

 

What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 

“Music, family/friends and the beach.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?

“Keep pushing on, we will always prevail.”

 

What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?

“There are too many to just name one but Daft Punk's ‘Around The World’ always seems to light up the joint and put a smile on your dial.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:41

Style: 
“Having more fun than most.”
Best known for: 
“Being a pest. You love it.”
Tune of the year: 
“Icarus ‘Joy’.”

Poll 2020: Florian Picasso

75
Florian Picasso
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23
The highlight of this year for Florian Picasso was without a doubt the show he performed at Villa La Californie, which is the old Picasso mansion that the iconic artist lived in and made his art. “My mom inherited the estate and I felt like it was a great concept to do a live stream show,” he reveals. Using mapping and some tricky special FX, it was definitely a unique way to pay tribute to his great-grandfather. “The pressure was high and three people resigned during the preparation of the show. But in the end, it turned out great,” he explains about the lengthy planning process. 
 
Although Florian had a lot of music ready to go this year, he made the decision to put it all on hold till next year. “I felt like it wasn’t the right time to release it yet,” he explains from his south of France abode. During lockdown, Florian reconnected with his inner self by trying yoga and meditation and worked on a new solo show that for the time being he's keeping hush-hush. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 
 
“Whisky, my music studio, my home gym.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“In times like these, you see the true colours of the industry, who’s fighting for your project and who’s not anymore.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“Education.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
“Music festivals should lower their prices, schools should build a specific program for electronic music.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“Eric Prydz 'Pjanoo'.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:38

Poll 2020: Tom & Collins

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Tom & Collins
Up
7
Mexican duo Tom & Collins burst into the Top 100 DJs chart for the first time last year, and they’ve once again proven why they’re one of the region’s biggest acts. Hailing from Mexico City, Tom & Collins (real names Juan Pable Escudero and Jorge Corral) have made their mark with a pop-friendly mix of deep house and deep tech, garnering them millions of Spotify plays and remix work for TOKiMONSTA, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Gorgon City, Duke Dumont, and even Madonna. And before the pandemic pushed us all indoors, Tom & Collins could regularly be spotted at the likes of Ultra Music Festival, EDC, Beyond Wonderland, Tomorrowland Unite and Amsterdam Dance Event. 
 
But the biggest news of 2020 is their new label, Terms & Conditions. “We are releasing and supporting a different range of up-and-coming and established artists, as well as releasing our own productions,” they tell DJ Mag. “Our next release is a collaboration with Jem Cooke, best known for her tracks with Campelphat. And we also have some releases with Spinnin’ Deep and Musical Freedom.” 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Focusing [on] studio work, having healthy habits and working on our label, Terms & Conditions.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“That it’s more than just music and partying, it’s a whole economy that depends on these leisure activities and should be included in the recovery plan.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“Address it directly and call it out. Zero tolerance for any racist attitude, and strong promotion of a positive message, which has practical results.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“Trying to work more with brands that constantly promote inclusivity is the first step. Throwing our own events under our brand Terms & Conditions will be the next step.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“‘Around The World’ by Daft Punk.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:34

Style: 
“House/Tech-house.”
Best known for: 
“Most influential duo in Latin America."
Tune of the year: 
“‘Home’ by Adriatique.”

Poll 2020: Mr Pig

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Mr Pig
New Entry
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Before Mr Pig became the emerging DJ and producer that he is today he worked at many famous restaurants in Mexico, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the BBQ sets he's been wowing us with over the past six months (and maybe his name?). Getting busy on a spicy set while cooking up some tasty Mexican food at the same time is very much his style. That, and making music has helped him to look on the bright side. “Focusing on making more music for my fans and staying positive,” he says, appreciative of all the support he has been receiving for his new album 'YinYang', which was released on his own Holy Pig Records. He started up his label with a passion to shine a light on new talent and unheard artists in his home country. 
 
How about the DJ Mag Virtual Festival in August, did he enjoy playing that? “For sure I did, my family made a listening party in my house,” he explains. “It was a great moment to share with my loved ones.” 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Not being able to go to shows has made me produce more than before. Me and my team had been more focused on the music for our label. Preparing strategies and changes when [it] all gets back to normal life.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“Things are changing right now and the virtual life is rising up, we need to adapt for this new way to work.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“Me and my team at Holy Pig Records had featured all kinds of people for our music, collaborating with other artists and creating music together has taught us that there are no barriers.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I want to push all the Mexican artists, DJs/producers. There’s so much talent in this country and people don’t know, so I decided to make a music label based on Mexican artists to help and create a music scene here in Mexico.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Major Lazer & DJ Snake 'Lean On (feat. MØ)'.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:32

Style: 
“House, pop, Latin house, tech-house.”
Best known for: 
“Being Daniel Bautista.”
Tune of the year: 
“Bobby Drum & Urbøi 'Dum Dum’.”

Poll 2020: Radical Redemption

80
Radical Redemption
Re-entry
0
This year, Radical Redemption got to properly celebrate his birthday with his “inner circle” for the first time in years. Not being on the road meant his 30th was a big day. “It was definitely an eye-opener for me,” he says of the extra time at home and in the studio where he was able to “set my priorities straight”.
 
Like many, he reports making music in a more relaxed, unhurried way, and has managed to put out three singles — ‘Reincarnation,' 'Contaminated Children’, and '10 Seconds' with Crypsis. “I really went back to my Radical Redemption roots, resulting in the best music I've made,” he reckons, before detailing his new album, ‘The Chronicles Of Chaos’, which is due out soon. “I have been working on this album since April 2019. I am so happy with the way it turned out. It has everything Radical Redemption stands for; huge melodies, pounding kicks, rhythmic elements, filthy screeches, a lot of energy and most importantly, a story.”
 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Having free time, my Dalmatian dog Mickey, and just being outside or working around the house.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“I think the most important thing is to not take those huge crowds, dedicated fans and insane shows for granted. Every time you should be grateful with what you have.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:28

Style: 
Hardstyle
Best known for: 
“‘The Brutal Saga’.”
Tune of the year: 
“‘That's Life’ by Frank Sinatra, listened to it a lot this year.”

Poll 2020: Rave Republic

81
Rave Republic
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13

2020 is Rave Republic’s third appearance in a row in the Top 100 DJs list, and in the space of ten years, the pair have gone from unknowns, starting their careers, to playing at some of the biggest clubs and events while topping charts across the world.

Mathias and Stas formed Rave Republic in 2014 and their debut release ‘Far Away’ in 2015 went straight to the No.1 spot on the iTunes Dance Chart. Based in Singapore, the duo quickly picked up DJ residencies at clubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines and have gone on to become main-stage mainstays at events like Ultra Singapore, It’s The Ship and Electric Daisy Carnival China. 

Big tune for them this year was their electro-house stormer ‘Dragon’ with TBR on TurnItUp Music and they also hit hard with the catchy crossover of their ‘Free Fall’ collaboration with Tim Morrison on Spinnin’, ‘Time To Rock’ with TWISTERZ and with the raw wonky synths of their Justin Prime collaboration ’Lionheart’.

What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?

“1. Live streams. 2. Social media to connect deeply with fans (we reply to everyone!). 3. Video games.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?

“We need to be patient; nothing lasts forever, but we will all recover.”

 

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?

“Talent is talent, regardless of race or gender identity. There is no place for discrimination in any scene.”

 

What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 

“Asia region talents are severely underrepresented in dance music. We have lived in Asia for over 12 years, and mentor people we see here with potential and bring them up with us.”

 

What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?

“Armand Van Helden ‘You Don't Know Me’.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:26

Style: 
“High energy, fusing many different genres.”
Best known for: 
“Our collaboration with Dash Berlin and hits on Warner Music/Spinnin’/Revealed.”
Tune of the year: 
“Maurice West ‘Boogie Machine’.”

Poll 2020: D.O.D

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D.O.D
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“I have a new-found love for the outdoors,” British DJ and producer D.O.D., who lives close to the Lake District in England, tells DJ Mag. He may be known for his stadium-packed anthemic sets, but the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed him to see beyond the club. The Manchester-born DJ/producer’s ability to intertwine baile-funk techno beats into hardcore-screeching EDM bangers is exceptional. Building samples, hooks and breaks to cracking results, he’s deservedly toured with the likes of Steve Aoki and appeared at mega-festivals around the world, like Tomorrowland. No two sets are the same and he always digs deep in his crates to deliver a new experience.
 
Though most know him for the 2017 track ‘Sixes’, it was ‘Blip’, released in 2016, that first gave him the recognition he deserved, especially when he coined the phrase 'Future jack' to define a new genre. Having released dozens of singles and three EPs, D.O.D hasn’t put out a full-length project since 2013 but has become a go-to DJ to experience on the festival circuit. After a restful year, here’s hoping the summer of 2021 has his name painted across it. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“My partner Lauren, my son Leo, and being able to produce music every day. Life is good, I can’t complain!”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“Moving forward, I think the focus should be on getting a nice balance between income made from music production and gigs for achieving longevity in these very volatile times.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“There needs to be more education into what the foundations of dance music were built on. House music was, of course, a descendant from disco in the early ’80s. African-American, LGBTQ and Latino communities popularised nightclubs and made dance music a household genre. Without this cultural diversity, we wouldn’t have the thriving industry we enjoy today.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Chemical Brothers ‘Star Guitar’.”
 
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 09:23

Style: 
House
Best known for: 
“My track ‘Sixes’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Disclosure ‘Douha (Mali Mali)’.”

Poll 2020: ATB

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ATB
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17
Somewhat inevitably, DJs’ reactions to the global handbrake placed on touring have run the spectrum. At the extreme ‘silver lining’ end though, you’ll find ATB. Right as lockdown really started to hit everywhere, something else was starting to kick round at his. “The birth of my son was my absolute highlight this year,” he says. “As I was at home a lot due to the Corona crisis, we could follow every little step in the development of the little one. For me, the greatest thing has been being there every day and being able to see him grow.”

Musically, there has been the occasional toe-back-in for Andre. Aside from plenty of studio time, he performed and streamed a second Under The Stars show. Recorded at (his local) Bochum Planetarium, the astrologically themed set was once again released as a limited edition mix-compilation. By and large though, in 2020 Andre (and the now expanded Tanneberger clan) have taken their stay-home luck where they’ve found it.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 

“My wife, my son, and the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“The crisis showed that everyone loves art and it's a fundamental part of day-to-day life that is heavily missed when it's taken away. However, artists along with many other cultural workers will be the last to return to their profession but are receiving less support from governments than many other sectors. The industry needs to learn that we cannot rely on government support anymore and we have to carve out our own support system for global crises like this one.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 

“I believe that the dance music scene stands for openness and tolerance. These are the roots of the scene, with no place for racism in such an environment.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
“I think music lives from the fusion of different styles and cultures. This creates something new again and again. I don't think we should change much at all, but rather use this message and the power of music as a voice in order to show the world that we are one — regardless of our birthplace, faith or skin colour.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-19 16:49

Style: 
“Energetic and emotional dance music.”
Best known for: 
“‘9PM’.”
Tune of the year: 
“London Grammar ‘Baby It’s You’.”

Poll 2020: Will Sparks

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Will Sparks
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1

This past August, Will Sparks released ‘Kids These Days’, a hard-charging techno banger complete with the kind of spooky, deep-voiced narration that always adds a blanket of darkness to the proceedings.

It was something of a departure for the artist, who’s long been at the forefront of the brightly-hued Melbourne bounce sound, but the Aussie producer is smart enough to know that sticking to one sub-genre isn’t going to guarantee you continued stardom, not to mention a slot in the Top 100 DJs list. He’s certainly not abandoning the anthemic, festival-ready feel of his past work — witness the recent ‘Feel It’, a collaboration with fellow Aussie MaRLo — but it’s always exciting to see an established producer defy expectations.

As for what the future holds, we’ll have to wait and see, as it might be a while before we get a chance to catch Sparks in his natural habitat, bounding about onstage in front of thousands of adoring fans. He does offer this bit of advice to hold us over till then: “Just keep dancing!” 

What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?

“Find a routine in working out. Being able to enjoy weekends with friends and discovering new places in Australia. More time for the studio.”

 

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?

“To be prepared for the worst, always.”

 

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?

“To be honest, I have never been a witness to such a horrible and ugly thing. But I have had the pleasure of witnessing many crowds of varying nationalities, races and genders all partying as one at many events. I think dance music brings people together. I love our scene and believe it's extremely inclusive, forward-thinking and real.”

 

What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?

“There are two: Deadmau5 ‘Strobe’ and Dustin Zahn ‘Stranger To Stability (Len Faki's Podium Remix)’.”

 

 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-19 16:41

Style: 
“Dance, Melbourne bounce.”
Best known for: 
“‘Ah Yeah So What!’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Morten ‘Bombardment’.”

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