Say what you will about Diplo, and there’s certainly plenty to say about a celebrity DJ who flirts with country music, poses shirtless and occasionally pantless on Instagram, and has a history of sharing what could charitably be described as mixed opinions on the state of the dance music scene. But those who love Diplo obviously far outnumber any naysayers, as the Major Lazer majordomo and head of the still-vital Mad Decent label once again finds himself on our Top 100 list — up 30 places this year. As he should — Diplo’s made as much of a mark on the scene as anyone in the past two decades.
And lest we forget, he also happens to be a fantastic spinner, a skill he honed back in the early ’00s when he and then-partner Low Budget were mixing up house, dancehall, Dirty South material, new wave and pretty much anything funky at Philly’s fabled Hollertronix parties. Even in a virtual set, as with his series of Instagram Live sessions in the pandemic’s early days, his love of the game shines through.
Judging from his social-media feed, Anton Zaslavski leads a pretty charmed life – his time seems to be filled with working out, playing video games, lazing in hammocks, organising his trainers, petting baby chicks, and opening up about the fun times he misses in the midst of a lockdown. Pretty normal, right? Except for one thing: Those ‘fun times’ posts are accompanied by videos of the Russia-born, Germany-bred, Los Angeles–based artist on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans, hyping the crowd while massive breakdowns resound from massive sound systems and elaborate lightshows swirl above.
It might be a while before Zedd, who’s been at the top of his game since releasing the electro-house classic ‘The Anthem’ back in 2010 and has since gone on to remix artists ranging from Fatboy Slim and Skrillex to Lady Gaga and Shawn Mendes, can return to festival stages. But with releases like this past summer’s swooning pop cut with Jasmine Thompson, ‘Funny,’ he’s firmly ensconced in the hearts of his fans.
“There’s nothing to learn here, this industry is amazing if you choose to embrace it. All we have to do now is stick together in all forms of the industry and we will be back making people happy again.”
A prominent feature in the Top 100 DJs poll since 2012, Australian sisters Liv and Mim, aka Nervo, continue to push boundaries within their career that now spans over a decade. They’ve consistently been the highest women to chart in the poll in the past few years, and they have written and produced music for megastars including Kylie Minogue, the Pussycat Dolls and Miley Cyrus to name a few. They’ve already achieved a life-long goal, picking up a Grammy Award in 2009 for writing ‘Love Takes Over’ alongside David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, an accolade that many could only dream of winning.
In previous years of gigging they would frequent the main stages of Tomorrowland, EDC and Creamfields, holding residencies in Ibiza and Las Vegas, and revelled in the success of their very own NERVOnation parties the world over. Although in 2020 the tours may be on hold, the duo continues to work hard towards new goals. “It’s been a really busy year!” Liv and Mim tell DJ Mag. As well as both being recent new mums, they've also been working on a new kids music project that they're excited to reveal.