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Poll 2020: Diplo

37
Diplo
Up
30

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.

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:11

Best known for: 
"Collaborations, Mad Decent and eclectic music tastes."

Poll 2020: Zedd

35
Zedd
Up
15

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.

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:08

Best known for: 
Dance-pop anthems

Poll 2020: Carl Cox

34
Carl Cox
Up
1
If there’s one DJ who feeds off the energy of a crowd, and vice versa, it’s Coxy. He radiates good vibes whenever he plays out, so being denied live shows while locked down at his home in Melbourne, Australia, this year presented a challenge initially. It wasn’t long before he launched his Cabin Fever sessions though, dipping into his vast vinyl collection to bring a weekly Sunday dose of great music to online audiences worldwide.
 
Most of the curated two-hour shows were self-explanatory and fascinating — Space Terrace, House Music Divas, NYC Beats, UK Superclubs, Balearic Beats, Down 2 Funk, Disco Diggin, Chicago Dreamin, 92-95 Trance & Techno… F.A.C.T. 25 Years saw him recreating his groundbreaking ‘F.A.C.T’ mix album from a quarter of a century ago, live on vinyl; Rave White Labels 91-97 was a Russian roulette of unknown hardcore and drum & bass; while My Father’s Playlist was a tribute to his dad, who sadly passed away during lockdown. Each themed show was a shining example of a true music head at work — someone we’re all still incredibly lucky to have in our scene.
 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Being able to play my vinyl record collection for my Cabin Fever show every week, having Zoom meetings and keeping in contact with my family and friends via social media, and cooking fresh meals again.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?

“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.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“All we have to do is treat everyone as equals, and understand that we are all different with different backgrounds, but the music always brings everyone together from all walks of life.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“I am pushing for really talented live electronic performing artists, there are so many of them out there not getting a shot at the dancefloor.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“If I had to choose one, it would be Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’.”
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:06

Style: 
“House, techno, funk, soul, and disco.”
Best known for: 
“Rocking the house.”
Tune of the year: 
“Vikthor & Elio Riso ‘Soul & Trip’.”

Poll 2020: Quintino

33
Quintino
Down
8
Quintino first appeared in the hallowed Top 100 DJs poll back in 2014, and by that point he’d already established himself as a go-to man for drop-heavy uplifting dance energy. A year ago the Dutch producer and DJ was prepping a long-awaited debut album, ‘Bright Nights’, and staring down the calendar at another hectic 12 months playing across the world.
 
While the LP arrived to serious fanfare via the world-beating EDM label Spinnin’ Records, going on to hit the 100 million stream mark this summer, suffice to say not everything went to plan. Hauled up in his studio over the last few months, the guy also known as Quinten van den Berg has been hard at work not just on new material to follow his late-summer hit ‘Out Of This World’ (featuring KiFi), but also readying the launch of his own imprint, a fresh home for his production work that could mark a new era of creative independence.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“Family, friends and Netflix.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“I love being on tour and being with the fans but this whole situation just really made me realise how little time we actually get to spend with our loved ones, and the pressure it causes mentally. So what I really learned is to find a better balance in life, between touring, making music and relaxing spending time at home.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“When I make music I do so with the best artists possible, not looking at race or something else. When I do a show at a festival in front of 50,000 people, it’s all about bringing all those 50,000 together no matter [what] race, gender, age, religion or sexuality. I just want us all to enjoy the music together, no matter who you are or where you’re from. That’s what house music is all about. It’s about educating the people and speaking up if you see racism happening.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?
 
“Eric Prydz ‘Opus’.”
 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 11:02

Style: 
“Electronic with a lot of energy.”
Best known for: 
“Bringing big room to the main stage.”
Tune of the year: 
“Tiesto ‘The Business’.”

Poll 2020: Kygo

28
Kygo
Up
24
Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll aka Kygo is a Norwegian DJ and record producer who has a reported net worth of $25 million, and he isn't even 30 yet. A lot of that is down to his tireless work rate, which he has managed to keep up even without any shows to play around the world in 2020. 
 
In April of this year he released ‘I'll Wait’ with vocals by Sasha Sloan, and then in the same month put out 'Freedom' with Moroccan-English singer Zak Abel. News of his ‘Golden Hour’ album followed in May, as did another track, this one with OneRepublic, called ‘Lose Somebody’. Another single followed with Valerie Broussard, who he has previously worked with on ‘Think About You’, as did yet another single and then a massive remix of Tina Turner's ‘What's Love Got to Do with It’. 
 
All of this recently helped the young star pass four million fans on Instagram, while he has also reported that his ‘Golden Hour’ album has already passed one billion streams on Spotify.

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:59

Style: 
"Tropical house"
Best known for: 
"His remix of Whitney Houston’s ‘Higher Love’."

Poll 2020: The Chainsmokers

27
The Chainsmokers
Down
1
To say it has been a different year for The Chainsmokers would be an understatement. Alex Pall and Drew Taggart spent 2019 at the top of Forbes’ list of highest-paid DJs in the world, their relentless schedule packing out crowds in cities across the world, and production work hitting No.1 on the regular. No longer able to tour and notably quiet on the release front since the start of the pandemic, nevertheless it has been another defining few months for the US duo. 
 
Their single ‘Closer’, featuring Halsey, went 12-times platinum in the US as spring arrived, making it one of only four tracks in the history of music to reach that status. Since then there have been ‘drive-in’ shows for charities, and 10,000 face-masks donated to New York healthcare workers. In a year in which we’ve all taken stock of priorities, the pair took that idea to the next level with investments in tech companies and deals with Bitcoin’s Casa. It’s a brave new world indeed. 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 
 
“Friends.” 
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“To never take any show or experience for granted.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 
 
“Holding everyone accountable to make a change and be kind to one another.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
“Donating to those in need of technology to help them participate in learning how to produce music.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“Avicii ‘Seek Bromance’.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:56

Style: 
"EDM"
Best known for: 
“Shipwreck ‘Need It’.”

Poll 2020: DJ Snake

25
DJ Snake
Down
9
DJ Snake’s innate ability to deliver huge collaborations — with his contacts list including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Cardi B, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, Diplo, Aluna George, Offset, and 21 Savage — and shut down multi-thousand capacity arenas have been largely stoppered due to the impact of COVID-19. Fortunately, Instagram has demonstrated that his impeccable dress sense remains on point.
 
DJ Snake has dropped two pieces of new music in 2020. Trap cut ‘Trust Nobody’ landed in June, and has amassed over 1.5m plays on YouTube at the time of writing, and a blistering Audrey Nuna remix, called ‘Damn Right Pt. 2’, which followed in October. Real name William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, his beloved Paris St. Germain nearly went all the way in the Champions League in 2020, eventually shut out by Bayern Munich in the final in August. Fans must be hoping he’s been busy in the studio through lockdown, ready to turn the world’s biggest stages back into a zoo again, once it’s safe to do so.

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:47

Poll 2020: Fedde Le Grand

23
Fedde Le Grand
Up
7
Although he celebrated a No.1 hit single in 2009 with ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’, Dutch DJ/producer Fedde Le Grand is far from a one-hit wonder. Over the years there have been countless highlights in his discography, from UK No.2 single ‘Let Me Think About It’ featuring Ida Corr, to his take on ‘‘The Creeps’ by Camille Jones in 2007, and releasing two albums — ‘Output’ in 2009 and ‘Something Real’ in 2016. In 2015 he launched his very own Darklight Recordings, which has grown a multitude of up-and-coming talent including the likes of Carta, Raiden, and Vol2Cat.
 
As a touring DJ he’s travelled the world over and played some of the most prolific festivals in the world including Coachella, Tomorrowland, EXIT Festival, Global Gathering, Ultra and many more. This year, as well as releasing a brand new remix of ‘Let Me Think About It’ by Sansixto, he’s remained focused and also “helping a friend with the most amazing sounding studio tool ever made,” he reveals.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Corona virus Lockdown? 
 
“Family and loved ones, music and Netflix.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“How important it is what we all do, because it gives relief in hard times, and that we stay adaptable as an industry.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
 
“To all remember the words of Chuck Roberts ('My House’): ‘Once you enter my house it then becomes our house and our house music. And, you see, no one man owns house because house music is a universal language spoken and understood by all’.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
"I have and will always push the values that I deem important and that is that music unites, especially dance music, because it transcends words. I’ve always refused to be captured in one style because it shouldn’t be about labels but about what music means to you.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all-time? 
 
“Inner City ‘Good Life’.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:45

Style: 
“Everything house.”
Best known for: 
‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’
Tune of the year: 
“Divolly & Markward X Vill & Vash 'Leta Leta’.”

Poll 2020: Eric Prydz

22
Eric Prydz
Down
5
You might be foolish enough to think, with Eric Prydz’ most revered work being as part of his incredible live shows, that the Swedish superstar would have had a quiet year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But how wrong you would be. Despite not being able to take Holosphere on the road, Prydz took the opportunity to launch a brand new A/V live show, called [CELL.], at Tomorrowland’s digital festival. He would later headline the CEA Festival in China with it in October.
 
Prydz’ hugely popular EPIC Radio show also returned to Apple’s Beats 1 in April, much to the delight of his fans. Despite the incredible amount of unreleased music he plays on the show, the only release this year so far under his main moniker will be dropping his long sought-after ‘NOPUS’ track in October. Other new music came in the form of a two-track EP under his techno alias Cirez D on vinyl in July. Signalling his plans for 2021, Prydz teased the return of Holosphere in summer, with a social media post in June tagging the Tomorrowland and Creamfields accounts.

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

Poll 2020: Nervo

20
Nervo
Up
4

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.
 
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
 
“The internet, Netflix, and our family.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 
 
“Enjoy every moment, because at any second it can be taken away from you with no control.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 
 
“And sexism! Look outside the obvious stars in dance music to find fresh new talent. There are so many great producers without major artists as mentors and they deserve our support.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 
 
“Encouraging women to make music, to DJ and to not let their ‘sexiness’ define their artistry.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“Faithless ‘Insomnia’.” 

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:40

Style: 
“Big room.”
Best known for: 
“High-energy sets at all major clubs and festivals around the world. Various big tracks, and as songwriters for other established DJ/producers like David Guetta and Armin van Buuren.”
Tune of the year: 
“Doja Cat ‘Say So’.”

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