What sets Shogun apart from other US DJs is his work ethic; Andrew Chen is known to spend 12 hours a day in his studio, and that hard work and dedication brought him to the attention of some of trance’s biggest names including Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond, Paul van Dyk, Markus Schulz and Nadia Ali.
Despite falling in love with the industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails, Filter, The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers, Chen was eventually drawn to the epic melodies of Armin van Buuren and Gouryella in the early 2000s.
Fast-forward to 2015 and Shogun has become a permanent fixture in the Armada family, featuring heavily on Armin’s A State Of Trance radio show.
But it’s been his own productions that have really propelled him into the upper echelons of the trance world, including his recent album ‘Dragon’ – which took four years to complete. This saw the producer touch on a range of styles including trance, progressive and electro — ranging from vocal bangers like ‘Underwater’ to fierce, beat-driven tunes like ‘Laputa’.
“This year has been amazing!” Shogun enthuses. “I released my album 'Dragon', and the response has been incredible. I toured in different parts of the world, and had a blast playing at festivals like Stereosonic.”
It's been business as usual for Kura (aka Rúben de Almeida Barbeiro) in 2015, having placed 42nd in last year's DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll. Despite a slide in the rankings this year, the Portuguese electro-house producer has cemented his position as one of the most in-demand EDM producers in Europe with a raft of new tracks and collaborations.
2015 saw Kura release stadium-sized cuts, 'Oxygen' and 'Collide', on Dutch imprint Spinnin’ Records, collaborated with Dutch producer Tony Junior for a huge track ‘King Kong’, which is being released on Afrojack’s Wall Recordings this month, and he still found time to tour all over the world.
As well as a string of well-received productions, the DJ and producer has seen his output consistently supported by EDM’s leading lights — including David Guetta and Hardwell, who’ve supported his output throughout 2015.
Not only has last year’s No.1 DJ, Hardwell, been playing his tracks consistently during 2015, the Dutch producer recently revealed during a radio interview that the two producers have been collaborating in the studio. With his next release coming out on Afrojack's Wall Recordings, 2015 has seen Kura become one of Portugal’s biggest dance exports.
“This year has been intense, so much good stuff happening,” he tells DJ Mag. “Travelling the world, new collaborations, meeting new people... I can only remember of positive stuff, the shows keep getting bigger and bigger, and the support of the fans is insane!”
Quentin Mosimann’s personal highlights of the year include officially remixing David Guetta and Bob Sinclair and making his debut at Tomorrowland. But when he tells DJ Mag that “I attend to do this job for the next 20 years at least, I'm not looking for my 15 minutes of fame,” it sums up his grounded and humble approach that has won him so many friends and fans across the world.
Mosimann also happens to be one of the few DJs to have attained true 'household name' status, having been a coach on 'The Voice Belgium'. “I didn't want to appear like a judge, because even if I have experience in the music industry, I'll learn from others all my career, for sure,” he explains.
The experience was “really a story of sharing with and between artists” and leads Mosimann to pass on some valuable tips for all aspiring DJs when he says: “I think a career is 50% of trusting your guts and 50% of learning with good advice/experiences from others.”
Tom Swoon only discovered Deadmau5 and Daft Punk around five years ago but his early efforts at unofficial remixes soon led to his bootleg of David Guetta & Avicii vs. Laidback Luke 'Till Sunshine' achieving around 15 million views on YouTube.
The official remixes, original tracks and massive tours that swiftly followed mean that the 22 year old is now firmly established in his own right, as his showing in this year's Top 100 poll confirms. "I sincerely feel that Bootlegs have lost a bit of the magic they had when I started... but a good bootleg always gets plays and therefore I still think it is a great tool to get noticed," Tom tells us.
"I've really had the opportunity to travel to many new countries this year and see different people, experience different cultures and simply appreciate how amazing this world truly is," Tom enthuses, and shares this tip for any aspiring promoter who wants to book him: "If a promoter takes me out for Sushi I am the happiest guy in the world!"
Next year looks set to be even busier as Tom explains: "I've been working on a lot of new music and collaborations. I am aware that a lot of touring is already in place for next year and some very special festival plays are on their way! Really excited about 2016!"
Makj is the alias of US DJ/producer Mackenzie Johnson. Famed for his take on all things electro-house, this prolific producer has also worked alongside a varied crew of musicians, with everyone from Hardwell to Lil’ Jon to M35 rubbing shoulders with the Tomorrowland main-stager.
Another on this list who’s signed his music to the likes of Spinnin’ and Ultra, Makj is also a talented DJ and by no means simply a talented producer – which is no real surprise considering he got his first pair of Technics at the tender age of 15. 2015 marks his second year in the Top 100…but all the signs would indicate that he’s here to stay for some time yet.
Dutch DJ & producer Willem Rebergen, better known as Headhunterz, pulls off an admirable balancing act between his own creative freedom and the high expectations of success. He’s blazed his own trail, making music his very own, open-minded playground. In the past 15 years, Headhunterz has shown to be following his inner flow, with a unique sound that’s ever genre-bending, yet truly his. Outstanding performances at festivals like Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival, as well as more intimate venues like Ruby Skye, LA Exchange, ZOUK and Ushuaia, have wowed fans all across the globe. Following golden records, chart-topping remixes for Avicii, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Zedd, collabs with KSHMR, Hardwell, R3hab and Steve Aoki, and many, unforgettable moments on stage, Headhunterz is sure to continue wandering the infinite options of electronic dance music.
Jagerverb is a Berlin expat who's been causing quite the stir recently, and the 'Pomme EP' justifies the hype. Though Jagerverb resides in the techno capital of the world, his hard-hitting progressive electro cuts are a far cry from the dark, dubby techno sounds of Berghain.
Straight off the back of his Radio One Essential Mix, Pryda associate Jeremy Olander has put out this fantastic progressive house and techno mix for Pioneer's DJsounds series.
After playing the massive Pryda Madison Square Gardens gig at the end of 2014, Jeremy is heading back to the US for a five date tour - the dates of which are listed below the video.