Meet the DJs and producers who picked up awards in 2016’s Top 100 DJs poll.
MARTIN GARRIX - THE WORLD’S NO.1 DJ
The prodigious Dutch star became the youngest ever Top 100 DJs winner, having shot to prominence off the back of his 2013 No.1 hit ‘Animals’.
ARMIN VAN BUUREN - HIGHEST TRANCE DJ
Armin Van Buuren has had more Top 100 DJs No.1 positions than any other DJ. Although he's no longer in the top spot, there is no doubting his position as the king of trance.
Ahead of this weekend’s Tomorrowland Festival, Tom Swoon and Swanky Tunes have dropped their emotive collab ‘Last Goodbye’ on Ultra Records.
The track, which was originally premiered on Tiesto's Club Life Radio Show, is available now as a Beatport Exclusive.
Russian trio Swanky Tunes’ 2018 was out of this world, or at least it felt like it when they boarded the Zero Gravity flight organised by World Club Dome and the European Space Agency in March. Launching off on a parabolic flight that simulates the sensation of weightlessness, they joined Timmy Trumpet and a cast of celebrities for the world’s first gravity-free party. Space, the final frontier, may not be far off.
Back on terra firma they’ve been celebrating their Russian heritage, using their standing to usher in the next generation of talent by teaming up with countrymen Going Deeper and Rompasso as Russian Roulette, unveiling the super-group at Don Diablo’s Hexagon Stage on Tomorrowland's hallowed grounds. Alongside this they collaborated with various Russian artists, most recently national hip-hop star Vlady whose new album they make an appearance on.
Momentously, the year also marked the 21st anniversary of when Vadim, Dmitry and Stanislav joined together as a group, probably making Swanky Tunes older than some of their fans. How’s that for longevity?
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“They are frequently at big events and festivals. So yes, we submit our playlist when requested.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Depression and other mental issues affect many people around the world. Of course, these problems should be cared for by professional doctors, but we also have to be more educated and ready to recognise when someone needs help.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“We are not involved in booking line-ups, unfortunately, but are happy to see the entertainment industry becoming multi-gender.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“For now, we're trying to choose airlines with less CO2 emissions. And if there's a chance to travel by train instead of a plane, we always take a train.”
What was your favourite toy when you were kids?
“Model cars and electric railways.”
What's your guilty pleasure?
“We're just living our lives and enjoying everything with no guilt.”
From: Smolensk, Russia.
DJ style: “Electronic dance music.”
Best known for: “‘Fast & Furious 6’ soundtrack. Collaborations with Tiësto, Kaskade, R3HAB and many more. Multi-platinum sales artists.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Swanky Tunes ‘In The Club’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Rompasso.”
Swanky Tunes come rocketing back up the chart into 71st position this year. But what’s the key to their success? “We’ve been experimenting a lot with everything: music, videos, travels, leisure time, and that’s really cool to do, to come out of the box and see things from the other side,” the trio tell DJ Mag when asked about their year. Sounds like keeping things fresh is the trick! In terms of music that means Vadim Shpak, Dmitry Burykin and Stanislav Zaytsev have been putting out big bass-heavy bangers like ‘Drop It’ (the video for which collected crazy footage of the lads playing before huge crowds) and new trap-influenced track ‘In The Club’, plus they mixed the 2018 edition of their Showland Records’ ‘Miami’ compilation.
Speaking of Showland, this year the label dropped EPs from Rhannes, Will Fast and Dumbers and is now close to breaking the 100th release mark, meaning more celebrations are inbound for the near future.
Words: BEN HINDLE
Another new entry into the Top 100 this year, Russian trio Swanky Tunes have been producing together for a decade, collaborating for years with heavyweights like Afrojack and Kaskade. However, they’ve achieved plenty in the past 12 months to warrant the extra attention, and they don’t need much prompting to start rattling off their achievements.
“The past 12 months have been the most busy and successful year of our artist life and music career,” they say.
“Firstly, we hit the charts in Russia with our single ‘Fox Me’, which also became a real crossover international radio and club hit in the UK and the rest of Europe. And our single ‘Wherever U Go’ got amazing support from US dance stations and generated more than 1.5million streams on Spotify in the first couple of months after it was released on Dim Mak.”
The trio also relaunched their label imprint SHOWLAND and teamed up with Armada Music on distribution, and well as renewing their publishing deal with MusicAllStars and Spinnin’.
“We’ve actively toured all year round with a three-continent tour of the USA, Europe and Asia, leaving only Australia and South America uncovered. On top of it all we sold 4000 tickets for our show in our hometown of Smolensk, that’s an all-time record for a solo event by a DJ act hailing from the Russian Federation.”