EDM | Page 44 | DJMag.com Skip to main content

Poll 2015: Danny Avila

60
Danny Avila
New Entry
0

Danny Avila is a DJ who proves that age really is just a number. Having first whet his appetite for dance music in Marbella, at the club his father's friends owned, it wasn't until he suffered a wakeboarding accident aged 14 that he truly had time to sit down and learn his craft.

Now, having racked up close to 80k Instagram followers, he treks relentlessly round the world’s biggest clubs, and the 20-year old explains he's had “a year of innovations and lots of moments of joy! I feel blessed to have had the chance to visit so many countries.”

It was sneaking into a Fedde Le Grande show in ‘09 that made him understand how to really ‘kill it’ in a club, and at that point Danny upped sticks to Madrid.

One of the plaudits he’s earned since is the title of Hakkasan's youngest-ever resident, as well as gaining residencies in Las Vegas and Pacha Barcelona, and this is Danny’s first entry into the Top 100.

“Nothing is more nourishing than to celebrate along with your fans and to feel the rush that comes back from their energy onto the stage,” he gushes. “It’s been the most diverse year of my career so far, with my whole MORE concept coming to life where I take people on a journey through a vast variety of electronic music.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 12:23

Style: 
“Electro house, deep and tech house.”
Best known for: 
“High-energy DJing in many genres.”
Tune of the year: 
“Eric Prydz ‘Opus’.”
From: 
Madrid
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Tujamo.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To be able to read the crowd and lead them to the best time they can imagine.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“I’ve never liked the word ‘EDM’. Electronic music is bigger than ever before, and it’s a great time to try out new stuff that might have been too experimental for crowds in the past.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Not really. I have been touring since I was 15. You can get used to it if you know how to spend your time efficiently while travelling.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“There are a lot of homeless people in Madrid. When I’m there, I try to bring them food and something to cheer them up, though I always feel pretty helpless seeing so many of them.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Dreamers, Marbella. I had some of the best nights of my life there when I was 14.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I think the profession of being a DJ is still led by men. So, in relation to the amount of female DJs in the world, there are much fewer DJanes in the Top 100.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think the original idea has to come from the artist himself. He has to be involved in the creative process. But there are great sound engineers that can help bring the track to the next level, which is a great thing.”

Poll 2015: Nicky Romero

18
Nicky Romero
Down
10

For Nicky Romero, 2015 was another typically hectic year. Playing at all the biggest festivals across the world, including Ultra Miami, Europe and Japan, at EDC Las Vegas and Tomorrowland in Brazil and Belgium, the DJ/producer still found time to drop the first installment in his new ‘Lighthouse’ trilogy of productions.

Nicky also knuckled down to get his Protocol label bubbling more than ever before.

“We’ve got some seriously great talent on our roster,” he says, “and we had our 50th release at the beginning of the summer. We’re also taking our Protocol nights around the world, and they’re always great fun. I’m so proud of everything that is coming out there.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-10-20 16:34

Style: 
"Full-on energy.”
Best known for: 
“Lately, ‘Lighthouse’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Had a blast collaborating with Volt & State on ‘Warriors’.”
From: 
Amerongen, Holland
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Volt & State — they are mixing the official Protocol x ADE compilation. If you haven’t heard of them, you’re missing out!”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
"The ability to connect with their crowd. The fans are more important than anything else, so it’s crucial that you can read what they want and give them the best time.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
"Of course, but I think we are going to see a change. The dance music landscape is already changing and evolving, which is all part of the process.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
"Yes, absolutely. It can be hard switching time-zones and going from one gig to the next with next to no sleep. As a DJ, you want to be the very best you can be for each and every fan you play for.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I’m actually a worldwide ambassador for [voluntary work organization] 10,000 Hours and really admire what they do. One of the best aspects is that rather than just donate money, people are fully involved as they are contributing themselves and their time.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in saying I would love to bring back The Guvernment, Toronto. It was an amazing venue and it was a sad day when it closed just over a year ago.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
No answer
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
No answer

Poll 2015: Quintino

80
Quintino
Up
6

The Dutch DJ, real name Quinten van den Berg, has climbed a further six places in the Top 100 DJs poll this year. “It really made me happy when I heard the news that I was in the Top 100 again,” he tells DJ Mag when we contact him for his interview. “Even though music speaks for itself, it’s great when it gets recognized.”

Signed to giant Dutch behemoth Spinnin', his latest release is a huge EDM update of the Nomad house classic 'Devotion', while earlier in the year he again teamed with his 'Epic' cohort Sandro Silva for 'Aftermath', a release supported by DV&LM, Hardwell, Garrix, Showtek et al.

“We always make sure that there is time enough in my schedule to be in the studio,” Quintino tells us. “And on the planes I sleep like a baby, so that is a good perk.”

He also says that he's had some great shows this year such as EDC and Ultra Korea, and is heading back Stateside for EDC Orlando in early November before returning for Electrowave in France later in the month. 

KIM O'CONNOR

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 15:04

Style: 
“Dutch dance music.”
Best known for: 
“'Go Hard' and 'Epic'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Martin Solveig 'Intoxicated'.”
From: 
Holland
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“MOTi — he’s definitely killing it!”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Being able to read the crowd for optimal performance, and the combination of own music with a strong connection with the crowd is a winner!”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“I don’t like to think about EDM, trap or deep house and I never did. It’s dance music that makes people wanna go out to festivals, party and listen on their phones. It can be everything.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“No not really, we control our tours with management and agency and make sure everything is proper.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Karma! I believe if you do good, it comes back.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“That’s a club in Glasgow called The Arches. I had the honour to play there before it closed. The energy in that venue was out of this world.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“No idea. There is a lot of talent, so I think it’s a matter of time. I think it also has to do with the fact that women are less likely to be interested in technology; basically, DJs are nerds who are figuring out software when they’re starting out. That’s more of a boys thing to do.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I’m personally sort of against it. I mean, basically, you’re lying to the entire world about your work.”

Poll 2015: Chuckie

77
Chuckie
Re-entry
0

Dutch house titan and last month’s DJ Mag cover star Chuckie is going through something of a reinvention. The Dirty Dutch superstar, real name Clyde Sergio Narain, has recently been dabbling in ‘traphall’, aka trap x dancehall — the genre he’s now spearheading.

Speaking about the last 12 months, Chuckie reveals he’s had an amazing year. “I travelled around the world many times and played some of the biggest festivals in the world,” he says.

Having always embraced a multitude of genres, he has this year debuted his Metamorphosism world tour — a mega showcase of floor-fillers spanning between five and nine hours, and an antidote to the (allegedly sometimes) pre-recorded 45-minute festival set. 

Despite having encountered many corners of the globe in 2015, Chuckie’s only lament is that he wishes he “could have had more time in the studio. It was almost impossible to combine it with my hectic tour schedule.”

In our cover story, over a cup of builder’s tea, he admitted to flying 452 times last year, and he explains how “all flight attendants and pilots are allowed to fly only a certain amount of time because of safety measures. We all know that DJs fly way more than whatever is healthy”, the chameleonic producer finishes. FELICITY MARTIN

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:44

Style: 
“Dirty funkin' Dutch music.”
Best known for: 
“Mixing whatever with whatever.”
Tune of the year: 
“DJs From Mars 'Phatt Ass Drop 2'.”
From: 
The Lowlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Ape Drums!”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“The ability to read the crowd, the ability to open and close a room, and all points in-between!”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“The future of electronic dance music has always been bright. But when you're talking about EDM as a particular sound, I would say it is evolving into a more relevant sound.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“The constant travelling doesn't take a toll on me mentally. But physically it does.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I support different charity projects, so it's hard to say which one is closest to my heart. I feel blessed to be able to give back. If I retire some day, I will dedicate most of my time to help the less fortunate.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Club Voltage in The Hague, The Netherlands. That's the club where I started back in 1994.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I have no clue, but maybe there should be a separate Top 100 DJs poll for women. Not to discriminate against women but there are some talented ladies out there, especially in the underground.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“If a DJ needs help producing his music and he needs a specialist to help him out, be my guest. As long as his heart and soul is all over that track.”

Poll 2015: Borgeous

74
Borgeous
Up
13

By now you’ll know the singular synth strokes of ‘Tsunami’, a UK No.1 and the reason its producer shot to fame in 2013. The Miami-born, now LA-based John Borger (or Borgeous as he’s known to his two million and counting Facebook fans) made his debut mark on the Top 100 last year and could well be here to stay.

The American producer's proved he’s not a one-hit wonder since that worldwide chart smasher, with tracks like ‘They Don’t Know Us’, ‘Wildfire’ and ‘Voodoo’ (another collaboration with DVBBS) granted major airtime by key tastemakers.

The Spinnin’ Records signee even teamed up this year with Waka Flocka Flame and Wiz Khalifa on ‘Toast’, showcasing the versatility of his productions. Having remixed the likes of Afrojack and Canadian singer-songwriter Lights, he’s shown to have a dab hand at reworking tunes into crowd pleasers.

The 'Borgeous Army' (his fans) are always out in full force at his shows, keenly awaiting those big room house drops and heavily clad in custom garms. While on those rare days he’s not catering to EDM-hungry crowds, he’s busy cooking up mixes for his ‘House Of Borgeous’ podcast on Sirius XM. 2016 looks set to be just as big a year for the chart-hitter.

FELICITY MARTIN

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:39

Style: 
Big room house, EDM
Best known for: 
DVBBS & Borgeous 'Tsunami'
From: 
Miami

Poll 2015: Laidback Luke

64
Laidback Luke
Down
14

He’s been sliding around the Top 100 for some time now, but Laidback Luke wasn’t about to let himself be phased by last year’s results. “Funnily enough, after dropping to position 50 last year, this year seemed to be my busiest year ever,” recalls the big room house producer — Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen, as he’s known off stage. 

He’s been on more than one of those this summer — Tomorrowland, Ultra, EDC, to name a few — and produces incessantly for labels like Size, Fool's Gold as well as his own Mixmash. Having also just announced his first album in ten years, ‘Focus’, we’re questioning whether the first half of his name is really necessary. 

Despite his status as successful DJ and producer in his own right, the Philippines-born, Holland-raised artist doesn’t look down on those who use ghost producers. “DJing and producing are two totally separate entities,” he goes on to say. “Just because you're a good producer with big hits, doesn't mean you know how to work a crowd properly and that you're able to take the crowd on a musical journey. And vice versa, just because you're a great DJ, doesn't mean you'll be an amazing producer.”

You heard it here first.

FELICITY MARTIN

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:10

Style: 
“EDM and beyond.”
Best known for: 
“Lover of the art of DJing, fast producing, helping talents. Love for superheroes.”
Tune of the year: 
“Galantis 'U&I'.”
From: 
The Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“KANDY.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To be able to adapt to the crowd and feel what a room needs.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Absolutely! EDM will just morph into something else, like it did with the coming of future house last year.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“It sure does! All the time, actually. It's been a real good practice to try and stay healthy both mentally as well as physically on tour.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“With Electric Family, we've done the 'Fuck Cancer' bracelets this year. It's very rare you come across someone who didn't lose someone to cancer. It's crazy we're still losing loved ones to cancer in 2015.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“The Arches in Glasgow. It's such a shame that closed down this year!”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“Why aren't there more technical DJs in the Top 100 DJs poll?”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I'm absolutely fine with that. The mailman might be able to deliver the most wonderful packages on time, but that doesn't mean he's responsible for the products in there.”

Poll 2015: tchami

62
tchami
New Entry
0

EDM takes many of its cues from the French touch electro sound that preceded it, so the only surprise in Tchami's dramatic new-entry position this year is that there aren't more like him.

Bloody Beetroots and Germany's Boys Noize might have represented Gallic-inspired noise in this poll over the years and subsequently dropped out, however it's as part of EDM's new wave that this hip Parisian finds himself rubbing shoulders with the big guns.

One of the few managing to straddle a line between mainstream success and underground credibility, Tchami has been spotted dropping everything from EDM bangers to silkier, bass-inflected house beats on gargantuan festival stages as well as the cooler, more demure rooms of clubland in 2015.

On the one hand acknowledged as a pioneer of the future house sound — to the point where comparisons between this summer's 'After Life' and Oliver Heldens' breakthrough tune 'Gecko' have raised one or two eyebrows — he also sits comfortably alongside trap/EDM and brostep names such as DJ Snake and Nero.

Reaching No.2 in the UK charts earlier this year with 'Promesses', he's already proved a darling of Britain's house-loving public and his After Life tour has just visited the US. 

A compatriot of fellow Frenchmen Madeon and Martin Solveig (both notable absences in the poll this year), Tchami — as the namesake of his associated genre suggests — really does appear to be the future. Not just for house, but EDM as a whole.

ADAM SAVILLE

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:06

Style: 
Future house/EDM
Best known for: 
'After Life'
From: 
Paris, France

Pages