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Poll 2015: Fedde Le Grand

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“I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been able to make a career out of music,” Fedde Le Grand tells us, humbly. “It has taken me around the world and allowed me to showcase my music to thousands.” 
Best known for catchy dance track 'Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit', Fedde Le Grand is currently in the studio crafting a brand new set of chart-toppers — his new LP is out early next year. But that's not all. “Next year I’m bringing my run of GRAND shows back, this time bigger and better,” he tells DJ Mag. “And I've got some really amazing new tracks, so couldn’t be happier!” 
Looks like it's smiles all round from Fedde then, roll on 2016! 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 12:15

Style: 
“House.”
Best known for: 
“'Put Your Hand Up 4 Detroit'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Fedde Le Grand 'Cinematic feat. Denny White'.”
From: 
Utrecht, Holland
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“It’s not really a breakthrough but Chris Lake, he has totally found his sound again.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“The ability to turn up to any venue, in any part of the world, day or night, and play a set that excites.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Music is always in a constant state of flux. I don’t think EDM is any different, and will certainly go through waves of popularity.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Being on the road constantly can become pretty exhausting, but DJs in my position should never complain.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I have been a big supporter of Dance For Life over the years, and I also support a dyslexia foundation.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“The Roxy in Amsterdam!”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I think DJing has historically been a very male dominated area of music, but this is perpetuated by the idea that there aren’t many female DJs — but there are! I think its up to promoters to book them, for journalists to cover them, and for people to buy their tracks.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think it's a weird phenomenon. If I read a book of my favourite writer, I would feel cheated to find out that someone else wrote it. You're a fan of someone's work, not of their skill to know where to hire the right people. I think it’s fine to have help or collaborate, but doing nothing or just making a remark on the final product seems weird to me.”

Poll 2015: Jack U

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What do you get when you lock Skrillex and Diplo in a studio together? A wildly successful bass child, apparently. Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock — with a very good set of earplugs — you’ve probably heard at least one of their productions as the duo Jack Ü, whether you wanted to or not.

Their debut ten-track LP, 'Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü', was a co-release between their respective OWSLA and Mad Decent labels that smashed the streams earlier this year, peaking at the #1 spot on Billboard’s US Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

Jack Ü’s second single release off the album, a hit collab with boy wonder Justin Bieber titled ‘Where Are Ü Now’, propelled them into the iPods of pre-teens and parents alike... and, predictably, launched a fair amount of fury within the electronic dance music world.

Catchy though the song may be, making nice with one of the most loathed visitors to the island of Ibiza in the past decade — after the Kardashians, obviously — is bad enough, but making music with him is a slippery slope to navigate. Unless you’re Skrillex or Diplo, of course.

Then, you can chalk it up to Jack Ü and tell the haters to jack off after your track goes platinum in the US. Which it did. It also gave both Diplo and Skrillex their first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100… and the Biebs his seventh.

ERIN SHARONI

Poll 2015: Nervo

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Australian sisters NERVO are big news. While some have questioned the lack of women in the Top 100 DJs poll, these DJ and production siblings have consistently placed in the upper reaches. Starting out as songwriters for everyone from Britney Spears to Kelly Rowland and Armin van Buuren, they’ve a natural knack for well-placed hooks, which pepper their productions.

In July 2015, they finally released their debut album ‘Collateral’, which features music royalty of the calibre of Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Kylie Minogue just for starters.

And while a clever pop sensibility is evident in their style, they’re not afraid of getting a little deeper musically, throwing in some groovier house during their DJ sets, which are clearly in high demand. They’ll play London, Las Vegas, Zurich and Sao Paulo before the year is out. 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 10:16

Style: 
“Big room house.”
Best known for: 
“Our singles 'Like Home', ‘Reason', 'Hold On' and ‘Revolution'. Also known for our radio show NERVONation, which airs weekly in over 70 countries.”
Tune of the year: 
“Major Lazer & DJ Snake ‘Lean On’ (feat MØ).”
From: 
“Melbourne — now based in London, LA, and Ibiza.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Galantis.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To make good tunes and to read the crowd.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Yes. We have just come off a European summer tour where all of our gigs were incredible and better than ever.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“We always have each other, so we are never lonely. We think this is a massive bonus and keeps us enjoying life on the road.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Definitely breast cancer. Our mum was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, so it is very close to our hearts. So much so that we are working on some super-exciting fund-raising projects with Fuck Cancer, launching in October this year.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Turnmills in London… oh, and the open air Space terrace in Ibiza.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“There are less women DJs, so the odds are against us.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“We started off as ghostwriters and used this as a platform to launch our own careers when the time was right for us to become artists. We are all for collaborating but there has to come a point in time when the ghost producer gets their glory (if they want this).”

Poll 2015: Umek

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When he first emerged in the mid-’90s, Umek was associated with the loop techno sound. Nowadays he’s far more visible as a key resident at Carl Cox’s Space Ibiza Revolution parties, and as a headliner at countless gigs and festivals across the world.

Accordingly, there’s a house music timbre to his sets nowadays. Still, Umek remains an anomaly in the Top 100, one of the last bastions standing strong against the EDM tide.

He claims he’s returned to his techno roots this year. “I’ve really enjoyed coming back to my own 1605 label after a while, re-launching my classic aliases Zeta Reticula (electro-infused techno; check out ‘Fonon’) and Alba Patera (techno) along the way. Maybe that wasn’t so obvious but I’m really enjoying exploring electro and proper techno realms right now.”

He’s enjoyed some big back-to-back sets with Spanish selector Coyu in 2015 too, at Ultra Europe and in Ibiza at Join The Revolution, and “a never-ending world tour with approximately a hundred gigs, including some top class clubs and festivals in Europe and the USA”. 

BEN MURPHY

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:27

Style: 
“Not much change there since previous years!”
Best known for: 
“Being a big sneaker addict.”
Tune of the year: 
“Kölsch feat Gregor Schwellenbach ‘Talbot’.”
From: 
Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Dosem.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Being capable of selecting good music and presenting it in a way that people feel excited about it.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Absolutely!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Yes, especially during winter when I get less sunlight. I have quite an aerophobia that I’ve luckily learned to cope with, but it’s still very stressful for me flying around.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Right now we’re gathering money and means for refugees from Syria, the Middle East and Africa that are coming to Europe in large numbers.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I always had a good time performing at Palazzo in Bingen, Germany and the old Tresor club in Berlin.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“It looks like we boys are still more skilful in this business, though I would expect at least some of the ladies such as Nina Kraviz to be part of the DJ Top 100 list in future.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“This is a reflection of the fact that DJs are being booked not for their DJ skills but the ability to produce and promote hit songs.”

Poll 2015: Kygo

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Tropical beats? Sure, Kygo’s got some. Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, our highest new entry from Bergen, Norway — a beautiful city that sparkles with cold, glacial fjords and snow atop its windswept peaks — has been busy warming up house music in 2015 with his beach-ready vibes.

Hailed by fans and peers alike as the harbinger of change to an electronic music scene in need of new life, the young artist makes his DJ Mag Top 100 debut in his biggest year to date…

with no signs of slowing down. From the release of his first original single, ‘Firestone’, which amassed over 100 million YouTube views, to headlining some of the world’s biggest festivals, Kygo assures us that “the whole year has been amazing.”

Closing out the LIVE stage at Ultra Music Festival with the debut of his new show and playing the Mojave Tent at Coachella are at the top of his favorite moments list, but of course, it’s hard to choose just one or two from a year full of musical madness.

As expected, there have been some crazy moments, too — such as preparing to perform at the finale of Germany’s Next Top Model and having to evacuate the arena due to a bomb threat. We’d say that qualifies, but we’re pretty sure that 2016 will bring even more for this rising star as he continues to warm hearts and dancefloors the world over with his uplifting, laidback grooves. 

ERIN SHARONI

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 11:53

Style: 
Tropical House
Best known for: 
Firestone
From: 
Bergen, Norway
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“I think so, but we as artists have a responsibility to change things up and continue pushing the boundaries of what electronic music is.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“At times, of course, but going on stage and performing is always the best remedy for me.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“My family for sure.”

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