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Poll 2015: Dyro

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This year, Dyro (real name Jordy Van Egmond) has gone big. He started his own imprint, WOLV, that's allowed him to expand his own catalogue, saying, “We went down on the bpms as I was getting bored of 127/128 bpm, I wanted to show another side to myself and the label”. 

In fact, keeping things fresh is very important to the Dutch EDM don — that's why he started his imprint in the first place. "I did it to have my own outlet that I could control completely and just to release cool tracks that I dig,” he says.

Aside from his new imprint, Dyro's already lined up hotly-anticipated collaborations with Headhunterz and Milo & Otis for next year, as well as promising his fans “lots of exciting new shows and, of course, WOLV material for 2016!”

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 10:44

Style: 
“Big-room, energetic anthems.”
Best known for: 
“'Never Say Goodbye', 'Leprechauns & Unicorns', and launching my own label WOLV.”
Tune of the year: 
“Dyro 'Foxtrot'.”
From: 
Leiden in the Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Loopers.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Originality.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“It seems now that everyone wants to be a DJ of this style or put on the latest producer just because they sell tickets, even if they’re not actually the best at what they do. The future is still bright but I think it will also evolve.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Not me, I can see how it does with some guys, it’s sometimes six or seven shows a week, it can be so tiring. As a DJ you have to not give in or overdo the lifestyle.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Education. Everyone needs the right to education.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I heard Mansion in Miami was closing, which is pretty sad, I’ve had some of the best nights there with the Bassjackers X Tour and Revealed.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“Because there aren’t enough behind the decks!”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“It’s up to them, I wouldn’t use one but I suppose we’ll never know about the rest.”

Poll 2015: Don Diablo

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The dawn of future house in 2014 heralded a new age for EDM, it seemed. It was the sound to nudge the continuum away from garish stadium noise towards the (relatively) deeper sound of classic house reimagined through EDM eyes, they said.

A slew of names such as Tchami, Oliver Heldens and Holland's Don Diablo were found carrying the torch, and it felt (at least) as if 2015 was going to be the year that the nubile, cool-cat friendly sound of future house would usurp the EDM juggernaut. 

And thus, after polling at 82 last year, Don Diablo is this year's Highest Climber. However, after remixing Rudimental, Ed Sheeran and Tiësto & KSHMR as well as teaming up with Khrebto to borrow Candi Staton's 'You've Got The Love' this year, it's not just Don's progressive approach to EDM that you kids love him for — it's his ear for an infectious pop hook! 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 10:55

Style: 
“Electronic music.”
Best known for: 
“Living in a HEXAGON-shaped universe.”
Tune of the year: 
“Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MO 'Lean On'.”
From: 
The Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Galantis.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“You have to be able to connect with the audience under any given circumstances.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“People are exploring other options which is a very natural development, there is a lot of great music out there.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“It definitely does, but you have to find a way to push your boundaries and try to survive on pure adrenaline. The absence of a private life is probably the biggest struggle.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I lost my father to cancer, so I have been working closely with several cancer charities the last two years to raise money for research and education.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Fight Club.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“Because women are better dancers than men, they don't need to hide behind the decks.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think they are missing out. Rocking a big rave is an amazing experience, but there is no better feeling in the world than creating your own music in the studio.”

Poll 2015: Kura

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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!” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 12:28

Style: 
“Electro and progressive house.”
Best known for: 
“'The Portuguese'/KURA trademark drops.”
Tune of the year: 
“Calvin Harris & Disciples ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and Camelphat ‘Constellations’.”
From: 
Lisbon, Portugal
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Dallas K & Wiwek.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“I think reading the crowd is the most important one, having the capacity to 'change gears' once in a while, be eclectic and have fun with the people.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“For sure, a lot of people announced the death of EDM a long time ago, and it's still going strong. When the music is good I don’t really believe in genres, I like to listen to everything.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Not really, I love it, wouldn't see myself doing anything else. When I’m not playing I surround myself with family and long-time friends, so I live a pretty normal life, nothing fancy.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I believe the most important cause of our days is ecology. The fate of the planet is something that should worry us all as a species; otherwise there will be no future.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“The club where I started out as a DJ that recently closed — Bauhaus in Estroril, Lisbon.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I believe that is something that is going to change in the next years, there are a lot of good female DJs that are now into music production and that will change the poll for sure.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I personally never used one but I don't really care if someone uses them. For me it doesn't make sense because I really love to make music, so it would be taking away a big pleasure that I have. If you do it you should be open about it, to your fans.”

Poll 2015: Flux Pavilion

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Repping bass music hard for the UK, Flux Pavilion is the only British producer to hit the Top 100 with a passion for those low-end frequencies.

Nowadays, bar the likes of Skrillex, there are few superstar DJs dedicated to the “genre formerly known as dubstep”, but Flux Pavilion and his Circus crew have tapped a rich seam of fizzy EDM melody and hard, brutal mid-range bass that seems to hit the sweet spot for a lot of people.

It helps that Flux Pavilion, or Josh Steele to friends and fam, is a dab hand at several musical instruments, from drums to guitar and even the saxophone. Citing appearances at EDC Las Vegas and gigs in Hawaii as particularly fond 2015 memories, he also released his monumental debut album ‘Tesla’ in September.

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 16:18

Style: 
Bass and Harmony
Best known for: 
'Dubstep You Can Sing?'
Tune of the year: 
Flux Pavilion 'International Anthem’
From: 
Towcester, Northamptonshire, UK
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
Diskord.
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
Tune selection is key and also patience, you need to let the music breathe once in a while.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
The past, present and future is always going to be bright for electronic music.
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
Yes, which is fine, as long as you don't pretend that it doesn't. Ups and downs are part of being alive sometimes.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
Struggles in mental health at a young age. I think growing up can be pretty tough for some people, and support and positive reinforcement is key.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
The End Club in Holborn was a club I wish we could have had a Circus (Records) monthly residency at.
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
There are loads of amazing female DJs out there like Rezz, Krewella, Alice Wonderland, Nina Las Vegas or Anna Lunoe. I included Maya Jane Coles in my Flux100, as it was crazy to think she wasn’t in there before.
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
A DJ is different to a producer, so the fact that a person who is good at one thing asks another person who is good at another thing to do something doesn't surprise me.

Poll 2015: Will Sparks

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Will Sparks is a truly passionate guy. He's passionate about his city, about his music and most of all, about his fans. His dream is simply to see them happy, and, as Will confesses to DJ Mag, he's living that dream everyday.

Rising all the way from No.126 in last year's poll, it's obvious Will is doing something right, but there's evidence elsewhere too. His massive 2014 collaboration with Wiley and Elen Levon, 'Ah Yeah So What', has clocked up over 4.5million YouTube plays to date; whilst his latest single, 'Sick Like That', has already picked up over 250,000 plays on SoundCloud.

Having become a firm favourite in his home nation over the past few years, 2015 has seen the Aussie go for gold on a global scale. Gigging in North America or Europe most weekends, it's not surprising that Will describes his lifestyle as “non-stop”, but he makes it clear to DJ Mag: “I haven't stopped and I won't stop.” 

With that kind of confidence and enthusiasm we're inclined to believe him, and if the electrifying Super Saiyan artwork for 'Sick Like That' is anything to go by, nobody else will be stopping Will either.

BEN HINDLE

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:56

Style: 
“Melbourne bounce.”
Best known for: 
“Melbourne bounce.”
Tune of the year: 
“Jack Ü feat. Aluna George 'To Ü'.”
From: 
Melbourne
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Oliver Heldens.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“The reading and handling of the crowd.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“YES!!”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Definitely, I've learnt that long periods of time away from home affects you greatly, but not permanently. You have to keep fit and healthy on the road to stay stable.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“[Anxiety and depression awareness organisation] Beyond Blue.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Korova - Melbourne, Australia.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I’m really unsure — there certainly should be!”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think many of them simply lack passion, the others are just lazy or don't have a musical mind.”

Poll 2015: Yellow Claw

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Together Bizzey (Leonardo Roelandschap), Nizzle (Nils Rondhuis) and Jim Aasgier make up Yellow Claw, a grouping whose sonic output is a diverse reflection of the trio's own personalities. However, their method of working doesn't always see them agree on issues of musical taste, but fortunately they have a simple way of reaching a final decision — “paper/rock/scissors get you through a lot,” they tell DJ Mag.

After successful singles in their Dutch homeland's national charts, Yellow Claw's reputation spread internationally and they signed to Diplo's Mad Decent. Now they regularly travel the globe, citing Indonesia as the most interesting new place they've visited this year and Bootshaus in Cologne as the best venue. 

We asked the guys how they feel about their recent progress. “Last year was great but this year was just better because everything was bigger, better, faster, harder,” they explain, before enigmatically adding: “and we get to share it with our barong family.”

With an unshakeable faith in the future of electronic dance music and an ever-evolving palette of sounds that they are only too happy to work with, Yellow Claw's ambition for 2016 is quite straightforward — “World domination!” 

DAVID McCARTHY

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:42

Style: 
“No mercy.”
Best known for: 
“Creating mayhem at your local festival.”
Tune of the year: 
“Jack U feat. Justin Bieber ‘Where Are U Now’.”
From: 
Amsterdam
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Cesqeaux.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Mixing business with pleasure.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“As long as we have electricity we will have electronic dance music. Trends will come and go. Music will stay.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“No.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Children.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Every club we played in the last six months.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“We are not that familiar with the list. We hope there are a lot this year. We personally know a few good ones.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“We hope Meek Mill will become a DJ and produce a 16-minute minimal tekno diss track against them to set them straight.”

Poll 2015: Borgore

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Asaf Borger, aka Borgore, is something of a musical chameleon. He started his music career young, first becoming a classically trained musician — he frequently lists Bach, half-jokingly, as one of his favourite musicians of all time — before joining deathcore band Shabira in his formative years. In videos of the band performing he looks out of place, a gawky, shaved-headed figure in a group of bearded, long-haired rockers. 

While he might have since left the band and moved from his hometown of Tel Aviv to the US, elements of his heavier musical past have remained a feature of his productions.

Borger describes his music as Gorestep” — a fusion of EDM, dubstep and heavy metal that unites his earlier influences with his newfound passion for brash, in-yer-face electronic music. 

In 2012, Borger collaborated with Miley Cyrus on the single ‘Decisions’ — the song is often described as a turning point in Miley Cyrus’s musical transformation. The single catapulted Borgore into the spotlight and proved he could bring ‘Gorestep’ to the masses. 

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:23

Style: 
“Gorestep.”
Best known for: 
“Being sexy.”
Tune of the year: 
“Borgore feat. G-Eazy ‘Forbes’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Getter.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“Good production skills.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“The future is definitely interesting.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Yeah, I can’t remember all these chicks names I meet.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“I’m donating $1 to @keepabreast for every #BootyforBorgore post. Their mission is ‘to empower young people around the world with breast health education & support’.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“Barzilay in Tel Aviv.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“The same reason there aren’t as many women celebrated in top positions in other industries: systematic discrimination.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think they should not be on this list.”

Poll 2015: Brennan Heart

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 Dutch hardstyle producer Brennan Heart has had one of those years. “I thought 2014 was madness, but 2015 topped it… crazy”, he sighs. “At the beginning of the year I took one and a half months break in Bali... to recharge myself, regarding my future, plans and ambitions.”

That rest was warranted, surely. In between broadcasting his radio show on SlamFM (‘WE R Hardstyle’) and manning stages at EDC and Defqon.1, the producer’s been heading up his own WE R Music label, and is revered by his fans for arena smashers such as ‘Follow The Light’ and ‘FIFO’ (standing for “fit in or fuck off”).

To get away from the madness of the jetsetting lifestyle of an international DJ, he’s just treated himself to a new crib: a “beautiful cottage in the countryside, enjoying life with my girlfriend. But no worries for the fans: there will also be a new studio next to the house!” he assures DJ Mag.

“My passion for music is the thing that keeps me going, but I need to make sure that any spare time I have is spent with family and friends.” 

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

Style: 
“Hardstyle.”
Best known for: 
“Tracks like 'Lose My Mind' and 'Imaginary'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Blademasterz 'Still Here'.”
From: 
Holland
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Sub Sonik.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To analyse how people react to a variety of tracks. In some places hardstyle is pretty new to the audience, so I play different tracks and remixes than when I’m playing Benelux.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Electronic music still is a very young genre and constantly evolving. That's what I like about music: it's dynamic and renewing itself, and I'm still stoked when I hear a great sound or a catchy melody.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Sure thing. Travelling is demanding for everyone, but it's part of a great job. You can make a fuss about each delay, but it won’t change anything.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“The refugee situation is tearing me apart. It's really hard to find good and permanent solutions for people that are forced to leave their homes.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I'd like to bring back some smaller clubs from when I started, as I find it important that there are clubs that offer opportunities for new talent to play.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“That’s a question for the DJ Mag readers. They are the voters! I think it's just a matter of numbers. If you calculate the total number of female DJs compared to male, it's only a few percent...”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“It's a kick when you create something new, and you can't wait to play it for other people. It can create the same goosebumps as going out on the main stage of Defqon.1 or EDC with 60,000 fans in front of you.”

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: Angerfist

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Angerfist makes music that matches his name. Known for crafting fast, brutal and, well, angry beats, Angerfist's music sits somewhere between hardcore, raw-edged techno and old school gabba.

He released his fourth LP 'The Deadfaced Dimension' at the close of 2014, and has spent much of this year working on his upcoming world tour for his popular event Raise & Revolt, where he'll debut a bunch of new slammers and collabs, plus some new visuals.

He's also dropped full-throttle mixes for Defqon.1 and Masters Of Hardcore, plus spun at mega-fests including Dominator, Partyraiser and Las Vegas's EDC over the last 12 months. A big fan of Jaegermeister and “his morning omelette”, it seems Angerfist's sonic (if slightly aggressive) boom is here to stay. 

From: The Netherlands

Style: “Hardcore techno.”

Best known for: “'Raise Your Fist For Angerfist'.”

Tune of 2015: “Furyan 'For What?!'”

Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: “Furyan.”

What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?
“The ability to adapt to the atmosphere.”

Is the future still bright for EDM?
“Sure, it might shift shapes a bit but it’s definitely here to stay.”

Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?
“I can feel that the weekends sometimes take longer to recover from. Maybe I should cut down on the Jaegermeister a bit, who knows?”

What cause is closest to your heart?
“Well, I take my morning omelette quite seriously.”

Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?
“I can’t really think of any club that has died that didn’t have it coming, and the clubs that I really like are still there.”

Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?
“I’m not sure. The amount of female DJs is definitely growing. It’s probably a matter of time.”

What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?
“It’s so integrated in the music business. Who cares?”

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-13 15:55

Style: 
“Hardcore techno.”
Best known for: 
“'Raise Your Fist For Angerfist'.”
Tune of the year: 
“Furyan 'For What?!'”
From: 
The Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Furyan.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“The ability to adapt to the atmosphere.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Sure, it might shift shapes a bit but it’s definitely here to stay.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“I can feel that the weekends sometimes take longer to recover from. Maybe I should cut down on the Jaegermeister a bit, who knows?”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Well, I take my morning omelette quite seriously.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“I can’t really think of any club that has died that didn’t have it coming, and the clubs that I really like are still there.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“I’m not sure. The amount of female DJs is definitely growing. It’s probably a matter of time.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“It’s so integrated in the music business. Who cares?”

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