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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. 


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

Tropical House
Best known for: 
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.”

Poll 2015: Tiësto


It’s been yet another year of chart-topping and globe-trotting for Dutchman Tijs Verwest, better known to the world as Tiësto. For the man who has been going strong in the EDM scene since before such a genre classification existed (fellow ‘90s ravers, we know you remember the days), life appears to be a continuous whirlwind of success.

From his residency at Vegas super-club Hakkasan to headlining the biggest festivals on the planet, to his popular Club Life radio show and compilation album, the superstar DJ/producer holds steady in the upper echelons of the DJ Mag Top 100.

Tiësto’s sound has evolved along with the scene as he replaced the fast-paced, euphoric trance that he made his name on with a decidedly more mainstream, pop-EDM sound — but his popularity keeps growing, year after year, despite the stark shift in fan base.

2015 has seen the superstar collaborating with plenty of other superstars, such as Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, and Don Diablo. While this year didn’t see an artist LP release, Tiësto kept fans satiated by delivering another mixed compilation album in May.

‘Club Life: Volume Four New York City’ is the fourth installment of his successful ‘Club Life’ compilation series and reached the #2 spot on Billboard’s US Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

Among the more popular tracks on the album is ‘Secrets’, a collaboration with Kashmiri-American producer KSHMR featuring Australian singer Vassy on vocals that charted in 12 countries — certainly, nothing new for Tiësto but a repeat occurrence that serves to underscore his popularity. What Tijs Verwest touches, often turns to dance chart gold.

Massive popularity comes with massive responsibility. While plenty of artists eschew it, the 46-year-old veteran producer appears not to take it lightly. Recognizing the contribution of women in dance music, for instance, Tiësto told The Miami New Times in an interview earlier this year, “I’m very aware and appreciative of [women’s roles in EDM].

I don’t really know why there’s not more of a female DJ presence out there. I mean, there are some great female names on the scene, but it would be great to see more.” He went on to admit, “female artists have been crucial to the development of dance music.”

Indeed, the dance music world sees a plethora of women featured on vocals, particularly in the brand of music Tiësto and his peers produce, but relatively few behind the decks.

In keeping with his pursuit of quality, though, he also acknowledges that he will only feature what sounds good — x and y chromosomes regardless.

One thing is certain: if the ever-influential, Dutch superstar can do for up and coming female DJs what he has done for equally promising male talent in recent years, the world of EDM will likely see the gender scale start to balance.


Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-10 12:20

EDM, trance, big room house
Breda, Holland

Poll 2015: Frontliner


Unlike the vast majority of DJs on this list, Frontliner is a man who plays by his own rules. This is evident in the fact that he never campaigns or for votes in the poll. Even so, he’s a feature in the list again this year – which is testament to his increasingly loyal group of fans, for whom he’s eternally grateful. “It means the world to me to see so many people vote for me on their own accord” he told us recently. “It’s what keeps me going in the studio.” We bet.

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:37

My own
Best known for: 
Doing the arm thing. Still!
Tune of the year: 
My own track, “Loud”, featuring John Jarris
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
Definitely! Even big popstars are now exploring EDM music in their productions.
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
It's a state of mind. My tour manager is an absolute hero and she always keeps my mind clear so I can focus on my performance.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
I can't stand animal abuse and my vegan diet is a way for me to pay respect to the world. In my spare time I like to raise money for street dogs and shelters. Now and then I spread the word on my socials about my vegan lifestyle.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
Definitely Club Matrixx - they were the first to trust me with a solo show and I will forever love them for that.
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
Because maybe they spent too much time in Sephora and too little time on producing?
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
I know some DJs who never learned how to produce and are still widely known. It’s the ghost producer behind these acts who doesn’t get the recognition they deserve.