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Poll 2015: MAKJ

83
MAKJ
makj
makj
Down
21

Makj is the alias of US DJ/producer Mackenzie Johnson. Famed for his take on all things electro-house, this prolific producer has also worked alongside a varied crew of musicians, with everyone from Hardwell to Lil’ Jon to M35 rubbing shoulders with the Tomorrowland main-stager. 

Another on this list who’s signed his music to the likes of Spinnin’ and Ultra, Makj is also a talented DJ and by no means simply a talented producer – which is no real surprise considering he got his first pair of Technics at the tender age of 15. 2015 marks his second year in the Top 100…but all the signs would indicate that he’s here to stay for some time yet.

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 16:19

Style: 
My own
Best known for: 
Looking like a giraffe
Tune of the year: 
MAKJ & Thomas Newson - Black
From: 
San Luis Obispo, Californian
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
Kenze
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
Reading a crowd.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
Of course! Classifying it as one specific genre is the issue. "EDM" to me will always be around.
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
100%. Not seeing my family, friends, dog, is extremely hard. But if that’s the only thing I can complain about with this job then yeah, I'll take it. Happily.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
My best friend died of cancer last year, so the National Foundation for Cancer Research means the world to me.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
The Government in Toronto.
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
Let's just say this, if there was no such thing as "ghost producers" then a lot of the Top100 wouldn't exist. So I guess it’s important to some people. Not me.

Poll 2015: Headhunterz

48
Headhunterz
Down
8

Dutch DJ & producer Willem Rebergen, better known as Headhunterz, pulls off an admirable balancing act between his own creative freedom and the high expectations of success. He’s blazed his own trail, making music his very own, open-minded playground. In the past 15 years, Headhunterz has shown to be following his inner flow, with a unique sound that’s ever genre-bending, yet truly his. Outstanding performances at festivals like Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival, as well as more intimate venues like Ruby Skye, LA Exchange, ZOUK and Ushuaia, have wowed fans all across the globe. Following golden records, chart-topping remixes for Avicii, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Zedd, collabs with KSHMR, Hardwell, R3hab and Steve Aoki, and many, unforgettable moments on stage, Headhunterz is sure to continue wandering the infinite options of electronic dance music.    

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 10:48

Style: 
A combination of different sounds
Best known for: 
Bringing the music that comes from within
Tune of the year: 
Galantis - Runaway
From: 
Netherlands
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
Oliver Heldens
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
Stage presence.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
Genres come and go but music stays and we should just accept the change and move with it.
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
It most certainly does, but I do what I can do to balance it out by doing sports and meditation and taking rest when I need to. There would be no point in doing all this if my mind was too stressed to enjoy it.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
Forgotten clubs are not something I store in my long term memory.
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
The DJ mag Top 100 mostly consists of people who produce, and sitting behind a computer programming music is not something that generally appeals to women, I believe. With this in the back of people’s minds, they tend to be sceptical towards women who DJ, with a few exceptions of course. DJing nowadays is, in my opinion, more of a showcase for the producer, and isn’t very technically challenging. So when you take away ‘producer’ from the showcase, you’re left with something that practically anyone could pull off.
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
I don’t like to point fingers and rather focus on myself. For me personally there is no greater satisfaction than the satisfaction I get from producing music.

Poll 2015: Krewella

81
Krewella
Krewella
Krewella
Down
48

“There is no bigger compliment than to have our amazing support system, our KREW, vote for us without even being asked to do so. THAT is real love”.

So says Krewella – and to give the guys their dues you would indeed be hard pressed to find a more loved female duo in the EDM world right now. Consisting of sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, this all-conquering pair have a style that’s very much their own. And in

spite of Kristopher "Rain Man" Trindl’s much publicised resignation, the Krewella party rolls with distinction…

http://danceforparalysis.org/

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

Style: 
Intense, raw and powerful
Best known for: 
Sweaty hugs
Tune of the year: 
Stephen - “Remembering Myself”
From: 
Chicago, Illinois
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
Joyryde, NGHTMRE, & Slander
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
Being able to take a crowd on a sometimes emotional and sometimes intense journey in the span of a set.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
As long as electronic musicians keep innovating and evolving, there will always be a bright future.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
Dance for Paralysis is the organisation that the proceeds from our Electric Family charity bracelet go to. Many paralysis victims are told that they will never walk or move again without ever being given a fighting chance -- proceeds from this charity go towards research and equipment to help people get back on their feet again.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
Neo in Chicago – Vampire and goth vibes!
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
The electronic music industry can be daunting for women. If more women are willing to take big risks and be unafraid of the ridicule, double standards, and any other setbacks or troubles, we will (hopefully) slowly start to see more women releasing electronic music, playing shows and festivals, and thus ending up on the Top 100.
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
We'll leave it at this - giving credit where credit is due is incredibly important with any form of art.

Poll 2015: Radical Redemption

72
Radical Redemption
radical redemption
radical redemption
Down
8

Hardstyle has never been more popular than it is right now. One man who’s helped bring the genre to unforeseen heights is the inventively named Radical Redemption.

Still only 25 years old, 2015 is the second year in a row the burgeoning Dutchman has made the Top 100. With his own show coming up in November at Amsterdam’s infamous Heineken Music Hall, it seems the only way is up for the “Prostitute” producer…

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 14:34

Style: 
Hardstyle
Best known for: 
The Spell of Sin/The Brutal saga.
Tune of the year: 
Piece of Shit
From: 
The Netherlands
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
The ability to feel the crowd.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
I don't know about EDM, but the future is bright for hardstyle. The market is really growing right now, and in 2015 I had way more bookings abroad than 2014. It's also up to the producers to keep producing awesome stuff and keep the scene alive!
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
Personally I never suffer from things like jetlag or whatever. Sometimes you're tired after travelling, but nothing I can't handle, that's for sure.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
That's a difficult one. The only thing I can say is that I live for the music and everything around it.
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
Well, I really miss the parties in The Matrixx in Nijmegen, that's for sure. Those nights were always awesome, packed, and the crowd went totally mental.
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
I really don't know.
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
Sometimes a producer is just a producer. That's when you will search for a face, to do the performances. There's nothing wrong with that. Besides, I don't think Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Madonna or Katy Perry write all their songs themselves. Nobody cares about that. So basically, I've got no problem with the whole ghost producer thing.

Poll 2015: VINAI

43
VINAI
vinai
vinai
Up
19

Despite only forming in 2011, VINAI are a duo very much setting the EDM world on fire right now. Setting their stall out early with a series of club-ready cuts such as the ubiquitous EDM hit “Raveology”, these Italian brothers have seen their stock soar over the past year thanks to a reciprocal relationship with the all-conquering Dutch label, Spinnin’.

Collaborations with the likes of DVBBS, R3hab and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike prove that they’re not afraid of mixing it alongside their big-name peers either. Watch out for their new track, the curiously named “Techno”, which is out now on Spinnin’ – naturally - and promises to showcase a side of the boys we’ve never witnessed before. Brothers gonna work it out, eh?

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 10:33

Style: 
Big room bounce
Best known for: 
“Bounce Generation”, “Raveology”, “How We Party”, “Louder”, “The Wave”
Tune of the year: 
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – “Lean On”
From: 
Brescia, Italy
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
DJ Snake
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
To make the crowd dance during their set. Pure and simple.
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
We certainly think so. EDM music has a lot of energy and people need energetic music, especially during festivals.
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
Sometimes it does, yes, but we are very strong and focused on our career and goals, so we don’t let it get us down.
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
Just to produce good music.

Poll 2015: Kygo

33
Kygo
kygo
kygo
New Entry
0

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.”

Poll 2015: Tiësto

5
Tiësto
tiesto
tiesto
Stay
0

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.

ERIN SHARONI

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

Style: 
EDM, trance, big room house
From: 
Breda, Holland

Poll 2015: Frontliner

73
Frontliner
Frontliner
Frontliner
Down
28

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

Style: 
My own
Best known for: 
Doing the arm thing. Still!
Tune of the year: 
My own track, “Loud”, featuring John Jarris
From: 
Amsterdam
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
Nexone
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
Modesty.
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.

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