HIGHEST DRUM & BASS
From: Antwerp, Belgium
DJ style: “Multiple genres but mostly drum & bass, future bass and funky house.”
What’s the next new big track? “Knife Party feat. Tom Morello ‘Battle Sirens’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Mura Masa.”
In at No.85, ex-Hospital Records poster boy Netsky has dropped a few places since last year, but is still keeping the spirit of drum & bass alive as the genre’s only representative in this year’s Top 100 poll.
It’s been a huge year for the man otherwise known as Boris Daenen, working with some top pop acts such as Macklemore and Emeli Sandé (undoubtedly due to the power granted to him by being signed to Sony), and playing festivals such as Reading & Leeds and SW4. A veritable legend in his native Belgium, Netsky was also made the official ambassador for his country at this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil — not bad for a guy who started out sampling his dad’s old records! “Travelling to Rio for the Olympics was amazing,” he says. “I’m really happy I had the chance to take some time off and explore this amazing city.”
Currently working hard to get his band on the road in the US next year, Netsky is as focused and dedicated as ever. Expect big things from the Belgian in 2017! BEN HINDLE
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists this year like Macklemore, Emeli Sandé and Digital Farm Animals. And being involved with the Belgian Olympics team and hanging out with all the athletes in Rio made my year.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“I think electronic music gets much more recognition than back when I started producing. I can tell electronic music is getting more and more involved with other platforms like fashion and games, and that is a great evolution!”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why?
“I love Native Instruments products. I use Traktor for all my DJ sets, and they keep pushing the boundaries with each update.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“House music, for sure! It’s the genre I started with as a young producer, and it’s a genre I want to start exploring more again.”
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“Education on drug use for ravers. Free drug-testing at festivals and clubs.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“I respect promoters that take risks and book acts that aren’t part of the scene their company is known for. This seems to be happening more and more, and I love it. For me, the best crowds will always be 50 percent fans and 50 percent people you have to win over. That’s the only way forward, in my opinion.”
WORDS: BEN HINDLE