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Poll 2018: Florian Picasso

Florian Picasso

From: France
DJ style: “Versatile.”
Best known for: “Collabs with Garrix, Aoki, Romero and breakthrough single ‘Origami’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “King Princess ‘1950’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Gryffin.”

Not unlike fellow countryman David Guetta, Florian Picasso is a solitary French iris amongst the populous Dutch tulip field that is the EDM scene. However, he’s had little trouble building allegiances with his compatriots from the Netherlands. He’s delivered a swift stream of studio collaborations with the likes of Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero and Laidback Luke over the years, with regular releases on Protocol, Spinnin’, Mixmash and beyond.

This was something that wasn’t lost on fans this year, though it’s been a rather quiet period for Florian, beginning with an announcement back in February that he’d be taking a lower profile. “This year I paused touring and releasing music to focus on a new project,” he tells DJ Mag. “I moved to LA for the winter season with my team, and I loved it because I learned new approaches to producing music with songwriters and musicians. It was a great experience, and now I’m ready for a big musical comeback!” Keep your eyes peeled for phase two of Florian Picasso, set for 2019.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 16:00

Poll 2018: Swedish House Mafia

Swedish House Mafia

From: Sweden
DJ style: Big room house/EDM

Swedish House Mafia are back! If you’ve managed to miss that fact over the course of 2018: where exactly have you been? After months of rumours, denials, speculation, mysterious posters, more rumours, social media purges, confirmations and, yes, even more rumours, Swedish House Mafia took to the stage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami with a show that was streamed worldwide, five years after disbanding in 2013. Following the event, they stated, simply, “it was time”, and have since confirmed a 2019 world tour is set to be announced.

The trio — made up of Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso — have also revealed they are to put their separate projects on ice to focus on Swedish House Mafia next year. After it was rumoured that they dropped two new tracks at their Ultra reunion show in March, the only thing that remains to be seen is when the new music the trio have since confirmed they have been busy in the studio working on will be released.

As it is, from just that one show, the guys have leapt back into the Top 100 DJs poll — demonstrating just what a powerful brand SHM is.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:56

Poll 2018: Jay Hardway

Jay Hardway

From: Drunen, The Netherlands
DJ style: “Melodic, house-y progressive.”
Best known for: “My Martin Garrix collab ‘Wizard’, plus ‘Electric Elephants’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Toby Green ‘Ready’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Osrin.”

A next-generation EDM powerhouse following in the wake of Hardwell and co, Spinnin’ singing Jay Hardway represents in the Top 100 for the third time in a row — jumping up four places. Rounding out another turbo-charged year that’s seen him churn out hits like ‘EDM Bubble’ (referring to an actual bubble, rather than any impending crash), Hardway confirms he’s been on a roll in the studio.

“This year I decided to focus on releasing and finishing a lot of music,” he says. “I feel like I stayed true to myself creatively and musically this year, and that was my main goal. It was also the year I started working in my new studio, rather than from home. This has made a huge difference, as I feel I can disconnect my private life from work, which in this lifestyle makes a huge difference in terms of mental and physical health.”

With DJs’ mental health still inspiring plenty of discussion, Hardway insists it should be paramount. “I feel many in our scene underestimate the importance of taking time off, in order just to stay healthy and sane,” he says. “I definitely have big respect for Hardwell for taking time off from touring.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:54

Poll 2018: Miss K8

Miss K8

From: Kiev, Ukraine
DJ style: “Hardcore techno.”
Best known for: “Miss K8 & Nolz ‘Raiders Of Rampage’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Miss K8 ‘Out Of The Frame’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “D-Sturb.” 

Tearing up crowds with nothing but the most banging of bangers, few would argue that once you’ve seen the Miss K8, you’re unlikely to forget the experience.

Hence her consistently making the Top 100 DJs poll for the last four editions, cultivating the kind of following reserved for those who understand staying true to yourself is more important than following crowds. Instead, they follow her as she drops the hardcore kicks and raging hoovers of recent tracks like ‘Temper’ and ‘Out Of The Frame’ — the latter of which she’s currrently working on a video for.

Relentless touring is proof of the high demand for this Kiev-raised DJ, rinsing Europe’s full-throttle rave institutions, from Defqon. 1 to Dominator, with further bookings taking her across the rest of the world. She’s a tour de force in the true meaning of the phrase, packing no-nonsense attitude and take-no-prisoners music wherever she flies.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:42

Poll 2018: Mike Williams

Mike Williams

From: Netherlands
DJ style: Future house Best known for: “‘Lullaby’ with R3hab, ‘I Want You’ with Tiësto.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Tiësto & Post Malone ‘Jackie Chan’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Brooks.”

Back for a second year in a row after making his Top 100 debut in 2017, Mike Williams is part of the exciting new wave of Dutch DJs. Making his breakthrough on Tiësto’s Musical Freedom label in 2016 following some high-profile bootlegs, the 21-year-old has had his busiest year to date taking in Norway, France, South Korea, Japan, America, Poland China and his native Holland.

With strong ear-worm melodies at the fore, including his summer smash ‘The Beat’ and new release ‘Rocket,’ he’s put his piano lessons as a six-year-old to good effect, creating monstrous EDM tunes that hit all the right chords. So much so that he’s known for his own style of dance music, creating his own brand of future house known for its Tigger-like bounce.

With movie-star good looks, an infectious attitude to life and gigs in all the right festivals and clubs, expect Mike Williams to be a Top 100 DJs fixture for a long time. “I can’t believe so many people around the world listen to my music and I wanna thank everyone for all the support,” he tells DJ Mag. “Next year’s gonna be even better!”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:32

Poll 2018: Andrew Rayel

Andrew Rayel

From: Moldova
DJ style: “Trance and progressive.”
Best known for: “Find Your Harmony [radio show].”
Fave tune of 2018: “Andrew Rayel & David Gravell ‘Trance Reborn’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Bogdan Vix & Keyplayer/ Corti Organ.”

One of Moldova’s biggest dance music exports, Andrew Rayel and his acclaimed radio show Find Your Harmony have been celebrating a bumper year, reaching 100 episodes as well as expanding his inHarmony Music imprint through its parent label, Armin van Buuren’s Armada Music. Rayel’s own euphoric mainroom sound has seen him host events in Amsterdam, LA and of course Moldova, while his newly-doffed A&R hat has led him to developing artists, with releases coming from names like Mark Sixma, DRYM, Bogdan Vix & Keyplayer, Corti Organ, Chukiess & Whackboi and Leo Reyes.

Having played everywhere from Ultra Music Festival to Hï Ibiza, Tomorrowland and Ministry Of Sound over the past year, Rayel’s 2018 has been a huge one and with his new label hitting the ground running and Find Your Harmony continuing to attract millions of listeners, it’s no doubt 2019 will be even bigger.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:29

Poll 2018: Mariana Bo

Mariana Bo

From: Mexico
DJ style: “House, bass house, big room, hardstyle, psy-trance, dubstep.”
Best known for: “Mariana BO.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Yves V & Mariana BO ‘Durga (Original Mix)’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “KSHMR, Vini Vinci.”

Think you’re got broad tastes because you like house, disco and techno? Or you thought Moodymann was the definition of eclectic when he dropped a Kings Of Leon track in the middle of his Field Day set last year? How about Mexico’s Mariana BO, who’s as versatile as they come, playing as eclectic a range of electronic genres you’ve heard of — dubstep, bass house, trap, psy-trance — and plenty more that you might not have, including jungle terror? Oh, and she plays the electric violin during her sets.

After making her Top 100 DJs debut in 2017, the supremely talented DJ and producer has had a truly memorable year playing at all the American hotspots including EDC in Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival, as well as releasing a string of EDM dance-pop tracks like ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Antonio’ that lit up big room clubs and festivals around the world.

With big-name support from the likes of Armin van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold and Danny Avila, a stage presence that makes her an immediate festival highlight and a playlist that no-one can copy, Mariana is a genuine breath of fresh air in EDM club culture. More please!


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:23

Poll 2018: Radical Redemption

Radical Redemption

From: The Netherlands
DJ style: Hardstyle
Best known for: “‘The Brutal Saga’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “‘The Darkest Moment’.”

Master of “severe kick drums”, Radical Redemption is back in the Top 100 for the fifth year in a row. After last year’s chaotic touring schedule, 2018 was all about the studio, with Radical Redemption finishing his new album ‘Command & Conquer’ among his live shows, where according to his bio “all shades of commercialism are shunned into oblivion”. Launching at his own event with the same name this November, the album is the prolific hardstyle DJ’s seventh in only six years.

Alongside collaborations with Yellow Claw, Timmy Trumpet, Carnage and Moksi, he wrote his track ‘The Darkest Moment’ as a reference to the struggles DJs with relentless touring schedules can encounter on the road. With Radical Redemption’s high-energy, high-production shows, it’s no surprise it can take its toll — regardless, his dedication to the sound means he remains one of hardstyle’s biggest stars.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:20

Poll 2018: Brennan Heart

Brennan Heart

From: The Netherlands
DJ style: “Hardstyle.”
Best known for: “Tracks with harmonious melodies and catchy vocal lines, like scene anthems ‘Lose My Mind’, ‘Imaginary’ and ‘Won’t Hold Me Down’. And my remixes lately with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, and Tiësto.”
Fave tune of 2018: “The I AM HARDSTYLE anthem I did with Toneshifterz, ‘Define Yourself’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Almklausi.”

Another face flying the Dutch flag in our Top 100 DJs poll for 2018, Brennan Heart, aka Fabian Bohn, has been amongst hardstyle’s most prolific producers and DJs since first emerging onto the scene as one half of Blademasterz in the early-noughties.

The years between then and now have seen him rise to the top of the scene’s pecking order, with his radio show, WE R HARDSTYLE, helping spread his sound to the territories his packed touring schedule doesn’t hit. Which is very few, considering bookings in October 2018 alone included China, France, the US and Canada.

Tour dates aside, the last 12 months have seen a slew of hugely successful releases from the man in question, including the official Decibel Outdoor anthem, ‘Fuelled By Fanatics’, that Rebourne collaboration, ‘Ravers Memory’, his remix of Armin van Buuren’s bomb, ‘Blah Blah Blah’, and reworking of Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike and Whiz Khalifa’s ‘When I Grow Up’. All of which explains his eighth consecutive entry in our hallowed hall of fame.

“My life is all about touring and making music,” he tells DJ Mag. “In between I was lucky to spend some time with the family, but mostly airplanes and music studios. Living the good life.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:15

Poll 2018: Swanky Tunes

Swanky Tunes

From: Smolensk, Russia.
DJ style: “Electronic dance music.”
Best known for: “‘Fast & Furious 6’ soundtrack. Collaborations with Tiësto, Kaskade, R3HAB and many more. Multi-platinum sales artists.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Swanky Tunes ‘In The Club’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Rompasso.”

Swanky Tunes come rocketing back up the chart into 71st position this year. But what’s the key to their success? “We’ve been experimenting a lot with everything: music, videos, travels, leisure time, and that’s really cool to do, to come out of the box and see things from the other side,” the trio tell DJ Mag when asked about their year. Sounds like keeping things fresh is the trick! In terms of music that means Vadim Shpak, Dmitry Burykin and Stanislav Zaytsev have been putting out big bass-heavy bangers like ‘Drop It’ (the video for which collected crazy footage of the lads playing before huge crowds) and new trap-influenced track ‘In The Club’, plus they mixed the 2018 edition of their Showland Records’ ‘Miami’ compilation.

Speaking of Showland, this year the label dropped EPs from Rhannes, Will Fast and Dumbers and is now close to breaking the 100th release mark, meaning more celebrations are inbound for the near future.


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-10 15:13