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Poll 2021: Marshmello

From: USA
American helmet-wearer of mystery Marshmello, otherwise known as Christopher Comstock — and for those that know him better still he is affectionately just plain old Mello — is as fierce a genre-bending producer as he is a crowd-pleasing DJ. In recent years he's been moving away from his saccharine pop EDM sound and working with hip-hop artists — glimpses of hip-hop have been appearing in his music since he first started out. But it's not just the obvious solid A-listers, Marshmello has been pushing forward songs that his counterparts might not have considered. Recording with Roddy Ricch, 42 Dugg, Migos and Meek Mill, and working through the night, it's almost like he has a point to prove. 

2021, with its worldwide lull in touring and gig activity, has given the Mello one the chance to go deep and spend some serious quality time in the studio. Known for his ability to switch up genres, Marshmello's anticipated 'Shockwave' album came out this summer, released on his own Joytime Collective label, embracing his roots both in electronic dance music, country, rock and rap.

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-11 11:29

Best known for: 
His helmet

Poll 2020: Marshmello

Last year's Top DJs poll profile labelled Marshmello unique, ambitious, daring, and sometimes quite absurd. While 2020 might have stifled the helmet-wearing megastar's globetrotting tour of the world's biggest stages, it hasn't hindered him delivering a compelling selection of releases. 'Been Thru This Before’, dropped in April, is a star-studded collaboration with Atlanta trap royalty, Southside, UK rap royalty, Giggs, and Brooklyn rap royalty, Saint John. Much like the 42 Dugg-featuring single, 'Baggin', it's a raw trap cut that strips away much of the pop sensibilities of Marshmello’s previous work — even if it does continue to showcase his impeccable ear for a mello-dy (geddit?).
With a series of tracks that includes two cuts on emo-rap star Juice Wrld's posthumous 'Legends Never Die' album, Marshmello teased that his fourth long-player, 'Joytime IV', is coming "verrryyy sooooonnn" in a social media post in July. This year, Marshmello also opened up his Joytime Collective label — which he has previously used to release his own material — to support young producers, with an EP from 19-year-old Indonesian producer, Papa Khan, landing in October. If there's one thing consistent in Marshmello's wide-reaching career, it's his ability to keep his fans, lovingly referred to as the Mellogang, continually guessing.

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:25

Future bounce
Best known for: 
His dazzling smile

Poll 2019: Marshmello


It’s difficult to know where to start when unravelling Marshmello’s year: 2019 has been a string of unique, ambitious, daring and sometimes quite absurd heights. Take the fact that his 2018 hit ‘Happier’ spent an entire year at No.1 in the Billboard Dance Chart — a feat that’s never happened before. Take his in-game concert on Fortnite Battle Royale. Taking place way back in February, it was the first of its kind and a record in gaming history with 10.7 million fans locked in live. That’s not counting those live streaming through Twitch. The scale of this is incredible and means Marshmello — real name Chris Comstock — may well have technically played to more people this year than the whole Top 100 DJs top 10 combined.

Following his Fortnite phenomenon, the Philadelphia artist then proceeded to unleash a range of pop tracks that pursued some interesting and diverse paths. First up was ‘Sell Out’, a riddim-rollicking return to his dubstep roots with Svdden Death. Then came ‘Here With Me’, a cosy guitar-strumming chill piece with Scottish band Chvrches. These were swiftly followed by a sleazy hip-hop jam with Chris Brown and Tyga (‘Light It Up’) and the trappy bumps and grinds of ‘Roll The Dice’ with rappers SOB and RBE. And if that didn’t straddle the mainstream continuum quite enough for you then his summer output most certainly did...

Cue his third album ‘Joytime III’. Released this summer, it launched with his own Beat Fever-style video game Marshmello Dance Music and featured a whole gamut of fellow big room bass-bumping collaborators such as Slushii, Wiwek and Crankdat (to name a few). But what stood out the most was an interesting rock fusion with cult metalcore band A Day To Remember. Breaking the Florida band’s three-year release silence, ‘Rescue Me’ whipped up tens of millions of views within months of release and showed an even broader side to Marshmello’s songwriting abilities...Something he then went on to level up again a month later with a new original track that wasn’t on his album: ‘One Thing Right’, Mello’s debut foray into the world of country music. 

In a rare fusion that Avicii famously tested back in 2014 with ‘Wake Me Up’, ‘One Thing Right’ saw him don his double denims and link up with country heartthrob Kane Brown for a classic tale of boy-done-bad-done-good-but-will-probably-do-bad-again-in-future. The balance of country-style vocals and arrangement backed with Mello’s polished EDM proved a success on both sides of the musical canyon, with a No.1 in the Billboard Country chart and successes in various dance charts.

From heavyweight bass to country via rock, rap, trap and chill, musically alone Marshmello has cut an impressive and singular pop path with a range that — on paper — shouldn’t work, but is clearly incredibly popular. Beyond the music things get even more absurd; in October he bizarrely won the coveted WWE Smackdown 24/7 belt and was champion for all of about 20 minutes, and he appeared in Adult Swim’s animated series Robot Chicken in actual marshmallow form.

Like we said; unique, ambitious, daring, sometimes quite absurd… But really quite impressive, whichever side of the electronic musical canyon you stand.

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“Giant paper straws.”

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

“Stuffed puffs.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-17 15:40

“Future bounce.”
Best known for: 
“Elegant speaking and dazzling smile.”
Tune of the year: 
“It’s a toss-up between Tynan’s ‘Extraterrestrial’ and ‘Behemoth’ by Svdden Death.”

Poll 2018: Marshmello


From: “Marshmello.”
DJ style: “Future bounce.”
Best known for: “Smile.”
Fave tune of 2018: “‘Reasons To Run’ Crankdat.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Slushii.”

Refusing to budge after first claiming the number 10 spot last year, the man in the big white can, Marshmello, holds place. “My Mellogang is family and their support means everything to me,” he tells DJ Mag about the win.

Aside from avoiding sharp sticks and campfires, Marshy has spent the past 12 months proving he’s one of the world’s hottest collaborators. His track with UK singer Anne-Marie ‘Friends’ (from her debut album), went platinum in August; he’s announced releases with Chicago rapper Juice WRLD and Arabic music legend Amr Diab are on the way; and perhaps the biggest team up of all came with the drop of ‘Happier’, featuring indie-rock/synth-pop group, Bastille. Despite being a massive, vocal-led dance-pop banger, it came with a heartbreaking video in which a young girl has to have her pooch put down —way to flip that one M-dawg!

Strangely, when the Mello Man’s second studio album ‘Joytime II’ landed in June, it didn’t feature any guests at all, with the producer instead opting to go solo across all nine tracks. This didn’t seem to bother fans too much, though, as the album still managed to hit the number one spot in the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Outside of music, Grand-Marsh-ter Flash has been getting up to all sorts of hijinks too. Despite Skrillex accidentally revealing his identity a couple of times, and Forbes officially outing him as Chris Comstock (aka Dotcom) at the end of last year when they discovered both names were linked to the same tracks on royalty manager BMI’s database, the secretive DJ continued to have fun with his supposed anonymity. After previously having legendary Dutch DJ Tiësto and comedian Will Ferrell both reveal themselves as the man behind the mask, 2018 saw singer Shawn Mendes appear from under the helmet at the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards.

The White One — or rather, a suspiciously athletic-looking version — also appeared on the American version of the obstacle course-based TV show Ninja Warrior. And it wasn’t all physical competitions either; his personal highlight of the year was “winning the Fortnite Pro-Am with my buddy Ninja,” he tells DJ Mag. He and the gamer/Twitch star secured a $1 million prize, which they split between charities of their choice. And being the sweetie (geddit?) that he is, Mr Mello recently donated another $500,000 to the Kids In Need of Defense Foundation, a charity which helps to protect refugee children within the legal system. What a lovely chap!


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-12 11:19