By James Williams
Since 1991, monthly magazine publication DJ Mag has been known for publishing a list of top DJs taken from an online poll.
The poll is known throughout the world of electronic dance music (EDM) for its influence on fans of all different genres. The results influence has been the core source of multiple scandals and drama across the music industry.
Over the years, many music publications like Magnetic, EDM Sauce and more have stated that the DJ Mag’s Top 100 list is ‘not a credible poll’, and many veteran EDM listeners have not acknowledged the power of the list.
For almost fours years running until 2013, the beloved progressive trance producer and head of Armada Music label, Armin van Buuren claimed the top spot.
Unfortunately, the rise of popularity in house music and other EDM styles has resulted in newer top 40 artists like Hardwell taking the spot.
University of New Hampshire sophomore and Electronic Music Scene veteran, Athena Valkanos said, “The ‘Top 100’ list from DJ Magazine is, unfortunately, the epitome of ‘EDM’ culture today; a glaring popularity contest built upon money, social media relevance and marketing schemes. Deviating far from the true essence of electronic music, the rankings are not based on talent/ability, rather, the DJ’s mainstream appeal. Driven by hype alone, DJ Magazine is a stark misrepresentation of what the music scene has to offer, and should not be taken seriously on any account.”
DJ Mag really sparked controversy this past year by doing such things as adding the term “douche” to artist Kaskade’s biography, and sending him from the #46 spot last year to #84 this year. Kaskade responded by calling out the unreliable publication and how the list doesn’t even “come up on his radar”.
Since van Buuren’s fall from the top spot most of the finalists make up a progressive house and festival style of EDM, and there has even been speculation of certain artists giving money to DJ Mag ‘under the table’ for a top spot.
Two of the artists called out for spending money on the poll are this year’s top DJ’s, Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, and runner-up DJ Hardwell.
Barry University junior and Electronic Dance Music expert, Michelle Tran, agreed with Kaskade’s claims.
“The new top 100 list is superficial and inaccurate,” said Tran.
“There are two types of people, those who agree with the rankings and those who don’t agree with the rankings. EDM has been around for a long time and bitter sweetly has become a huge hype from what I believe derived from Ultra’s 2013 after movie. Those who agree with the rankings are those who have recently jumped on the bandwagon with most likely no knowledge of EDM’s history and sub genres.”
The rest of the top ten are: number three Martin Garrix, number four Armin Van Buuren, number five Tiësto, number six David Guetta, number seven Avicii, number eight Afrojack, number nine Skrillex, and lastly number ten Steve Aoki.
For a full list one can visit djmag.com, and also view the Top 100 Clubs in the world, which they make a list of yearly as well.