Every year we cast our votes in the DJ Mag Top 100 for those few DJs who blew our minds, melted our faces, and made us dance till the sun came up. Most of us take this poll more seriously than we do voting for political office, and wish we could vote for these guys as President of the United States (except most of them are Dutch or Swedish).
The DJ Mag Top 100 poll has been scrutinized for years, and everyone has a different opinion about who the best DJs are. Making the list is an honor, and helps to increase your popularity and the price tag that comes with a club appearance. Ask any EDM lover out there who their favorite DJ is and they could easily spout out 2-3 names or more. Luckily for us, we get to vote for the top five guys (or girls) who throw the best parties, play the best sets, and give us something to look forward to every weekend in New York City.
With less than two short weeks left to vote, here are the names on my ballot this year…
1. SEBASTIAN INGROSSO (Currently ranked #26)
I met a girl in a club recently who asked me who my favorite DJ was and when I said Sebastian Ingrosso, she smiled and said, “great choice!”. There’s no surprise here, since I think even Seb himself knows I’m one of his biggest fans out there. Right before he hit the stage for EDCNY, Seb came out of his trailer with a big smile on his face, hugged me, and when I told him my name he said, “of course I know who you are!”.
The past year was really amazing for me as a fan because not only did I get to meet some new Seb fanatics, but I also had countless friends say things to me like, “Now I see why he’s your favorite, Nicole. He’s unbelievable!” One by one, I’m growing the Ingrosso army, or as I call it, #TeamIngrosso. I think he is absolutely a top ten DJ, and was happy to see him and his brothers in Swedish House Mafia take the number ten spot on last year’s list. I’ve done everything in my power to turn people on to his sets and music, and can only hope that my efforts will help him rise from #26 much closer to number ONE.
I look forward to my next Seb show like it’s my birthday. When he hits that booth, I get goosebumps and can’t stop smiling. He puts on a set like no other DJ I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen just about all of them), with every single track being “amazing”—a word he has jokingly sworn off using in his vocabulary. However, a word he uses often in his podcasts is “emotional” and that is the best word for my experience during his sets. I feel a fire in my heart, and every ounce of love and happiness in the world. I truly love Seb and how unbelievably talented he is. I’ve seen Seb five times in 2012 already, and every show gets better than the last! They say “God is a DJ” and there’s no denying who my beats God is. Ingrosso takes the number ONE spot on my ballot.
2. SUNNERY JAMES & RYAN MARCIANO (Not in the top 100… yet!)
Talk about two of the most talented, sweet, personable, funny, and all around great DJs on the EDM scene. Sunnery and Ryan are the dynamic Dutch duo who throw the most awesome ass-shaking parties you’ll ever attend. Whether they’re downright beating up the Pacha NYC air horn, or having a sexy shizzle night at Lavo, these two bring a vibe that everyone goes crazy for. You want a little techno? They’ve got it. You want to hear some bangers? They’ve got them ready to go. You want to hear your favorite Sebastian Ingrosso track? They’ll play one anytime I’m there. There are perks to being friends with these two, let me tell you.
I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing SJRM a total of five times this year, with the sixth performance coming up this Sunday 08/19 when they come “down the shore” to Surf Club—located conveniently 20 minutes from my house. An afterparty at “Club Pace” might be in order. I absolutely love these guys to death, and can’t sing their praises high enough. My second favorite DJs earn my second vote for the list this year.
It blew my mind when these two didn’t make it onto the Top 100 list last year, and I’ll just about swear off the whole thing if that happens again. However, I’m fairly confident that their incredible growth and non-stop touring around the globe have earned them enough support to make the cut. VOTE FOR SJRM!!!
3. GREGORI KLOSMAN (Not in the top 100… yet!)
Move over, Guetta. This is my version of what a top French DJ should be like. This guy is an absolute beast in the DJ booth and plays one hell of a set full of electro house and his own remixes galore. I had been dying to see him live for more than a year and finally my prayers were answered when his NYC debut went down at Pacha NYC on Easter Sunday with Chuckie just a few months ago. His monthly podcast is also a favorite, and I’m now a certified Klosmaniac.
Klosman is also a very down to earth guy, who really loves his fans. He’s active on Twitter and remembered me from all three shows when we spoke after his sets. Much like Sunnery and Ryan, I love how Klosman takes the time to connect with his fans. I just attended my third Klosman show at Cielo last week, and Klosman solidified his name on my ballot this year with an incredible three-hour set.
4. CARL COX (Currently ranked #31)
There are a lot of legends who didn’t make my list this year, namely Tiesto, who I’ve been a big fan of since he thankfully divorced his trance roots for a new house music way of life. However, as much as I love Tijs, there was only room on my list for one legend this year, and I gave it to the fabulous fifty year old, Carl Cox.
I first fell in love with CC last September at Electric Zoo when I went into the tent for some techno, missing most of Tiesto’s simultaneous performance on the main stage, and fell in love with a different kind of EDM. Sure I had listened to some tech house and techno in smaller doses before this, but after that performance I was hooked on a thunderous bass line and a much more techy and minimal style of music. I attribute most of the tech house and techno I listen to these days to Carl Cox, who really turned me on that night in the tent. It absolutely killed me to miss him at EDCNY, due to his set being at the exact same time as Ingrosso’s. Although I’ve only seen him once to date, Carl won a piece of my heart, and a spot on my DJ Mag ballot this year.
5. LAIDBACK LUKE (Currently ranked #20)
I don’t care what anyone says—Laidback Luke is the almighty Kung Fu master behind the decks. This guy works four CDJs like nobody I’ve ever seen! He takes the music to a whole other dimension. This guy does NOT just “press play”. Luke is beyond brilliant, and is a true craftsman in that booth. Everything you hear in his sets are mixed live, making keeping a track ID log nearly impossible because he puts so many effects and little vocal samples here and there all the time. He plays just about everything and his fans absolutely worship him. The last time I saw Luke was celebrating New Year’s Eve with him and SJRM at Pacha NYC, and the place was packed with fun superhero costumes, adding to the incredible party vibe that Luke brings to every set. His smile and dance moves are infectious, and he also happens to be one of the most down to earth and genuine DJs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. To leave Luke out of the mix wouldn’t feel right since this is a DJ poll, and nobody has mastered the true art of DJing like double L’s.
Even Luke’s fiancé, Gina Turner, is an incredibly talented DJ who after seeing spin for the first time opening for Alesso, I instantly wanted to be a tech house DJ like her. Their collaborations are also awesome, adding another level of amazement when talking about how much talent Luke has. He literally can do anything.
I struggled with my top five picks this year for a few weeks, and had to leave off many talented names who I love like Tiesto, Fedde Le Grand, Steve Angello, EDX, Kaskade, Deniz Koyu, Stefano Noferini, Axwell, Swanky Tunes, Eric Prydz, and the countless NYC guys who rightfully deserve our votes. However, I went with my heart on this and decided that these five stood out to me the most when I thought back on my many nights on the dance floor.
Seb fuels my house music-loving soul like no other DJ on the planet. Sunnery and Ryan make me dance non-stop and I’m sore for days after their shows. Klosman blows my mind with his varied selections and funky productions. Carl Cox gave me a spiritual experience in the tent, making me fall madly in love with tech house. Laidback Luke sets are the most technically advanced, fun parties you’ll ever attend. That’s all there is to it!
Head over to www.DJMag.com/Top100 and cast your votes TODAY!