2017 is almost upon us and, while the vote for Top DJs of 2017 is still many months away, we thought it might be interesting to predict what that years line-up might look like.
Being in the business of mastering for EDM requires a thorough knowledge of the latest trends, which is one reason we like to keep an eye on this chart. By looking at the trends of 2016 we’ll make our best guess on who will remain on top and also those destined to fall.
Just a disclaimer first: It’s understood that this list doesn’t reflect everyone’s tastes in DJs, many genres are almost completely unrepresented but for some DJs this is the break that has allowed them to tour the world and gain fans from all over, making it a goal for many to pursue.
So taking this all with a grain of salt, here’s our predictions for what to expect in the DJ and producer world of 2017.
Moving on Up
First up, here are some of the winners of 2016’s list:
Last years list saw a variety of artists either shooting up the charts or appearing for the first time. Some of them have already had considerable success with fans and touring yet failed to previously crack the top 100.
The question now is can they maintain or improve their position, or fall back down to obscurity within this competitive and highly lucrative lineup?
Flume: New Entry (94)
One good example is Australia’s Flume. While no stranger to commercial and critical success with his first self-titles album in 2013, 2016’s ‘Skin’ finally propelled Flume into the bottom of the charts at 94.
If he continues touring in 2017 then we could certainly see Harley move up 10-15 spots as he reaches an even wider audience while simultaneously fending off some of the bigger acts and even his own imitators.
Ummet Ozcann: +17 (19)
Turkey’s Ummet first appeared in the top 100 back in 2013, just squeaking in at 99. Since then, however, his hard work has paid off and pushed him up to the top 20.
This is partially down to some collaborations with huge artists like Tiesto, Like Mike/Dimitry Vegas, and Aoki, all of which surely increased his profile on the world stage.
2017 could be a massive year for Ummet but it will be tougher to increase his standing now that he’s already so close to the top, surely an interesting year for him, though.
Marshmello: New Entry (28)
One of 2016’s biggest new entries is the previously artist in secret, Marshmello.
Gaining popularity quickly with his first publicly released song, WaVeZ, which managed to sound both hard and soft at the same time (despite having what some considered a strange drop) he swiftly rose up the ranks of Trap’s crowded scene.
Like many popular artists, his appeal has been somewhat decisive, with deadmau5 roasting him on Twitter like he was a cheap s’more.
Marshmello responded by including a look-a-like Joel with his signature helmet in one of his Ritual video, in an effort to poke fun at the outspoken producer, only to delete the quickly scene, most likely after being contacted by Joel’s legal team.
Controversy aside, Marshmello, now identified as DJ Chris Comstock (and not Tiesto), seems to have no drought of new fans, but can he maintain or will his 15 minutes of fame burn out in 2017, much to deadmau5’s delight.
Maintaining, but for how Long?
Almost half of the top 10 comprise of artists how were at the same exact position last year.
This includes Armin Van Buren (4), Tiesto (5), David Guetta (6), and Skrillex (9).
Most likely these well-established heavy-weights won’t be going away anytime soon.
However, some might be on the edge of falling off the below the 10th spot this year if current trends continue as shown in the chart below (hint you can disable DJ’s chart by clicking on their name).
As you can see all of these DJs have maintained their exact positions for the past two years. All have been on a slight downward trend, however. What remains to be seen is if they slip further this year or manage to hold on.
Skrillex has had the bumpiest ride, appearing at #2 in 2012 but out and then back in again near the bottom of the pack since then. His recent work with Diplo (in which they share a spot at 40) and Justin Bieber might be enough to keep him on top, however.
The bigger they are the harder they fall and some entries in 2015’s list took quite a tumble when 2016 rolled around. Some of them are poised to drop off completely, but with a little luck they might manage to hold on.
Here’s a few of the more notable drops we saw recently.
Above and Beyond -18 (47), Markus Shulz -24 (80), and Paul Van Dyke -19 (60).
Some of trance’s biggest names saw drops this year as new artists in emerging genres such as Trap took their place.
Just 8 years ago all of these DJs were in the top 10, riding a wave of trance’s popularity which was only just being challenged by the dominance of bigroom EDM.
Despite their drop in the official DJ Mag chart it’s certain these artists will still remain wildly popular to their core fans.
A few of the more successful “big room” acts are starting to show a decline, too. These include the biggest drop (no pun intended) of the year, Dyro -6 (93), Nervo -21 (45) and Showtek -59 (96) also lost significant spots.
It’s not all doom and gloom with the “big room” crowd as one of our favourite artists, Jay Hardway, finally emerged into 89, three years after his initial hit with Martin Garrix (the current #1) ‘Wizards’ was released.
This goes to show that even with a huge song and collaboration with a producer of Martin’s stature it still can take time for fans to build enough to place a DJ into the top 100.
Undoubtedly his late 2015 hit, Electric Elephants, help set him up for big success in 2016.
While we can’t make too many concrete predictions, one thing is for sure, the dance music scene can be both fickle for existing artists yet positively exciting for new producers who are breaking through.
The real skill is maintaining your core audience while pushing forward to experiment with new sounds as genres evolve and change. Only the best manage to do this and it’s a testament to their dedication that many of them manage to keep afloat on the official top 100 year after year.
A quick look at the Beatport top 10 chart recently has shown a trend of deep house, techno, and even deep progressive taking over the coveted top spots, regularly beating out the more commercial sounds of EDM’s wide spectrum.
We expect to see a few more house oriented acts filter up into the DJ Mag top 100 this year while the more festival type acts vie for the remaining positions.
What about you? Leave your comments below.