According to DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs List of 2013, the top ten DJs are the following:
1. Hardwell – Netherlands
2. Armin van Buuren – Netherlands
3. Avicii – Sweden
4. Tiesto – Netherlands
5. David Guetta – France
6. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike – Belgium
7. Nicky Romero – Netherlands
8. Steve Aoki – United States of America
9. Afrojack – Netherlands
10. Dash Berlin – Netherlands
Some have noticed while others haven’t… What do you notice when looking at the Top 10 DJ list above? Yeah, they have unique names… But what else? What about the countries they come from? How many come from Europe? Even more, how many come from the Netherlands? That’s right! 6 of the Top 10 DJs were born and raised in the Netherlands. That is not all though; there is Ferry Corsten, Sander Van Doorn, and many others who you will find in the Top 100. What is even more shocking is that the population of the Netherlands would only make up approximately 5.2% of the total population of the United States and 47.84% of Canada’s total population. How is it that there are more top 10 Dutch DJs than American DJs or even Canadian DJs?
Now that you see this, you may ask if there is a correlation between DJs, music, and the Netherlands. Are they really the best DJs or is there bias in DJ Mag’s Top 100 list? What genres of music do they play? Are they ranked based on skill, brand, or fame and net worth? Each of the 10 DJs above are worth at least a few million each.
Some say that these DJs are ranked among the top DJs in the world for several reasons: (1) their production skills; (2) the advancements in music technology and their money which allows them to buy new software and technology not yet available to the public; (3) pure luck; (4) the use and modification of old songs; (5) digging deep and taking ideas from those undiscovered DJs; (6) popularity, name, and branding. The DJ Mag Top 100 List are the results of a public poll where people vote for the names they know.
Others including us DJs, besides those fake wannabe DJs who just hit the “SYNC” and PLAY buttons, understand that DJing is an art. We know that it takes time and skill do be able to mix well. We know that rumours go around that an iPod is better than a DJ as people think that we do the same thing when we don’t! The truth is that we have never been behind the booths of those Top 10 DJs and it is not right to presume and say things attacking those DJs if we do not know.
Although we all have our own opinions and may not believe that those are truly the Top 10 DJs of 2013, they worked really hard to get to the top. We have to learn to accept and understand that those Top 10 DJs have helped to shape and redefine electronic dance music (EDM).
Now back to the correlation between the Dutch and DJs… The culture in Europe is much different from North America. For example, it is normal for children in Europe, especially Eastern Europe to start drinking, smoking, and partying as an adolescent. Young people are energetic, have wild imaginations, and truly do love to PARTY and drink and PARTY and drink and PARTY and drink. You get the point. I can say that most of the dance music we listen to today has probably been music playing in Europe for such a long time!
In an interview with Hardwell about why there are so many Dutch DJs, he said, “I don’t know. It’s a small country… I just think we’ve got a really good club life there in Holland with a lot of parties. And I think Dutch people just love to party” (Elfman, n.pg.). Many youth in the Netherlands like to listen to EDM while many youth in other countries do not just listen to EDM but many also listen to country, urban, hip hop, and mainstream radio tracks. Like Hardwell said, because the Netherlands is not such a large country, DJs also have a greater opportunity to promote themselves and a higher chance to get their own shows because of less competition.
Well, there it is. Now you decide. Whether you feel that these Top 10 DJs in reality deserve their rankings and whether you believe that there is a correlation between the Dutch and DJs is totally up to you. I just hope that I laid out the facts well enough to give you some ground to think about it more.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns and/or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try my best to get back to you within 48 hours!
–DJ Mocha Love (DJML)
Elfman, Doug. “Hardwell among Many Dutch DJs Taking over Vegas Clubs.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. N.p., 15 Jan. 2012. Web.