It takes more than a pandemic to cancel the historic DJ Mag Top 100 DJs. Yesterday, during a monumental show in Amsterdam brought to you by AMF, the 2020 edition of the annual DJ Mag Top 100 DJs took place revealing the number one DJ in the world. Let’s take a look at how this year’s ranking has changed with our analysis.
Elsewhere in the top poll, last year’s winners Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike are the Highest Group at No.2, Armin van Buuren is again Highest Trance (unchanged at No.4), and Don Diablo is again Highest Future House DJ (No.6). Martin Garrix lost another position going down to the third spot of the list. The big news is Brazilian hotshot ALOK busting in at No.5, effectively switching places with Marshmello who slides down to No.11. Aoki and Afrojack are both slightly up, while Tiesto slides out of the top ten for the first time in 20 years. The trumpet-toting Timmy Trumpet, meanwhile, tiptoes into the top ten for the first time. The 11-20 segment of the chart hasn’t changed that much from last year, although KSHMR, R3hab, W&W, Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Above & Beyond are all up. NERVO have jumped four places to No.20 and remain the highest placing female act in the Top 100. Will this still be the case next year, though, as Charlotte de Witte has leapt a whopping-great 42 places this year, making her both the Highest Climber and the Highest Techno DJ in the poll? Charlotte has also overtaken Carl Cox at the apex of the Alternative Top 100 DJs poll — see the reverse of this mag for the complete rundown of that.
Masked marauder Claptone is again the Highest House DJ this year, up a healthy 12 places to No.41. And Canadian prodigy Rezz is the Highest New Entry, in at No.57. She’s closely followed by other high house and techno new entries — Amelie Lens (in at No.59), Jamie Jones (in at No.68), and Nora En Pure (No.73). There are 18 new entries into the Top 100 in total this year, including for DJs you might’ve assumed had been in it already such as Green Velvet and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.
Despite dropping a few places, Angerfist regains the Highest Hard DJ award by virtue of 2019’s winner Headhunterz sliding 17 places. Hardstyle can be such a visceral, in-the-flesh experience that it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that all hard DJs dropped places in a fallow year where there weren’t really any live shows. But Radical Redemption and Brennan Heart have bucked that notion — the two hardstyle jocks are the only two re-entries into the Top 100 for 2020.
This edition of the Top 100 DJs is the most diverse for many years — ever since the 1990s, when a swathe of foundation house and techno DJs would make the chart, and/or a load of drum & bass spinners. Before casting votes this year, DJ Mag actively encouraged people to think both about the diverse roots of our scene and how female and Black DJs have long been under-represented in the poll. And the results have borne out their stated desire for the scene’s diversity to be better reflected.
Sixteen Black/POC DJs have charted in the Top 100 this year, the highest proportion for well over 20 years. And there are thirteen female DJs in the Top 100 this year (up from ten last year), which is the highest percentage number ever. These figures, coupled with clear statements from most DJs in their Top 100 profile about how unacceptable racism is in the global scene, and commitments to increase diversity through their own actions, indicates that the direction of travel is definitely moving the right way.
Votes came from 232 different countries, including principalities and islands. As an indication of how truly global the poll is, the figures include 50 votes from Greenland, 52 votes from San Marino, 924 from Syria, and one vote from the Vatican City! Europe and the United States pulled in the most votes, closely followed by Latin American countries, specifically Brazil and Mexico but also Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, and Guatemala.
In Asia, India was again the largest voting country but, following the launch of a dedicated China voting site (djmagvote.cn), votes from China were up by 480% this year. Other major Asian markets driving votes include Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and Myanmar. Votes came in from almost every single African nation, but the continent’s most northerly and southerly points (Morocco and South Africa) shared the majority of the votes.