According to DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll for 2022, Martin Garrix has been named The World’s No. 1 DJ. The Dutch DJ and producer marked the occasion in historic fashion as he became the first artist to DJ from the top of the iconic Empire State Building, as the centrepiece of a reimagined Top 100 DJs Awards Show broadcast.
The prodigious young Dutchman — still only 26 — broke through onto the scene in his mid-teens via his proto-EDM tune ‘Animals’, and scooped the Top 100 DJs crown in 2016, 2017, and 2018. David Guetta, who has been his close friend and mentor for the past two years, loses the top slot to him once more.
An artist who transcends dance music, Garrix has collaborated with Dua Lipa, Usher and Bono and The Edge from U2 in addition to showcasing his own productions and those from his label STMPD RCRDS at festivals and clubs across the planet. With this fourth victory, he surpasses David Guetta and Tiesto in the all-time DJ popularity rankings, trailing only Dutch trance DJ Armin van Buuren, who has garnered five No. 1s.
In response to the victory, Martin Garrix said:
I’m very grateful for everyone taking the time to vote. Being back at number 1 again feels very surreal and I’ll never ever take your support for granted. Thank you. I hope you all enjoy the stream we recorded. Playing my music on top of one of the most iconic buildings in the world was very special. Music has brought me to many crazy places, but this is definitely high up there.
The BBC Radio One DJ Arielle Free hosted a broadcast show from The World’s No. 1 Club Hi in Ibiza to deliver the Top 100 DJs Awards. Six award-winning DJs from spanning four different continents performed at the global show.
The three-hour event — available to rewatch now — featured Alok from a clifftop in Rio de Janeiro; Charlotte de Witte from Castelo del S.Jorge in Lisbon; leading China-based DJ duo Beauz from a traditional fishing boat in Hong Kong; Lifetime Achievement award winner DJ Paulette from Manchester’s iconic Albert Hall; and Future Star award winner Layla Benitez from Hï Ibiza’s Secret Garden. Martin Garrix’s unprecedented performance from the Empire State Building’s exterior observatory served as the program’s high point.
The Top 100 DJs winner had been announced live on stage at the Amsterdam festival throughout a decade-long collaboration with AMF that ended with the changeover to a webcast event. The reworked broadcast format allowed DJ Mag to better represent the diversity of the dance music scene while also positioning UNICEF, the official charity partner of Top 100 DJs, front and center.
Viewers to the show were invited to support UNICEF’s Children’s Emergency Fund, which helps children affected by disasters and conflict, wherever they are, whenever crisis hits. At unicef.uk/djmag, you may donate right away.
This year’s poll garnered more than 1.3 million votes from participants in 234 nations, solidifying its position as the biggest music survey open to the general public worldwide. Belgian brothers Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike climbed back to No. 3 to maintain their status as the top DJ duo in the list with Martin Garrix at No. 1 and David Guetta at No. 2. The top Latin American DJ, the Brazilian bass sensation ALOK, is ranked at No. 4, while the top North American DJ, Steve Aoki, is now ranked at No. 7.
DJ Mag Top 100 DJs 2022 top 10
The top 10 DJs are the same as in 2021, with Timmy Trumpet moving up one spot while maintaining his position as Australasia’s highest DJ and Don Diablo taking home the title of Highest Future House DJ despite moving down two spots. Afrojack, who has always been reliable, stays there at No. 6, while Oliver Heldens, although falling two spots, is still in the top 10. The fact that half of the top 10 artists are Dutch highlights the country’s domination of the international EDM sector.
Vintage Culture, a Brazilian house music party starter, is knocking on the door at No. 11, up a healthy six spots, making him The World’s No. 1 House DJ. Charlotte de Witte, the World’s No. 1 Techno DJ, is up nine places to No. 14, and she must undoubtedly be a contender to end the recent monopoly of male DJs on the top 10 spots. The second-ranked techno DJ, Carl Cox, who is up a respectable five places, and the Belgian DJ/producer, who has had another fantastic year, are both. Calvin Harris, Tiesto, and Fedde Le Grand are all static in the top 20, while Alan Walker is back at No. 17 after moving up five spots. For the first time in a lot of years, Nicky Romero is also back in the top 20; the Dutchman is up six spots.
A lot of techno and underground names in the middle of the ranking
Peggy Gou has climbed 14 spots to No. 24 outside of the EDM scene, and GORDO has climbed 12 spots to No. 25. After a highly successful Ibiza season with his Paradise parties at Amnesia, Jamie Jones is one of the highest climbers — up 18 to No.32 — while the actual highest climber is Black Coffee, who helmed the Saturday night at Hï Ibiza for the whole of the 2022 season and is rewarded by climbing 29 places to No.39.
This year’s chart has six re-entrants, most notably previous champion Hardwell, who returned after a four-year absence with a spectacular set at Ultra Music Festival in Miami in March and a number of other massive performances. Following additional headline performances this year, Swedish House Mafia and Italian techno artist Deborah De Luca have returned to the charts. Lucas & Steve, Solomun and Jay Hardway are also back in the chart now, having all dropped out in recent years.
The highest new entry in the vote for 2022 is Reinier Zonneveld, who comes in at number 49. The frontman of Filth On Acid is miles ahead of Joel Corry, a former Geordie Shore star who is currently the fifth-highest UK DJ act in the chart and the next-highest new entrant. The Martinez Brothers, who squeak in at No. 100, Honey Dijon, Dubdogz, Maya Jane Coles, and other newcomers are also included.
This year, hardstyle has experienced some decline. Even though he dropped 17 positions, Angerfist is still the highest hard DJ, while Miss K8 fell 36 positions to No. 89. The only other hardstyle DJ still present in the chart is Brennan Heart, who is currently at No. 68 (up five). Other notable climbers in the Top 100 DJs list include KAAZE, Cat Dealers, and tech-house showman FISHER, who rose 29 spots to No. 48. (up 13 to No.70).
DJ Mag’s editorial prize
DJ Mag also gave out two editorial choice awards in addition to the prizes that were chosen by the public. The first prize, Future Star, went to Miami-based, New York-born Layla Benitez who has made a name for herself in 2022 with releases on All Day I Dream and Crosstown Rebels, a residency at Space Miami, and performances all around Ibiza.
The lifetime Achievement award was presented to Manchester legend DJ Paulette, who has been active as a DJ, radio and TV host, A&R and PR for over 30 years, in the thick of the action at crucial times in the dance scene’s development. She has been a positive influence and a force for good as she has helped spread top-notch electronic music across the globe, starting with her early DJing days at Manchester’s groundbreaking LGBTQ+ night Flesh at the Hacienda and ending with her support of the Roni Size Reprazent album winning the Mercury Prize.