Is DJ Mag’s poll actually that relevant in the dance music industry? [EDITORIAL]

Last night, the highly anticipated results for DJ Mag’s renowned Top 100 DJs poll were revealed and the one that got the title of this year’s no.1 DJ in the world was none other than young producer Martin Garrix, as it was kind of expected. The top has always been met with criticism and this year is no different. While there were many that agreed with who the winner was, there were also others that were pretty confused on how some of the names present in the list reached a specific ranking and started bashing the official results.

For starters, one person that was really against the poll is Dillon Francis, who shared a video where he expressed his confusion, saying that there are several DJs on the list of whom he’s never heard before, also stating that he doesn’t understand what is the list’s actual purpose, cause if it was something that was based on production skills, there were many producers who should have definitely gotten a higher place, thing with which I definitely agree.

Apart from Dillon Francis, there was also Dyro, who after DJ Mag made quite a serious mistake (seeing as they posted a photo of Blasterjaxx when they announced the spot taken by Bassjackers), took to his socials to say that this was exactly how serious anyone should take the poll, because if the people that work there confuse Bassjackers with Blasterjaxx, why should we actually trust their coveted list and why should we form an opinion on someone based on the position they are in?

However, it looks like not everyone is so against this top. 3LAU, an American DJ and producer, took to his Facebook to reveal why people should stop bashing the list as it’s actually pretty important for Asia’s dance music scene, because when an artist gets booked to play there, his fee will be based on how high he places in DJ Mag’s poll, unlike other factors, such as social media numbers, previous ticket sales, Spotify plays etc., which are things the US and Canada uses to determine how much money a performer will get. So, there is one use for this ranking, as it could be operating as a tool for places where dance music is just starting to take off and become popular.

Aside from the things mentioned above, one thing that I truly did not understand was the difference between the place a DJ got last year and the place he got now. For example, Dannic, who in 2015 was at number 26 and this year, he was at #70. Or, Dyro who was down 66 places in 2016. I mean, considering that these two are great producers and of course DJs, who’ve had their fair share of massive projects in the span of these last 12 months, how could have they dropped so many places? There is something here that is very questionable. Don’t they have the same number of dedicated fans like last year? Plus, there were many DJs absent from the list, such as A-Trak, Carl Craig, Bassnectar and these are just to name a few. Where are they, DJ Mag? Why aren’t they in here?

Apart from doing what 3LAU said about this top, that is: being an industry instrument used for expanding other markets, in my opinion this poll is pretty much just a popularity contest. People vote for their favorite because they like that particular person, many are not even looking at the things they accomplished or how skilled they are as a producer or how they can keep a crowd dancing for hours without having even the smallest problem. As always, who is „the best” remains just a subjective thing, as the listeners have different tastes and different ways of thinking. I’m not saying that this top should be disregarded, you can form an opinion based on it, if you’d like, but music should definitely be seen as a form of art, instead of looking at it as a pure competition. In the end, if an artist is good and has the necessary skills, he doesn’t need a list like this to prove to his fans that he’s got what it takes.

Now that you know my opinion, I’m asking you: what do you guys think of the DJ Mag chart? From your point of view, what is it actually used for? Best Producer, Best DJ or is it just a popularity contest?


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