It’s that time of year again; the polls for the DJ Mag‘s 2013 edition of their Top 100 DJs ranking have opened. Hailed often as a popularity contest, the chart is indirectly correlated with talent but aligned with the mindset of dance music’s fan base. While my ballot (which I will reveal later in this piece) is still unfinished, I’ve found it a priority led by intuition to predict the fate of the 2013 DJ Mag rankings.
I’ve observed the prestigious top 10 spots, artists who have yet to break the top 100, DJ Mag sophomores, projected winners and losers, and even how the former Swedish House Mafia will affect the polls. Each day, week, and moment of the past twelve months have carried weight in the dance music community; here is how I foresee a changing of the guard amongst the industries revered Top 100 DJ rankings.
Changes in the top 10
The top two slots will once again be held by Armin van Buuren and Tiësto, but it will be interesting to see who is voted number one. It’s safe to say the throne isn’t safe this year with both producer’s having massive years both inside and outside the studio.
After monstrous years for the 6th and 5th ranked DJs, Deadmau5 should move up a slot to 4 with Hardwell up to 5, leaving David Guetta at the number 6 spot — a significant decline considering his #1 DJ status only two years ago.
Breaking onto the charts in 2012, Zedd found himself occupying the 51 position. Then of course, he released one of the biggest albums in recent history, produced for Lady Gaga, and made an undergarment spectacle of Deadmau5′s main stage Ultra set. Perhaps one of the most relevant DJs of the year, Zedd will climb the charts drastically this year and I’d be surprised to see him fall below the 25 mark.
Re-ranking the now former Swedish House Mafia
The entity of Swedish House Mafia, although now non-existing, will rank among the top 100 due to this year’s grand tour, but nowhere near last year’s 11 spot.
Due to success post-SHM, Steve Angello should leap between 20 and 30 spots from last year’s 57 position. Expect him to steal a place between 27 and 33.
Who I’ll be voting for
First and foremost, I do not believe this ranking is indicative of production or DJ talent, nor that it truly set artists into concrete tiers. Still in no particular order, or even without a definitive five, I can positively say that Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Steve Angello, and Diplo have all earned my vote after what they’ve contributed and achieved over the past year. If I find two more DJs worthy of my ballot, it will be tough to arrange and rank.
Fifty one years ago the Beatles charted 14 songs simultaneously on the Hot 100. Today they share that title with Drake, the highly-likeable, easily-memeable rapper who’s surprise mixtape “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” took social media by storm two weeks ago. The impressive feat comes with a few caveats; namely that the charts rulesets have changed significantly since the Beatles did it on April 11, 1964. Back then the chart was based around the sale of singles, today it is much more robust; an evolution that matches the dynamic nature of 2015′s music industry. In 2005, the Hot 100 began to track digital downloads and since then several songs have been able to achieve 80-to-90 position jumps thanks to sudden digital availability. After that the chart’s dynamics drastically changed. Billboard was tracking streaming data as early as 2007, and incorporate Spotify or YouTubed plays in 2013 — It’s the change the sparked the career of Baauer whose “Harlem Shake” topped the charts thanks to a highly viral meme.