Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Above & Beyond and Paul Van Dyk topped DJ magazine’s latest annual Top 100 DJ poll this week, with French pop dance maestro David Guetta at number 3 proving the only non trance DJ in the top 5.
The entire 100 was similarly saturated with trance names with newer DJs such as Markus Schulz (8) and Gareth Emery (9) thriving while veterans including Sasha and Digweed slipped six and eight places respectively to 13 and 17.
Make-up wearing drum & bass/ electro star John B made his first appearance in the poll at 92 and told Skrufff he’s delighted,
“I'm still reeling to be honest - although I've worked really hard to get here and think I deserve the recognition,” said John.
“I bust my guts out flying all over the world every weekend, and keeping the label and my websites going, the podcast etc. Hell - I flew to Australia just for the weekend a few days ago.”
“It’s the only poll I've really bothered to motivate my fans to vote for this year, and I think it's the most representative overall - last year there were about 350,000 votes from over 200 countries or something like that - and it covers the whole spectrum of dance music, not just a niche - so its definitely a big deal for me to finally break into the top 100,” he enthused.
Christopher Lawrence returned to the poll at 40 after being kicked out last year after an overzealous marketing team he hired prompted DJ mag to accuse him of cheating (a claim they later retracted) and told Skrufff he’s happy to be back.
“I definitely appreciate it a lot more now,” said Christopher. “I guess I'm most happy to see my votes were counted again. I'd get messages and emails from people over the past few years saying "I voted for you" and I'd feel terrible. So yes, it's good to be back.”
He also revealed that his omission from the poll made little difference to his career.
“It made less difference than you would expect. With the exception of countries like China, it doesn't matter if you're #1 or #1000 - if you fill the club, then promoters will book you,” he said.
“I was lucky because I had a solid international fan base which I had built up over the years, and promoters kept booking me on the basis of that.”
“Being bumped probably made the biggest difference to me on a creative level because it gave me the kick up the ass I needed to finally launch my radio show and label, plus I beefed up my production work. All this turned out to be very positive,” he added.
John B attended the Awards party at Ministry of Sound this week and told Skrufff he’d enjoyed mixing with fellow superstar spinners.
“Armin Van Buuren was very nice and friendly. He said he liked drum N’ bass and I told him I liked trance - so we could co-exist in harmony,” he laughed.
“I hung out with Gareth Emery's gang most of the night and was really pleased to see him get to number 9 - I'm a big fan of his stuff - him and Andy Moor's podcasts are my staple jogging music, trance is definitely best for distance running soundtrack.”
“Oh, and they said I hate MCs in the DJ Mag biography bit - which isn't true,” he clarified.
“I just don't like them on my sets. Me and MC Shabba did the same gig in Perth at the weekend, and had to stop so a wedding could happen. Random.”
Both DJs admitting feeling ambiguous about competition in general, with Christopher declaring ‘being competitive is a strange thing.’
“It's good in terms of fuelling your creativity, desire and work ethic, but it can be destructive if you start to see other people's successes as your failures,” he suggested, “I'm more competitive with myself than anyone else, constantly pushing myself to do things better and faster, which can be exhausting at times.”
“I think there's more important factors for success,” John agreed, “It’s always useful to keep an eye on what others are doing, but the number one rule is to do your own thing, your own way and create your own path - be unique and put in the effort, and keep your energy and enthusiasm up there, and it'll rub off on everyone around you.”
Check out the entire top 100 here: http://www.trackitdown.net/news/show/103100.html
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)