In case you haven't heard, every year DJ Mag has a poll on the top 100 DJs of the year. This poll has become the biggest music poll in the world, music lovers from every corner of the globe can vote for their favorite DJ from July to September. Last year Martin Garrix became the youngest ever winner of the DJ Mag poll, beating out 2015 winners Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike.
However, in case you've been living under a rock in an EDM-less world, you would also know that the DJ Mag poll is highly controversial. Some see the DJ Mag poll as a highly prestigious honor and they would go above and beyond (saw what I did there?) to see their favorite producer(s) emerge victorious. Others think that the DJ Mag poll is a sham and a popularity contest.
Some producers truly want the award, promoting the DJ Mag poll on social media and asking fans for support. Others outright condemn DJ Mag, and some of the biggest names in EDM like Dillon Francis, Hardwell and Deadmau5 have spoken out against DJ Mag.
The Tomorrowland iPad girls are another glaring example of the lengths that some DJs will go to collect votes. To put it simply, these girls are attractive women who are given passes to Tomorrowland with the caveat that they must get 100 votes per day or else they lose their festival pass. Now I empathize with the fact that you want to go to Tomorrowland, but swarming people to get them to vote for a DJ? No thank you. Click HERE to read more on the iPad girls.
I've tried to separate my own feelings about the DJ Mag poll from this article, but I'll be forthright now. Do I believe that the DJ Mag poll is any indication of a DJ's skill? Absolutely not. In my opinion, the DJ Mag poll is a glorified popularity contest. DJ's with large (and voter heavy) fan bases are more likely to accumulate votes. I'm not saying that producers who have won DJ Mag's poll have no talent; I have nothing but love and respect for Martin Garrix and his meteoric rise through EDM ranks. I'm simply saying that the poll is a measurement of popularity, not necessarily one of talent.
As Dillon Francis noted in his 2016 reaction video to the DJ Mag results, what is the poll trying to tell us? Who is the most popular? Who is the best producer? Who has been the most successful? Who is the best DJ? Because frankly, it's not doing any of it.
So my message is this: vote or don't, it's up to you. But don't, in any shape or form, think that this poll is any indication of a DJ's talent. Do not look at this list and discount producers who did not make the cut. Do not stop supporting a producer you love, just because they didn't win. Our EDM community is one of love and support and no online voting poll will change that.