DJs are renowned for blending sounds and churning out some of the greatest beats on the planet. From original sounds to stepped up tunes across any genre, there is something for everyone. As a genre, while others rise and fall, dance music stands the test of time. There are thousands of DJs around the world – some play at enormous festivals like Creamfields, and others spin disks at their sister’s wedding. No matter what genre you enjoy, the chances are you’ve listened to a DJ at some point in your life – you can say that about all genres. Throughout this article, we will run through our view of the most successful DJs in the world.
Sonny Moore, who plays by his stage name Skrillex, doesn’t conform to the classic stereotype. In his early days, Sonny Moore found enormous success as the lead singer for the band From First To Last. Throughout his time in the band, he released several successful albums and toured relentlessly. Unfortunately, his run with the band came to an end after he suffered vocal cord damage and required surgery. Some would say this was a blessing in disguise, as he left the band and eventually became the Skrillex we know today, known for his dubstep outfits. Skrillex’s most notable song is arguably Bangerang.
Anyone can learn how to DJ, and often all you need is a computer and space to work. This doesn’t mean it’s easy to break into the scene, especially with so many fantastic artists out there already. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you – with the helpful resources from Pirate, you can learn how to become a self-taught DJ now. As well as access to tons of useful information, you can find access to professional rehearsal spaces for you to hone your craft.
Trance master Tiësto has been on the scene long before most of the newer American DJs. From 1985-1994, he put hard work and dedication into playing clubs in Breda, his hometown. After this, he began producing before releasing his first solo album in 2001. His sound is iconic and helped shape a music generation. Throughout his career, he has played enormous festivals and hit hot spots on the notorious dance island Ibiza. At the moment, he is enjoying married life and taking care of his family. At 52 years of age, early retirement is more than justifiable for such an iconic man.
Iconic DJ Christopher Comstock, most commonly seen donning the Marshmello helmet on stage, is arguably one of the most successful DJs of the modern age. He has several songs that have hit multi-platinum, including Happier, Alone, and Wolves. At the start of his career, he was posting remixes online and gaining serious recognition as the anonymous Marshmello. It wasn’t until 2017 that Forbes revealed his identity by piecing together slivers of information. Now, as a versatile DJ, he collaborates with artists ranging from Selena Gomez to A Day To Remember.
Deadmau5 is Joel Zimmerman’s stage name and is a phenomenal DJ. When it comes to DJs in masks, he is one of the most notable. Interestingly, Deadmau5 took a young Skrillex under his wing and mentored him into the field. Through his record label “Mau5trap”, he released Skrillex’s debut EP Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Before breaking into the music world, Deadmau5 was a web designer and animator – you can see evidence of this through some of his music videos.
David Guetta is one of the most well-known DJs in the world and is an excellent songwriter and producer. His sales rack up to over 50 million, and he has amassed an outstanding 10 billion streams. Several times, David Guetta has been nominated as the number one DJ by DJ Mag – most recently in 2021. In terms of time put into his work, he’s been on the scene for just as long as Tiësto. Typically, Guetta is known for creating tunes and collaborating with artists for the vocal parts. His most notable works include collaborations with the likes of Kelly Rowland, LMFAO, and Sia. These collaborations are part of the reason why his tunes have reached so many fans.
Armin van Buuren is another Dutch trance DJ with critical success. He started his musical career back in 1996 with the release of his breakout EP through Timeless Records. After this, he continued creating music and found massive success in Ibiza back in 1999. Alongside his recording and touring, Armin van Buuren hosts a radio show called A State of Trance, which shares the same name as his first compilation album. For his contributions to music, he received officer status to the Order of Orange Nassau (the Dutch equivalent of a Knighthood).
Martin Garix is among the most well-known DJs and producers in the world. Garix has been inspired to become a DJ since he was eight years old when he saw Tiësto perform live at the Olympic Games in 2004. Throughout his teens, Garrix taught himself how to create music and produce his own songs. Eventually, he was able to release his tracks through Musical Freedom, which belongs to Tiësto. It wasn’t long before his music earned critical acclaim, and Garix was dominating festivals, clubs, and arenas. Being only 25 years old and hugely successful, he still has a lot of room to make waves.
Hailing from Scotland, Calvin Harris found his musical start through the Myspace social media platform. This led him to be signed by Sony BMG, EMI, and Three Six Zero for the all-around dealing of his career. Initially, his tracks were performed solely by himself, including vocals. However, as he progressed through his career, he began to collaborate with other artists and add in EDM tones. More recently, he released Love Regenerator to explore his self-produced roots.
The DJ sound can be found through all genres of music, with many artists taking inspiration from notable names. If you want to explore the genre, the artists above are fantastic places to start.