Billboard Magazine picks its dance music heroes

In the 118 years that it has been around, US trade weekly Billboard Magazine has seen a few musical crazes come and go. In 2012, the big talking point is of course dance music and its steady march across North America – and like your still-hip great-grandfather, Billboard has donned its neon ‘RAGE’ cap to help champion the cause.

One of the magazine’s favourite poster boys is Tiesto, with lengthy features devoted to the Dutchman’s business acumen and ballooning Stateside following. This week, however, Billboard has dedicated its cover to three dance stars from closer to home: Diplo, Skrillex and A-Trak (repping Canada), with the title ‘Dance Dance Evolution’. No matter what you think of these three, there’s certainly something to be said for them nudging out the likes of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber as the main event.

In the feature, Diplo reveals that he’s executive producing the new Snoop Dogg album, the trio hints at a possible collaboration and Skrillex marvels at his Grammy nominations. “I never would’ve thought that would ever happen in my whole entire life, ever, because of the music I make,” he says. “I still don’t understand. I play in Las Vegas and there are guys spending $50,000 on tables to see me. What I do is just weird music.”

A-Trak also mentions his influence on Kanye West from his time as the rapper’s tour DJ. “I played him Daft Punk, the next thing you know, he made Stronger. Because he’s such a great producer, he was able to incorporate it into his music, and a lot of people followed suit.”

When Skrillex is involved, there’ll always be something to rile up the easily-riled, and in this case it’s a quote from Diplo. ”[Skrillex] added the elements of mixing, mastering and song structure, which didn’t exist in dubstep and house records,” he muses. “He helped everyone step their game up.” Nope, no holes in that theory at all…