Laidback Luke: Who I’m tipping for #1 in this year’s DJ Mag poll

As this year’s DJ Mag number one Hardwell takes his stadium-sized tour on its first solo trip around Australia, speculation is rife as to whether the Dutch producer will be crowned Most Popular again in this year’s poll, or if he’ll be toppled by a new usurper.

The poll results come in just a couple of weeks – on Saturday 18 October – but one mainstay on the international DJ circuit has been hearing “whispers” of a new challenger. Laidback Luke spoke with inthemix recently in the lead-up to his visit for the Stereosonic tour, and he’s got his money on a certain 18 year-old Dutchman.

“Everybody has been whispering that it’s going to be Martin Garrix this year,” Luke said. “And you know what, I really like Martin, he’s a very down-to-earth guy that’s just into it to make music and travel the world.” Luke thinks the dance music world needs more stars like Garrix. “He’s had this insane year and he’s still keeping up. I know that it’s tough going from a couple of local shows to the whole world circuit. Props to him and I hope he makes it.”

Garrix broke onto the world stage last year with the release of his mega-hit Animals; the teenager is so new to the game that he didn’t chart at all in the 2013 DJ Mag top 100. If Luke is right and Garrix does swing the polls to storm to the number one position, it’ll signify a major demographic change in the world’s top five DJs: from the 40-something stalwarts like Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, David Guetta and Above & Beyond, to the 25 year-old Hardwell last year, and possibly the 18 year-old Garrix this year. If you have a tween relative who’s keen on EDM, you’d best buy them Ableton now.