Meet Top DJs Avicii, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi and Paul Van Dyk

Meet Top DJs Avicii, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi and Paul Van Dyk

Posted 07.10.2012 in Articles by Jess

From the beginning of the music industry, being a fan of a particular musician or artist means more than just listening to their music. It's about knowing their lives, their personalities, their ideals. It's what we use to understand their lyrics and melodies. Through the use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter we've become even closer to our favorite artists and more involved in their lives. But while social networks like Twitter allow us to know what they're eating for lunch or where they're partying at, it doesn't really give us any insight into that particular artist's background. After all, before Avicii was Avicii, he was just plain old Tim Bergling. Before Tiesto was Tiesto, he was Tijs Michiel Verwest. So who are the people behind these top DJs we've come to love and admire? 


Avicii -  Known for his 2011 hit single "Levels", Avicii burst into the music scene in 2008 when he was just 18 years old. Born in Sweden in 1989 under the name Tim Bergling, besides the stagename Avicii, he is also known professionally as Tom Hangs, Ashwin and Tim Berg. After merely a few months of producing, he made a remix of the theme music for the Commodore 64 game “Lazy Jones” but dropped that and decided to make his own “Lazy Lace”, which released almost immediately on Strike Recordings. Since the beginning of his career Avicii focused on keeping his productions up to date and innovative rather than getting caught up in a specific subgenre of house music. Writing and remixing tracks in his bedroom, Avicii was influenced by artists like Daft Punk and Steve Angello. He gained recognition after his first big track, “Manman”, on Pete Tong's Bedroom Bedlam label after winning the Pete Tong Fast Trax in April 2008 and he's been climbing the ladder to fame ever since. With awesome tracks lined up and plans to headline many of the world's biggest events, Avicii is one name you'll certainly be hearing more often. 


Tiesto – Voted “The Greatest DJ Of All Time” by Mixmag in 2011, this DJ has taken the American music industry by storm. Born in the Netherlands in 1969 as Tijs Michiel Verwest, Tiesto had a passion for music at a young age. He started DJing at the age of 14 at school parties eventually becoming a resident DJ between 1985 and 1994 at several clubs in the Netherlands. During this time, he was able to fine-tune his own style by playing at a small club called The Spock in Breda, North Brabant. Tiesto's real rise to fame came in the early 2000s after his set at the first ID & T Innercity party and the release of In My Memory, his first solo album. His fame only continued to skyrocket during the next couple of years following his six-hour “Tiesto Solo” sets which he performed without any other DJs or opening acts. In 2004 he became the first DJ in history to host the Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Athens, Greece setting the record for biggest audience ever played by a DJ – 3.8 billion. Having won almost every award there is, Tiesto is currently working on a new complilation album and his own artist album along with his clothing line, CLVB LIFE. Even if he was to retire tomorrow, Tiesto is revered by almost everyone in the music industry as one of the greatest DJs to go behind a set of turntables. 


Steve Aoki – Business man and DJ, Steve Aoki has been bringing the party since his college years at University of California, Santa Barbara. During his college days, he produced do-it-yourself records and ran underground concerts out of his room in the Sant Barbara Student Housing Cooperative located in Isla Vista. His apartment turned into a concert venue and became known as The Pickle Patch. By his early 20s, Aoki had built his own record label, named Dim Mak, in 1996. His debut album was Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles was released in January 2008. His newest album, Wonderland, was released in January 2012 and features artists like LMFAO, Kid Cudi, Travis Barker, and more. Performing an average of 150 shows a year, Aoki has gained huge support from colleges. As if 250 shows wasn't enough to keep him busy, Aoki also launched his own clothing line in 2006, a headphone line in 2007, is a founding partner in headphone company Sol Republic, is a co-owner of three restaurants, co-owns a management company called DECKSTAR, and in 2009 created his own magazine titled “Aoki”. 


Benny Benassi – Regarded as one of the most chill, down to earth internationally respected artists in the music industry, Benny Benassi truly broke into the  music scene in 2001 with his hit single “I Feel So Fine”. Born in Italy in 1967, Marco Benassi's success went worldwide a year later with his song “Satisfaction”. In 2004 he was awarded the Eurpean Border Breakers Award for his album Hypnotica, which racked up the most sales for an Italian album outside Italy. Benassi founded the record label Pump-Kin Music in 2005 with a focus primarily on new and unsigned producers. The stated aim of the record label is to give exposure to some of the lesser known DJ/production talent across the world. He's worked with artists Kelis, Madonna, and Chris Brown and others on high-profile remixes amd collaborations and has a brand new radio show on Sirius XM's Electric Area. When he's not touring, this famous DJ leads a straight-forward life with his family. 


Paul Van Dyk – Aside from his musical talents, Paul van Dyk is also dedicated to politics and social justice. Born in East Germany in 1971, Matthias Paul grew up in communist East Berlin. Due to a lack of record stores at which to buy music, van Dyk got his musical education secretly listening to the popular but forbidden Western radio stations RIAS and SFB and mixtapes occasionally smuggled into the country and copied among school friends. Him and his mother moved to Hamburg shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. His first appearance as a DJ was in 1991 when he moved back to Berlin. He quickly gained popularity and fame in no time. Aside from his musical activity, van Dyk is also dedicated to politics and social justice In 2004 he was the only electronic artist involved in the nationwide campaign, Rock the Vote, joining the likes of Bono, P. Diddy, the Black Eyed Peas and George Clinton. Most recently he received Berlin's Medal of Honor in recognition of his work with Ruckenwind, a charity organization he founded dedicated to helping poor children in Berlin. Not only is he a distinguished producer and DJ, he's also a man dedicated to the betterment of our world. 


The next time you're blasting Steve Aoki through your house or your car, you'll now know that he's more than just an artist and producer, he's a college educated business man. Or when you're dancing along to Paul van Dyk's beats you know that he's more than just concerned with the music at hand; he actually cares about helping the world. By getting to know your favorite DJ you'll never listen to another one of their songs the same way. Instead of just liking your favorite DJ, you can now have more respect for their music by knowing what it took for them to achieve greatness. 


Image (CC) INKPics 


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Posts: 1
Calvin Harris should have been included
Reply #1 on : Mon October 15, 2012, 09:34:56
Calvin Harris definitely has a body of work that deserves to be considered a "top dj." His singles earn more accolades than Avicii and Paul Van Dyk, and he has produced more top singles with other artists like Ne-Yo and Rihanna.

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