Electronic music has come an insanely long way within the last decade. DJ’s are now selling out stadiums and topping charts. EDM festivals have risen as some of the most popular and exciting music festivals to attend. There are so many producers and DJ’s that come to mind when I think about who was at the forefront.
With the decade coming to a close, we can look back at the most influential artists that have changed our lives, and the industry. From the most iconic album releases, innovative stage production, and successful record labels, there’s so much to consider. With that in mind, here are our top five EDM artists of the decade.
Top 5 EDM Artists Of The Decade
Above and Beyond
Above and Beyond formed back in 2000, but following their third album, We Are All We Need, they hit mainstream in 2015. In 2018 they released Common Ground which landed them a top three spot on U.S. hits.
The group, Jono Grant, Paavo Siljamäki and Tony McGuinness, worked their way to the top for a number of reasons. Their label, Ajunabeats, was also founded in 2000 and has signed almost 100 artist since then. The label has blown up this last decade promoting artist such as Audien, Tinlicker and Seven Lions. Ajunabeats is a touring brand in itself that celebrates and performs the music of trance and progressive.
Above and Beyond’s album, Group Therapy, came out in 2011. Starting the following year they turned this idea into an event. Their first Group Therapy show was Nov 10th, 2012 in Bangalore. Now almost a decade later, they have played their 359th group therapy show. These are intended to bring people together and celebrate the music and togetherness it instills in the audience.
Armin Van Buuren
Armin is by far one of, if not the most, influential face of EDM. He has been in the music production business for over 20 years and has done nothing short of incredible. Armin is the face of the trance movement and a five-time winner as #1 in DJ Mag Top 100.
Some of his most memorable shows of the decade include his 2013 performance in front of the newly crowned King and Queen of the Netherlands. His 2014 residency in Ibiza, Spain playing every Thursday night from June to September. And the celebration of his 20th anniversary as a DJ by selling out one of the most sought after venues in the Netherlands.
A State of Trance, his radio show, began in 2001. Now 18 years later, the show is still hosted weekly for two hours updating fans of the hottest and most fire EDM tracks of the moment. To experience a live set by Armin is to touch hands with God. His inhuman mixing skills and incredibly creative mind grant him the #2 spot on the list.
Prydz first found fame from his breakout single Call on Me back in 2004. His fame has skyrocketed in the last decade with most recent hit album Opus, released in 2016. The crazy part about it is that after almost 20 years in the industry, this was his first debut album— and it was great. The album was a mix of both old and new for Prydz, and of course an albums worth of new music to dig into.
EDM as a genre attracts a certain type of stage production. Lasers, strobes, colorful lights and fog are popular. Prydz on the other hand, took it a step farther. Yeah, lasers and strobe lights are amazing, but think 3D. After working on it for over two years, Prydz’s team successfully created the first holosphere to appear on stage. This is one of the main reasons he’s one of our top 5 EDM artists.
The sphere is over two stories high and uses millions of pixels and hundreds of lights. Premiering just last summer on July 20th at Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival, they literally had to redesign the stage in order for the sphere to fit. The best part— Prydz DJs in the middle of the globe. Talk about groundbreaking insane stage production.
Deadmau5 started off the decade with a bang after being named the House DJ for the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010. He was then labeled MTV’s PUSH artist of the week in August 2010. Since then he has broken the boundaries of progressive house and other genres, successfully started his own record label and been nominated for five Grammys.
In 2012 he released his sixth studio album The Title Goes Here which featured some of his most popular songs such as The Veldt, an eight minute long progressive house mix. The song ranked 48 out of The Rolling Stone’s Best 50 Songs of 2012.
Deadmau announced in 2015 that he was leaving his then label to become completely independent of his own label Mau5trap. Since the break off of his label, Deadmau helped promote artist such as Skrillex, Rezz, Getter and more. Just last year in 2018 he released an EP, Mau5ville: Level 1, that featured his hit Monophobia as well as songs from Getter and GTA.
Avicii turned millions of heads towards EDM music from his first EP to full album, Tim, released after his tragic death in 2018. The artist hit the deck running with his single Levels (2011) which launched his career. In 2012, his collaboration track Sunshine, with David Guetta, was nominated for a Best Dance Recording Grammy. The next year his single Levels was nominated for the same Grammy.
Avicii’s record breaking single, Wake Me Up, was released in 2013. It was the first single of his album True that would be released later that year. The single ended up setting a record for being #1 on Billboard Dance/Electronic for 14 weeks straight. A month after the release of his album True, he was voted #3 out of DJ Mag 2013 Top DJs.
In 2015, Stories was released that was wildly popular hosting songs such as Waiting For Love. On February 10th, 2018 Avicii released his last collaboration Ghosts before his death later that April. A year later Tim was released.
Tim is a compilation of the work Avicii was planning on releasing as his next big album. All proceeds would go to the Tim Bergling Foundation to fight mental health. After the unexpected and mourned death of Avicii, his music touched hearts across the world. His wild spirit and equally as influential music gives him this last slot on our list of top 5 EDM artists wrapping up the decade.