Electronic dance music has been around for decades; let's be honest, everyone likes to shake a leg every now and again. The continuing evolution of technology, however, has meant that artists within this genre are coming up with newer, weirder and more innovative ways to express themselves all the time.

It also means that there are some scarily talented young artists coming through, some of which are profiled below.

The rest? Well, it's not for nothing that they're referred to as stalwarts, and they've earned their place in the annals of music history, too.

It's not a definitive list by any means, but here are the eleven EDM artists that we consider to be running the game in 2015.



The first we heard of Avicii – aka Tim Bergling – was when he was receiving the patronage of Madonna back in 2012 when he supported her on her MDNA tour. He'd already enjoyed some success that same year with his Grammy-nominated collaboration with David Guetta, 'Sunshine' – but since then, the young Swede's star has gone supernova. He's had mammoth global hits with the likes of 'Wake Me Up' and worked with everyone from Nile Rodgers to Benny and Bjorn from ABBA, Wyclef Jean and Chris Martin from Coldplay, co-writing 'A Sky Full of Stars' from their last album. Despite only releasing one album to date, everyone wants a piece of the 25-year-old. His second album 'Stories' is out later in the year. Of course, Irish fans might have heard a very different version of his song 'Wake Me Up', as recorded by Irish language band Seo Linn - which Berling heard and gave a very public thumbs-up to on Facebook. Pretty sound.


Given his recent headline-grabbing relationship with pop star Taylor Swift, it's easy to overlook the fact that Calvin Harris is actually, y'know, a musician. Harris – real name Adam Wiles – released his debut album, the modestly-titled 'I Created Disco', way back in 2007, spawning hits like 'Acceptable in the '80s'. With every album that's passed, the Scot has cranked out the odd catchy little EDM-pop numbers with the likes of Rihanna ('We Found Love'), Dizzee Rascal ('Dance Wiv Me') and Ellie Goulding ('Outside') under his belt. He's become the British go-to guy for remixes, productions and collaborations that are pretty much guaranteed to be hits. Could a collaboration with T-Swift be next?


He's part of the old guard, having made his bones back in the early noughties with hits like 'Love Don't Let Me Go'- but it wasn't until 2009's 'One Love' album that the 47-year-old Frenchman made it mega-big. With songs on its tracklisting like 'Sexy Bitch' and 'When Love Takes Over', Guetta's place on the EDM scene was secured, and he's gone on to ever bigger things with collaborations with Sia ('Titanium'), John Legend ('Listen') and even worked with The Script on his last album. He's become one of the biggest DJs on the planet and he's also grown his hair very long, which looks a bit silly. But that's just us.


Staying with the French theme, here's an artist that many would describe as the heir to Guetta's throne. Hugo Leclerq to his mum, Madeon is a rising star in the EDM world. You may well have seen the song that saw him discovered, 'Pop Culture' – a clever mash-up of almost forty different pop songs – and American audiences have taken to him rather quickly, a sure sign of impending global success. Heck, he's even toured with Lady Gaga. His debut album 'Adventure' was released earlier this year, and at 21, there's a lot more to come.


This Russian-born youngster had bagged a Grammy award by the time he was 24 - how about that for making you feel like an underachiever? Still only 25, Anton Zaslavksi bagged the gong for 'Clarity', which featured young British singer Foxes; he's also had a big hit with the banging 'Break Free' and is in demand as a remixer, too, with names like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber passing through his machine (he also co-wrote Bieber's 'Beauty and a Beat'). He's worked with the likes of pop supremo Ryan Tedder and his second album 'True Colours' was released in May. Expect to hear more of this guy in the coming years.


Let's leave behind those youngsters for a little bit. Tiesto is pretty much one of the most – if not the most - well-known DJs and dance music producers on the planet. The 46-year-old's career began in the mid-late 1990s; then known as DJ Tiesto, he was a peer of acts like Ferry Corsten and Armin van Buuren and became known for his long DJ sets and remixes of songs like Delirium's 'Silence'. Arguably, he was the first superstar DJ in the EDM world and as the years progressed, he's pretty much overtaken all of 'em with huge hits like 'Outside' and remixes for everyone from Moby to John Legend. He's such a big star in his native Netherlands that they've got a waxwork of him in Madame Tussaud's in Amsterdam and it's often the case that the first word of many Dutch babies is 'Tiesto'. OK, we made that last bit up. Maybe.


Whatever they're putting in the water in Breda in the Netherlands, it's working. Robbert van de Corput - aka Hardwell – hails from the same city as the above-mentioned Tiesto and is continuing the fine tradition of Dutchmen going out into the world and giving folks something to dance to. He's cited Tiesto as a major inspiration and although his is not a name you'll see that often in the charts, the 27-year-old is renowned for his live sets and was twice voted DJ of the Year by DJ Magazine in 2013 and 2014. He released his debut album in January.


Canada's Joel Zimmerman is regularly cited as one of the biggest EDM artists/DJs in the world, and it's not difficult to see why – with those ears, it's hard to miss him. Joke. Although Zimmerman is well-known for his trademark mouse head, he's better known for his house and electronica creations, which have earned him no less than six Grammy nominations over the years. It's been a full ten years since his debut album 'Get Scraped' was released, and he's remained at the top of his game with six successive albums since, the most recent being 'while(1<2)' in 2014.


English brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence may not have known just how big their 2013 debut 'Settle' would become – but it's seen their influence stretch across multiple genres and even continents since it's release. It spawned hits with everyone from Sam Smith to Jessie Ware, and their particular blend of house, garage, dubstep and electronica offers something truly new to the genre. Their highly-anticipated second album 'Caracal' is out in September.


Martin Garrix, aka Martijn Garritsen, is another rising star from Europe's EDM stronghold, the Netherlands – and another act influenced by Tiesto, with whom he collaborated earlier this year on the track 'The Only Way is Up'. The 19-year-old broke through in 2013 with his huge song 'Animals' – which hit number 3 in Ireland - and has most recently collaborated with both Ed Sheeran and Avicii. He's going to be big.



Miami-born Aoki has done a heck of a lot for EDM in his native United States, largely via his hugely influential label Dim Mak, which he founded in 1996 at the age of 19. The label brought artists like MSTRKRFT and The Bloody Beetroots to US audiences, as well as indie bands like Bloc Party and Mystery Jets. He's all about the inclusiveness, this guy. His versatility stretches to his collaborations, too - he's worked with everyone from Laidback Luke to LMFAO to will.i.am. He's also proven his skills as a remixer by taking on songs by the likes of Kid Cudi and The All-American Rejects. Add to that the fact that he's been named number one on The Most Charitable EDM Producers by EDM.com, largely thanks to his Steve Aoki Charitable Fund. Whatta guy.


Check out the Smirnoff Sound Collective's 'There & Now' video series, featuring artists such as Zeds Dead, Bingo Players, and Tommy Trash. Your favourite artists open up about being music fans and becoming music legends. Click here for more.


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