World-class Dutch DJs generate nation’s heartbeat

Electronic dance music is the all year round attraction

Bobbing to a beat is second nature in the Netherlands which is leading the global electronic dance music scene and is the home of the world’s top DJs. It is so deep-rooted in the culture it will grab a hold of you anywhere and when you least expect it.

Whether you’re out clothing shopping or watching TV you’ll find yourself raving to a beat in no time. You’ll be minding your business and boom some wicked tune will seep through the speakers at the station and you’ll bust a move in public. It is crazy out here. Guaranteed the bug will get you during the commercial break of your favourite programme.

Armin van Buuren
Armin van Buuren

It’s no surprise then that six of the top 10 DJs in the world are from the Netherlands. The current leading Dutch DJs are Hardwell (no.1), Armin van Buuren (no. 3), Martin Garrix (no.4), Tiësto (no.5), Nicky Romero (no.8), Afrojack (no.12) and Dash Berlin (no.14). Their styles range from trance, progressive house, electro house and several combinations thereof. You can still vote for your favourite for 2015 at the DJ Mag Top 100.

Unlimited export potential

The export of popular Dutch music is worth roughly €158.8 million and rising. The dominance of Dutch DJs on music charts has paved the way for 170 dance music events in the country with 2.7 million annual visitors every year and has become a significant feature of the economy.

The Netherlands electronic dance culture dates back to the late 1980s. In the last decade Dutch DJs consistently rank high in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs. From 2003 onwards at least two Dutch DJs have been included in the world’s top 3.

DJ Hardwell, 27, real name Robbert van de Corput, who is ranked number one at the moment was the youngest DJ to take the title at age 25. The new rising star is Martin Garrix, 19, real name Martijn Garritsen. He debuted in the DJ Mag Top 100 at number 40 and has already gone up 36 places.

You have to ask yourself what the x-factor is that makes these Dutch boys Top DJs. Well apart from a super cute accent (shuper as Garrix pronounces it).


Beat wizards are legends in their time

These guys are so valuable to the country that in 2014 five of them were revered on a postage stamp of their own. The October release of the stamps coincided with the 2014 Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), one of the world’s largest gatherings of dance music professionals, artists and fans.

It’s sheer and utter wizardry and it will grab a hold of you no matter how conservative you imagine yourself to be. It’s coming out of the walls and woodwork I tell you. Are your ‘hands up in the air’ yet? It’s like being in a scene of The Matrix only people are walking around with headphones to access the grid.

It runs even deeper in the culture. Amateur DJs rock it at house parties at a semi-professional level and good disc-jockeying is essential at most kiddies’ parties too. It’s like a top DJ is meant to be born every minute in this country. And I’m pretty sure that’s a real statistic.

dance party

Inga Strydom
Inga Strydom
I am a South African journalist with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and pushing the envelope on how people relate to the environment. I have seen some hectic things and I have heard my fair share of bizarre accounts. Follow me on Twitter where I go by my Dutch name:



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