Who Will Have a Bigger 2012?

by Marcos Colón
01.03.2012


2011 was one of the most memorable years for dance music stateside, serving as a sign for what's to come in the future. While there's a slew of names that had a prominent year, we've matched up a  small list of DJ-producers to go head to head and answer one question - Who will have a bigger 2012? In the dance music world, there's no such thing as downtime and everyone knows it. While rock, pop and hip hop artists can go years without dropping an album, yet still come back to reclaim their audience, dance music is a constantly evolving genre where artists are as easily forgotten as an episode of the "The Tom Green Show."  They'll have to keep the ball rolling in 2012, but who will have a bigger year?

Skrillex or Avicii
One was the IT dance artist of the year, scoring five Grammy nominations (one in the "Best New Artist" category which is a first for a DJ), while the other had a massive 2011 in dance music with sold-out shows all over the nation, one of the biggest NYE performances on the planet, and playing the best dance music venue in the U.S. for their one year anniversary. There's no denying that Skrillex and Avicii each have a lot to offer in the booth and studio, but who will have a bigger year? With so much mainstream attention, it seems as though the next step for Skrillex is to team up with colossal names in pop music, perhaps a Britney, Katy or Gaga? While there's potential to go the Guetta route, his hardcore background will always keep him at the forefront of dub step. It won't be a big surprise if Avicii starts dabbling in the studio with pop artists either, that kind of fame and money is hard to dismiss.


Chuckie or Kaskade
Chuckie's remixes for LMFAO, 3OH!3 and David Guetta sky-rocketed his popularity. He's the definition of the Dirty Dutch sound and continues to expand on his resume with massive tracks, like his latest, "Who Is Ready to Jump" - a ruckus club anthem that drives dance floors wild across the nation. But not many have had a year like Kaskade did. With a successful residency at Marquee Las Vegas, and easily claiming the title as America's Best DJ, 2011 wasn't too shabby for the producer hailing from San Francisco. But going into 2012, who will have the bigger year? Kaskade may have just released his 7th studio album, but that doesn't mean he's all out of beats. Chuckie finished up the year with Rolling Stone hailing him as one of dance music's "Producers of the Moment," so the momentum could carry through nicely into 2012.


Swedish House Mafia or deadmau5
It was business as usual for Swedish House Mafia and deadmau5 in 2011, but will they be able to keep the ball rolling in 2012? Dance music hasn't reached the pinnacle of commercial success just yet stateside, meaning these artists need to keep the flame alive to keep an ADD American audience interested. While SHM sold-out Madison Square Garden in minutes, deadmau5 filled Roseland Ballroom in the Big Apple for six consecutive nights, a record previous held by Rage Against the Machine. So, who's going to have the bigger 2012? The mau5 has a gimmick that will always be appealing in a live setting, but Swedish House Mafia has an advantage in that the trio plays solo shows as well - further getting their name out across the nation.


Calvin Harris or Afrojack
Rihanna's biggest hit in 2011 was all thanks in part to Calvin Harris. Pitbull may have had THE club anthem of 2011, but that's all due in part to Afrojack. These two rocked clubs all over the world in 2011, but a majority of their success is attributed to their efforts in the studio. What's to expect in 2012? More wicked work in the studio and collabs with artists just as big, if not bigger. But with all of the pop world's biggest names releasing music in 2011, will they be looking to do it all over again in 2012? If the paycheck's there, absolutely. Afrojack went public with his relationship with Paris, and a relationship with a Hilton is always good for a resume stateside. However, the success of "We Found Love" will have many pop artists reaching out to Calvin Harris for his talents in the studio.


David Guetta or Tïesto
And now to the heavyweights. Each considered the biggest stars in dance music, Tïesto and David Guetta have been at the top of their game for years, but now that they're really cracking into the mainstream U.S. audience, all eyes - and ears - will be on them in 2012. Tïesto played the biggest DJ gig in U.S. history this past year, but Guetta scored his first ever number one hit on commercial Top 40. It's fair to say that Guetta had a bigger 2011, with spreads in Rolling Stone and monster collabs with the likes of Usher, Chris Brown, and Nicki Minaj. But Tïesto wasn't too far behind with massive releases and the launch of his new clothing line, CLVB LIFE (the new Ed Hardy?). While they battle it out, there are a slew of artists emerging around the world, ready to take them head-on.


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