10 of Our Favorite DJs Remember The Best, Worst, and Most Ridiculous Moments in 2015

A-Trak, Laidback Luke, MikeQ, The Black Madonna, and more look back on a crazy year in music.

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Dec 14 2015, 11:36pm

Today, THUMP continues its month-long retrospective of the year in electronic and dance music, this time from the perspective of a hand-picked selection of DJs and producers, including A-Trak, Laidback Luke, The Black Madonna, and MikeQ. From future house to deep house, BPM to Bestival, and Buenos Aires to Glasgow, we talked about the cities, festivals, and trends that made a difference in 2015.

Don't miss our favorite tracks, mixes, and albums that we rolled out last week.

1) A-TRAK

After a tough beginning to 2015, A-Trak stayed true to the Fools Gold vision he founded with Dust La Rock (RIP). Catch him perfoming a live set this Wednesday as part of our THUMP Sessions live stream series.

What was the most ridiculous thing you saw online in 2015?

The DJ Mag Top 100 list.

What city totally brought it in 2015?

San Francisco was the surprise livest show on my Gold Gone Wild tour. Especially when I played a hyphy set.

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

Dabbing. No disrespect to Rich The Kidd—he's my homie, and same goes to Migos. But America is going dabb-crazy and it needs to go away at this point.

What was your favorite non-musical activity?

I had a day off in Bangkok... My friends and I spent five hours in this weird mall doing anything and everything: we bought bootleg bags, we looked at crazy contact lenses with pentagrams printed on them, I got a massage, we got this amazing 3D-rendered photo of us inside a sort of prism, we ate multiple meals, we spied on talented Asians on DJ games at the arcade... I kept saying "best day ever!" the whole time. I didn't grow up going to malls so this was all new for me.

What was the most challenging thing you overcame in 2015?

My friend and art director Dust La Rock passed away.

Courtesy MikeQ Facebook

2) MikeQ

New Jersey was back in the spotlight this year with Fetty Wap ruling the charts and MikeQ ruling the clubs.

What city totally brought it in 2015?

Glasgow! Hands down, they were so into it. Runner up: London. Pretty much, the U.K. Cares....

What genre were you happy to see make a comeback this year?

I can't really say that I even noticed a genre comeback this year but in the terms of Hiphop, Missy Elliott came back and that's exciting enough for that genre alone, in my opinion.

What was your favourite Non-musical activity?

Taking photos of all the lovely places I get to travel to because of music or just as an escape in general while still being a creative artist.

What was the most challenging thing you overcame in 2015?

I have a few: 1. I sat on a panel and did a little bit of public speaking. 2. I am finally debuting my record label to the world the way I've wanted to for some years now.

What didn't you do in 2015 that you'll do in 2016?

Go to Africa and or South America to DJ finally and get closer to my world domination as a DJ.

3) Sydney Blu

Keeping up a label (Blu Music), an event series (Blu Party), and dropping her debut album, 'Relentless', the Ontario-born producer returned home to Canada in 2015.

What city totally brought it in 2015?

TORONTO baby! Best city ever!

What was the best festival you attended?

Electric Island was incredible. I loved being a part of it.

What was the biggest surprise of the year?

I moved back to Toronto. Don't think many people expected it except my close friends. It was a great decision to come home.

What was the most challenging thing you overcame in 2015?

Finishing my album. Lots of pressure on that, but I got it done. I wrote it for two years. Was a relief when I finally finished it.

What didn't you do in 2015 that you'll do in 2016?

Go back to Ibiza! I toured North America this past summer instead. Next year I'll be spending my summer in Europe.

4) Laidback Luke

Already a mainstay of the global festival circuit, Laidback Luke forayed into editorial this year: sounding off on major issues in electronic music for Billboard.

What was the most ridiculous thing you saw online in 2015?

The wrath of the Ariana Grande fans who came at me en mass after I tweeted about her. I've never blocked so many people in my life! Kids can be super vicious!

What about in real life?

Shocked by Rob Fernandez passing away and Alan Green as well. We take life for granted most of the time and those moments really stop you in your tracks. Life is now and both will be missed a lot!

What genre were you happy to see make a comeback this year?

I'm very happy everything got funkier this year. To me it meant I could grab back to my 2005-2008 style.

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

Wobble House, although I'm not mad at it, everyone and their cat is doing it right now so it will die out very shortly.

What was your favorite non-musical activity?

I fell in love with editing video this year. Check out my VLOGs, it's all me filming and editing it!

5) The Black Madonna

This midwest raver traveled the globe, becoming an ambassador for clubbing's roots—musically and politically.

What was the most ridiculous thing you saw online in 2015?

Probably an interview I gave somewhere.

What about in real life?

Straight people figuring out poppers. Well, except for that idiot that drank a bottle and almost died.

What genre were you happy to see make a comeback this year?

I am happy to see people making really solid techno that boarders on trance. By that I mean the original use of the word trance, not the Tiesto stuff.

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

Deep house which is neither deep nor house. These words have meaning, kids.

What was the most challenging thing you overcame in 2015?

I have lifelong terrible anxiety, which was really highlighted when I started touring. This year I had to see a doctor for it. It changed my life finally getting help. I'm mostly over a lot of the worst of it now, but it still flares up. I have a very special relationship with the kids that come to the shows. They hug me and tell what's going on in their lives and what they care about. I always listen and make time. It means a lot that they come, sometimes very long distances, and that they feel a connection with me. They're very precious to me. But sometimes I have to go take a talking timeout in the bathroom. I do what I have to do to manage this stupid anxiety on the job.

What didn't you do in 2015 that you'll do in 2016?

Dead serious: I'm going to Disneyland.

6) Lupe Fuentes

Eclectic performer Lupe Fuentes put her stamp on techno music this year by launching her own label, In The Loop.

What was the most ridiculous thing you saw in real life?

My dog sitting on the kitchen step-stool asking me for Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream.

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

While I am definitely a fan of men being manly and I don't mind beards, some of you guys are out of control.

What was your favorite non-musical activity?

Hiking with my dogs in Malibu, I love nature and I love the ocean.

What was the most challenging thing you overcame in 2015?

Starting my label In The Loop and turning it into a brand!

What didn't you do in 2015 that you'll do in 2016?

Tour all around the world.

7) Savant/Blanco

Aleksander Vinter's multiple personalities added some welcome diversity to the electronic landscape in 2015.

What was the most ridiculous thing you saw online in 2015?

So much. You know I am ADHDAF so it is hard to pinpoint the most ridiculous thing. So much to choose from, American politics are pretty ridiculous ... producers fighting on Twitter about who is the biggest asshole. You choose!

What city totally brought it in 2015?

Buenos Aires was a ton of fun, but my heart was in Paris for a large part of the year.

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

Genres.

What was the best festival you attended?

My favorite this year was Resistanz Festival in Sheffield, UK. It was a dark industrial vibe and it was amazing to get there and I had so much fun I almost didn't get out.

What was the biggest surprise of the year?

I made a song about "culos."

8) MIKE SERVITO

The New York via Detroit DJ went from best kept secret to blowing-the-fuck-up in 2015.

What was the most ridiculous thing you saw online in 2015?

Blatant racism and sexism and homophobia.

What about in real life?

The same as above.

What was the best festival you attended?

Tie: Movement. Dekmantel

What was your favorite non-musical activity?

Tie: Sleep. Eating donuts.

What didn't you do in 2015 that you'll do in 2016?

Tour with my squad. You know who you iz!

9) LOCO DICE

The techno don from Dusseldorf came full force in 2015 with a new Ibiza residency at HYTE and a new album, Underground Sound Suicide.

What city totally brought it in 2015?

NYC still rockin' it.

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

Terrorism.

What was your favorite non-musical activity?

Stepping into a ring with a journalist.

What was the biggest surprise of the year?

A "normal" German coach, Jürgen Klopp, takes over FC Liverpool.

What didn't you do in 2015 that you'll do in 2016?

Vacation in Thailand.

10) MIJA

Meeting Skrillex got her going, but 2015 saw Mija make waves with her own sound.

What was the most challenging thing you overcame in 2015?

Learning how to produce on the road.

What genre were you happy to see make a comeback this year?

Nightcore (aka happy hardcore--lets b real).

What is a trend you're ready to see go away?

SoundCloud repost mafias.

What was your favorite non-musical activity?

Hanging with friends, eating good food, playing with puppies.

What was the biggest surprise of the year?

Becoming a Belieber.