Top 100 Alternative DJs 2021, powered by Beatport

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Of: Ghent, Belgium
DJ Style: “Techno, sour and allied. “
Best known for: “Tomorrowland 2018 Main Stage / New Form live broadcast in locked mode. “
Favorite song of 2021: “WNDRLST ‘Vertigo’.”
Rising Star DJ / Producer of 2021: “Indira Paganotto.”

Charlotte de Witte is one of the most recognizable techno DJs on the planet, and in ordinary times she gives hundreds of concerts a year. Rather than reveling in free time during the pandemic, she continued to work to expand and evolve her KNTXT empire.

This year alone there have been two new solo EPs on the label, a chart-topping remix with Enrico Sangiuliano, a historic live broadcast from the Italian Formula 1 circuit Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello (where she was also able to drive in a Ferrari), various thematic playlists with Apple Music, and even a range of boutique clothing in collaboration with the Belgian sportswear brand 42I54. She also briefly opened the label for demo submissions as part of her unspoken mission to diversify techno.

“I think this year has been a good time to try and explore other things,” Charlotte says with a smile on Zoom. “Obviously I couldn’t tour and I didn’t have as many shows so it was really nice to stretch my arms and see what other things I could get involved in.” At this point, the Belgian is screaming at the team behind the scenes who are helping her bring her ideas to life. She says she gets as creative as possible with them and sees no real limits to what can be done. “While music is always the primary focus, it doesn’t have to be the only goal. “

This year that music has taken on a certain element of trance, with her most recent EP ‘Asura’ illuminated with psychedelic influences that take her back to her roots. In her youth, Charlotte frequented all kinds of acid, hardcore, and trance raves, and when she first started DJing she was quite electro. She fondly remembers these experiences, which is why their influence has crept into her work this year.

“My whole background is such a variety of electronic music that revolves around techno, so for me it’s really nice to be in touch with where I’m from sometimes,” she says. “I don’t think anyone who makes music should necessarily limit themselves because something isn’t considered techno enough. What does that mean anyway? If you just feel like doing something, I think you should. It’s interesting sometimes reaching out to some other kind of electronic music that shows where you’re from and shows that story a little bit.

His biggest track this year was the remix of ‘Age Of Love’ by Age of Love, produced with Enrico Sangiuliano. “It’s a tribute,” she says, aware of some corners of the internet that claim Charlotte shouldn’t have touched such a classic because it can’t be improved upon. “We were just having fun in confinement. We didn’t want to improve anything, we just wanted to pay homage with a contemporary homage to this remix.

After winning a DJ competition 11 years ago, when he was only 16, the life of the Ghent artist has hardly ceased. She went from star status on the cover of DJ Mag “next generation” in 2017 to that of winner of the Alternative Top 100 DJs poll for the second year in a row.

This award isn’t the only good news Charlotte has received over the past 12 months. At the end of 2020, she got engaged to Italian DJ and producer Enrico Sangiuliano. “It’s not the easiest job to combine with any kind of social life,” she explains. “I mean, you’re never in sync with anyone since you’re always away on weekends, so it’s really hard to maintain friendships or relationships. But it seems that now everything has gone well.

The idea of ​​a small wedding somewhere in the near future, followed by a bigger celebration down the line, is what Charlotte appeals to. But that might not quite match the scale of the upcoming KNTXT parties she just announced, with the biggest ever held in her hometown of Ghent at Flanders Expo, the former home of the legendary Belgian event I Love Techno, in February 2022.

“I just love it,” she says of what motivates her the most, having already accomplished so much at a young age. “Being with sweaty bodies in the club, feeling the music, traveling, trying local foods around the world. It’s just an incredibly exciting adrenaline rush. That said, one thing she took away from last year was that she needed to make “better decisions” to preserve her physical and mental health and ensure the longevity of her career. “I used to fly from the east coast to the west coast of the United States for several days in a row. It’s just too demanding, it’s not human.

On Charlotte’s shoulder in the background is a DJ bag, packed and ready for weekend concerts in France and then Switzerland. Unlike many top DJs, she always checks out new music on her own, every day of the week, and reloads her SD cards with whatever she finds. “I still like to do that, but what has gotten more difficult these days is going to the club myself and enjoying the music on the dance floor.”

While it’s a pleasure that she deprives herself of herself, it is one that she gives every weekend to fans around the world.

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