Unfortunately, it sometimes seems the world only continues to grow worse.
Luckily for us, however, there are many individuals that aim to make this earth a better place for those around them.
We chose to highlight ten different DJs and producers in the dance music industry that are determined to leave this world in a better state than they found it. The below artists have been known to use their platforms and outreach potential to raise awareness and funds for charitable organizations and projects they feel are important to support. Our respect goes out to them for their efforts with the added encouragement that they continue to do good in their communities and for the philanthropic programs they hold dear.
Richard Wiles born in Dumfries, Scotland skyrocketed to the top after his 2012 album 18 Months reached the U.S. Billboard Top 200 at number 19. The album became his first to chart on the in the US and all eight of the album’s singles; “Bounce”, “Feel So Close”, “Let’s Go”, “We’ll Be Coming Back”, “Sweet Nothing”, “Drinking from the Bottle”, “I Need Your Love” and “Thinking About You” reached the top 10 in the UK.
His philanthropic work began as early as 2007, when he first began producing and DJing, where he performed at a party for the Campaign Against Living Miserably — an organization that aims to reduce the male suicide rate — in Camden Town, London. In 2012, Harris, Rihanna, and Coldplay performed at a charity concert with all proceeds from the show donated to the Children’s Orthopaedic Center at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He contributed to Tiesto’s compilation album Dance (RED) Save Lives that aimed at generating awareness for an AIDS-Free Generation by donating all proceeds to (Product)RED. In 2014 he went on to donate $4,000 to Making Winter Warmer, a volunteer group supporting the homeless in Northeast England, so that they could buy a van to carry on their volunteer efforts.
Possibly one of the most influential producers and DJs to walk this earth, Carl Cox was born in Barbados, a Caribbean country part of the British Commonwealth. At the young age of 15 bought his first set of decks and embarked on a long journey that made him into a house music icon. His 15-year residency at Space Ibiza has come to an end but his imprint on the industry remains for generations to come.
In May 2016 Cox collaborated with Warchild, an organization that aids children in war-torn conflict zones, while also setting up a Text-To-Donate campaign with the people of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, a group who try to raise awareness about socio-economic gaps and build global communities through music and culture. UK residents or individuals with UK phones texted “OHYES” to a designated number and in turn donated £5 ($6.42) to the charity effort. A grand total of £3,482.84 ($4467.26) were directly contributed to the Warchild project. In October 2012 he played at Electric Brixton in partnership with Mencap to raise awareness and funds for people with learning disabilities. All proceeds were donated directly to Mencap.
Another heavy hitter in the house music and EDM industry, David Guetta rose to the top of international charts in 2004 with his second debut album, Guetta Blaster, which featured the single “The World Is Mine”. Since then he’s released four more albums, Pop Life (2007), One Love (2009), Nothing but the Beat (2011), and Listen (2014), cementing his name as one of the biggest EDM acts in the world.
In 2013 Guetta collaborated with Pharrell Williams and Taio Cruz to produce a video for the United Nations that raised awareness on hunger in Sahel, a mid-northern part of Africa. The video follows 18-year-old Ali Koba and his father Abdoulaye, who are both grappling with the effects of drought and struggling to feed their family. “When I heard about this family, my immediate reaction was ‘what can I do to help?’” said Guetta. “I just thought about what it would be like if I did not have enough food to feed my family, so I decided to lend my voice and ask people to help spread the word by watching and sharing the video.”
In 2014 Guetta remixed Band-Aid 30’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” track to raise awareness and collect funds for Ebola victims in West Africa. He’s also donated to the anti-bullying charity STOMP Out Bullying.
Known to friends and family as Gutierrez, which was his mother’s maiden name, Guti hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina and had the privilege of growing up in a very musical household that included orchestra directors, saxophone players and pianists. As a child, he soaked up poems and novels by Jorge Luis Borges and taught himself how to play the piano. In his teens, he studied Jazz and Salsa and began experimenting with house beats in a personal friend’s studio, who just so happened to be Latin Grammy-nominated producer Leandro Martinez. He was a natural and began producing track after track. In 2010, Guti emigrated to Dusseldorf to focus on his musical career and immediately gained recognition as a producer. Soon after, he was added to the Desolat label and released his first 12-inch record, Patio de Juegos.
In 2012, Guti performed at a Red Cross fundraiser that aimed to raise awareness and help the people living in extreme poverty. The “Mambo in the Mix” party totaled over €30,000 in profits, all of which were donated directly to the Red Cross. Last year he also played at Ida’s Techno for Humanity event that aimed to help Syrian refugees struggling to find a home away from the war in their country. The entire line up performed for free and donated the money from ticket sales to four charities: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International, Migrant Offshore Aid Station, International Rescue Committee and The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Ida began her career at the young age of 18 when she spontaneously had to fill in for a no-show DJ in Stockholm. The rest, as they say, is history. Ida seems to have it all, a booming career as a producer and DJ, a loving relationship with her husband and DJ partner, Adam Beyer, and three healthy children.
Her most recent philanthropic work, Techno For Humanity, was a showstopper with a full line up including herself, Adam Beyer, Davide Squillace, Matthias Tanzmann, Guti, Marc Houle, Heidi, Christian Smith, Yousef and Marco Faraone among others. It was hosted at IKON Antwerp, a 3-room venue with all artists performing for free and money collected donated to the aforementioned four charities.
Ida has produced music for Kittball Charity Compilation: It Began In Africa, a charity project set up by Juliet Sikora and Tube & Berger in collaboration with The African Children’s Choir. 18 artists provided their own interpretations of original songs from The African Children’s Choir, with all profits made from the sale of the compilation donated to the choir for their projects which include the founding of nurseries, and schools to help children get away from a life on the streets.
Ryan Raddon rose to the top of today’s electronic dance music world thanks to his smash hit albums, It’s You, It’s Me (2003) and In the Moment (2004). In 2006 he was signed to Ultra Records and in 2008 released his Move For Me EP in collaboration with deadmau5, featuring the iconic tracks “I Remember” and “Angel On My Shoulder”. Now, Kaskade headlines festivals as large as Coachella and Ultra Music Festival.
Kaskade has been involved in an extensive list of philanthropic work ranging from The Spark Run — an interactive 5k run that funded different campaigns dependent on their location — to being an official charity ambassador for Operation Underground Railroad, which aims to end child trafficking around the world, to auctioning for an opportunity to Hang Out With Kaskade on an EDC Las Vegas Art Car. He’s also auctioned off a pair of CDJs for VH1 Save The Music Foundation, which works to restore music education programs in public schools. In 2013 he performed at a Pre-Grammy party titled Dance (RED) Save Lives where money made from the auctioned tickets were directly donated to the global fight against AIDS.
Born Lucien Nicolet, this Swiss-Chilean producer and DJ made his imprint in the house music industry early in his career. In 1997, when he was 19 years old, Luciano began producing tracks and DJing at clubs he wasn’t even technically allowed to attend. During this time he became a techno pioneer in his home city of Santiago and began promoting his own parties, making ties with other iconic Chilean artists such as Dandy Jack and Ricardo Villalobos. Their friendship flourished; Luciano visited Ricardo in Ibiza and fell in love with the island. Shortly thereafter in 2001, Luciano struck gold and joined the Cocoon team at Amnesia Ibiza for the Circoloco after-hours parties that lasted until 2006, further solidifying his flourishing career. He is now the head of his own label, Cadenza Records, holds his own Ibiza residencies and continues to tour around the world.
While touring, however, Luciano finds time to give back to communities and charitable initiatives dear to his heart. In 2012 he did something no one had ever done before when he played a set for the inmates at Ibiza Central Prison, organized to inspire the prisoners to integrate into society once released. He has also partnered with Sennheiser to release a limited-edition pair of headphones with proceeds devoted to charity: the MOMENTUM On-Ear bundle was in support of Luciano’s family-run One Coin For Life charity, which aims to help independent charities finance projects for conservation, reforestation, school construction and health and nutrition in areas like Colombia’s Sierra Nevada region,. Luciano is also an ambassador for Bridges for Music, an organization that works to bridge gaps and inspire people in disadvantaged communities with resources to create music.
Despite now being a prominent techno DJ and producer, Monika originally spun hip-hop and funk during the beginning of her career, eventually making her way into the house scene in 1993. She became a member of the “Ultraworld” Crew that organized techno events in Munich and opened the Club Ultraschall, beginning to venture into more underground sounds. Now she runs two labels, Electric Avenue and Terminal M, and has become a prolific producer beginning with the release of her first solo album Change of Perception, in September 2008.
Kruse founded the charity and awareness project ‘No Historical Backspin!’ in 2000 to fight racism and anti-semitism, and since them has been spinning records to tear down the walls of discrimination associated with Europe’s still-extant far-right movements. Berlin’s Berghain hosted the project’s last event in March 2015, with a stellar line-up that included Ellen Allien, Adam Port, Tobi Neumann, Anja Schneider and more.
“It’s sad and ridiculous that in the 21st century people still get beat up – or in some countries even killed – for being gay, or get treated badly because of their skin colour, or gender, or because they’re a refugee” she says. “But it happens. Sharing and caring is the only way to make the world a safe place for everyone. It is important to show as a DJ that we respect everybody: no matter what their skin colour or sexual orientation. I hope to reach young people and change their negative opinions.” Funds from No Historical Backspin are directly donated to Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, which supports victims of hate-crimes and campaigns against right-wing extremism.
Seth was influenced by house music early in his life. When he was a young boy he listened to his stepfather host a radio show in Kalamazoo, Michigan and soon after turning 14 moved with his family to the birthplace of techno, Detroit. He began involving himself with the thriving rave scene of the 90s and during the same time landed a job working at Melodies & Memories, a Detroit record store where he worked alongside techno pioneers Reggie Harrell and Terrence Parker.
We all know how much Seth Troxler loves to give back. He prepared food for the homeless in Amsterdam prior to Amsterdam Dance Event last year. He’s auctioned off part of his extensive vinyl collection for charity, which raised a grand total of $1,654.90. His biggest physical and monetary contribution to date was his journey to reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in late July of this year, with the goal of raising awareness and funds to benefit the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. A grand total of $97,003 were donated directly to the organization which conducts brain cancer research, advocacy, and awareness in Australia. But that is not all, he has spun at a party with Jamie xx to raise awareness and funds for One For The Boys, an organization that works to remove the false idea that men shouldn’t discuss their health issues, especially when it comes to cancer. Lastly, a dress Seth wore at fabric London’s 16th birthday was auctioned off for charity, with the money donated directly to Shelter, a housing and homeless charity in the UK.
Steven Angello Josefsson Fragogiannis was born in Athens, Greece and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. He was a member of the international Swedish House Mafia crew, which rose to the top of international charts with their hit single “Don’t You Worry Child”. In 2014 Angello founded his own label, Size Records and two years later released an album titled Wild Youth, which peaked at the 4th spot on Billboard’s Dance and Electronic Albums list.
The album is particularly special since it featured the song “Children of the Wild”, an uplifting track with a video depicting a young boy running through a war-torn community. The proceeds from streaming and purchases of the track were directly donated to Save the Children organization and its Nepal Disaster relief foundation.
Growing up in Sweden, Angello had the fortune of never having to worry about food or an education, but he has always known that sadly the same cannot be said for other regions around the world. To combat impoverished communities and give children the education they deserve, Angello founded Size Foundation, which allows for donations via PayPal.
In mid-2015 he donated $5,000 so that a fan’s daughter could receive a liver transplant. Later that year MTV awarded Angello the MTV Chiuku award for his dedication to providing children with resources for education.