These electronic dance music moguls have both made their mark on the industry, emerging on the worldwide charts and collabing with tons of famous artists to make big hits. Since both are famous for their sick beats and odd headgear, let’s find out once and for all who is more popular.
Deadmau5 has been on the scene since 1998, while Marshmello only emerged in 2015. Marshmello has 30 million+ followers on Instagram, while Deadmau5 has 2.5m+. Marshmello collabs with more recent artists, but Deadmau5 has 3 albums that hit No. 1 on US Dance charts. Marshmello appears more popular in recent years, but Deadmau5 is more famous in terms of his skillset.
Continue reading to find out more about what sets these two apart, and how each one has their own claim to fame that makes it difficult to determine who exactly is more popular overall.
An Unspoken Rivalry
Before we get into their individual careers, let’s talk about the unofficial rivalry that plagues these two artists.
Both have extremely loyal followings, and it isn’t likely that you’ll find a hardcore EDM fan that sits on the fence between the two.
At the core of this popularity debate, it’s important to look at the skills of each artist. Deadmau5 is more known for making his beats from scratch, while Marshmello has marketed himself as more of a brand, and he produces basic tracks that are highly commercialized.
Their feud started in 2016 when Marshmello referenced Deadmau5 on Twitter, claiming that the latter had flipped him off during a festival.
“Wait, did you say artists like Marshmello? You mean people like Marshmello? Let’s [expletive] clear the air on this one. I don’t care if you’re wearing a [expletive] helmet, I don’t give a [expletive] – with that logic, I ripped off Daft Punk.”
He added, “The thing that pissed me off after awhile was the constant [expletive] riding [on Twitter]. ‘You trolled me, I trolled you’ — whatever. Don’t pass it off as a marketing technique.”
Deadmau5 has more Twitter followers than Marshmello, but Deadmau5 is beat out by the newcomer in Instagram followers by a long mile. On top of that, Marshmello is ranked on YouGov as the 35th most popular dance and electronic music artist in the UK, while Deadmau5 doesn’t even rank.
In August 2020 though, Reddit revealed the Top 100 Dance Albums of the last decade, and Deadmau5 proudly shared that there were 3 of his albums featured on the list. Marshmello did not make the cut, further suggesting Deadmau5’s reigning popularity as a veteran EDM artist.
When he’s not headbanging in his massive mouse mask, Deadmau5 is otherwise known as Joel Thomas Zimmerman. He was born in 1981 in Niagara Falls in Canada to mother Nancy and father Rodney “Rod” Zimmerman.
While his career in music started out in the late ‘90s, Zimmerman created and published his first album in 2005. It was called Get Scraped, and it didn’t appear on any charts in Canada, America, or anywhere else globally.
It wasn’t until 2008 that Deadmau5 really started getting more recognition. He released an album titled Random Album Title, which had big hit “I Remember” feat. Kaskade.
Before that, “Move for Me” also went No. 1 on US Dance Charts, but “I Remember” managed to place in the European, Dutch, and UK Singles Charts.
He performed at music festival Coachella in 2008, but was banned from attending again due to some dangerous helicopter antics with his friend Tommy Lee during their arrival in 2010.
3 of Deadmau5’s albums have peaked at the No. 1 spot on the US Dance Charts. These were Album Title Goes Here (2012), While(1<2) (2014) and W:/2016Album/ (2016).
Marshmello’s Emerging Popularity
Known to those close to him as Christopher Comstock, Marshmello gained recognition when he remixed tracks by DJ Zedd and DJ duo Jack Ü. His 5 most famous songs became multi-platinum in multiple countries, and got to the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Comstock started out by posting his original songs to SoundCloud in 2015. One of them was reposted by artist Skrillex, and from there he released his first album titled Joytime.
He is known for collaborating with mainstream artists, particularly pop singers, and producing highly commercial tracks.
His biggest collabs were with Kahlid on “Silence”, “Wolves” with Selena Gomez, “Friends” with Anne-Marie, and “Happier” with Bastille – these were all released during the period of 2017-2019.