Mike Darlington; Co-Founder and CEO - Monstercat


Access, Industry


Mike Darlington

Mike Darlington has built Monstercat into one of the most revered independent labels in dance music by way of his ingenuity and passion for the label. Graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in biology, Mike has always been a raver at heart. Starting Monstercat as a YouTube channel to share his friends’ music, Darlington and co-founder Ari Paunonen discovered the potential to expand it into a modern digital record label.

7+ years later, Monstercat has released over 25 #1 iTunes dance music compilations, millions of singles sold, a million streams per day on Spotify, and over 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube amongst the Uncaged and Instinct brands. All of this, without the financial backing of any investors. Much of the exponential growth has been attributed to the drive Darlington and company have for discovering young, up-and-coming talent. It’s with such practices that artists like Marshmello, Krewella, Vicetone, Pegboard Nerds, Conro, Slushii, and others have come to light. With current and exciting young acts such as Grant, SLUMBERJACK, Tokyo Machine, and others, it’s clear that the trend is bound to continue.

Carving himself out as a tour de force in the industry seems as though it will only continue for Mike and his Monstercat team as they expand into the live realm with major upcoming label showcases and continued groundbreaking collaborative initiatives.


WMC is and has always been the lifeblood of the dance music scene. Never missed a year since ’96, I can’t imagine Amsterdam Dance Event or Ibiza Music Summit existing without the blueprint that WMC originated. Seeing this revived is absolutely essential to reunifying the North American scene surrounding electronic music and its fringes.

Tommie Sunshine

Producer/DJ/Activist/Netflix Host

I first went to WMC ’87, the year I started Big Beat. It was an incredibly inspiring congregation of indie labels, DJs, artists, songwriters, producers and dance music lovers dedicated to breaking and discovering new music. WMC has been instrumental in furthering the dance and electronic cause; keeping the community connected, vital and relevant, and serving as an amazing springboard for talent. It’s a fantastic crucible for the future of dance music. Long may it live.

Craig Kallman

CEO & Co-Chairman Atlantic Records, Founder Big Beat Records

“Winter Music Conference is my ground zero. It has always provided the perfect storm of opportunity and excitement for up and coming artists, including myself back in 2003, where I first caught a glimpse of how it felt to have an audience respond to my work. Over the years, I’ve always made it a point to have WMC in my calendar because that’s the spot where everyone congregates and you can feel it in the air. Creativity, brother and sisterhood, FUN and most of all the chance to come together as a community and celebrate the reason we are all here—the music.”



Before there was Ultra Music Festival, there was The Winter Music Conference, the annual coming together of the dance music tribes. Miami in March is a fundamental place to be from a business perspective, and has always given me endless opportunities for discovering new partnerships and talent. WMC brings together the dance music industry and surrounding culture like no other event in America. I’ve been attending WMC for nearly 20 years, and I’m very much looking forward to experiencing its evolution in 2019.

Matt Colon

Partner/founder, Deckstar Artist Management

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