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    Skrillex Featured In Billboard Magazine

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    Skrillex Featured In Billboard Magazine Empty Skrillex Featured In Billboard Magazine

    Post by -zack- on 6/13/2011, 9:05 pm

    Skrillex Featured In Billboard Magazine Skrillex_article

    “I just produce music; make a melody, write a bassline. I don’t try to change anything or make a statement. I’m a musician. This is what I do.”


    even as 5 p.m. passes in Miami’s Bayfront Park on day two of the recent
    t h r e e - d a y Ul t r a Mu s i c Fe s t i v a l
    (UMF), it’s still scorching hot. The
    sun has been slow-cooking the festival grounds all day, and the estimated 150,000
    electronic music fans in attendance are starting
    to show the wear. Glittery face paint is running.
    Furry animal-ear hats are in hands rather than on
    heads. And the branded Heineken booth is being
    used more for its misting spigots than its beer.
    But as the clock strikes 5:30, things start to stir.
    The concession lines disperse. Dancers who were
    hiding in the shade of the wooded areas appear
    from the underbrush. From all corners, kids start
    to converge on one of the six stages, some flatout running, when they realize the time.
    Over at what UMF dubbed the Live Stage
    (though many of its performers played prerecorded music), Skrillex is scheduled for a 5:30
    set. And although the 23-year-old DJ/producer
    looks as though the heat might kill him—he’s
    Edward Scissorhands pale with a goth shock of
    dyed black hair shaved on one side and long on
    the other, and willfully oversized black-rimmed
    spectacles—he can’t suppress his joy when he
    gets behind the decks.
    He needs no introduction to this crowd, but
    he opens with the title track from his self-released
    debut EP, “My Name Is Skrillex.” Disembodied
    voices bleat the title in ascending and descending pitches, while bass and synth pile up beneath.
    The crowd starts singing it back, punctuating
    each word with outstretched fists. When the drop
    finally comes—a storm of industrial synth that
    would make Trent Reznor proud—the sweaty
    throng explodes, jumping, thrashing and beaming ear to ear.
    “I love melody, aggression and rhythm,” says
    Skrillex (born Sonny Moore in Los Angeles) a few
    weeks later, before an appearance at the Creamfields festival in Australia. “That’s what I can make
    on my laptop, so that’s what happens.”
    The rapid success of Skrillex (@skrillex) is the
    definition of viral. Without any promotion, his
    team estimates that more than 100,000 free copies
    of “My Name Is Skrillex” have been downloaded
    since June 2010, when it was first posted on his
    manager Tim Smith’s website. “We love that he
    hasn’t been marketed, that it’s been purely wordof-mouth,” Smith says. “We want people to have
    that feeling of ownership and discovery.”
    Skrillex’s follow-up EP “Scary Monsters & Nice
    Sprites” (Big Beat/mau5trap/Atlantic)—a charismatic collision of sounds including French house,
    reggae, hardcore and even melodic pop released
    in November—topped iTunes’ dance chart. It also
    took up eight of the top 10 slots on dance specialty
    retailer Beatport’s Top 100 Downloads chart in
    its first week. To date, it has sold about 40,000 copies:
    36,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and
    4,000 through Beatport, according to mau5trap.
    But the biggest story is happening on the road,
    where the DJ who was completely unknown less
    than a year ago is now selling out hard-ticket venues with capacities of 3,000-plus, like Austin’s
    Music Hall. “He’s one of the fastest-growing artists
    I’ve ever seen,” says Skrillex’s booking agent, Lee
    Anderson of AM Only.
    Skrillex is at the forefront of a youth movement
    in music, a subset of the larger migration toward
    dance sounds on the pop dial, as embodied by
    David Guetta and the Black Eyed Peas. But the
    unifier of this crew isn’t VIP style or a guitar hook:
    It’s bass, or more specifically, bass that wobbles.
    Meet dubstep. Born in the mid-2000s, dubstep
    originated in the United Kingdom as a hybrid of
    drum’n’bass, two-step and reggae. Like most styles
    in dance music, dubstep has no one type.
    “There’s a lot of different sounds to dubstep,”
    says Sean Lewis, music editor for Beatport’s dubstep, breaks and hip-hop inventory. “It’s basically
    a genre of its own influenced by other genres.”
    In dubstep one will find the elegant and spooky
    minimalism of Burial, and the cheeky yet hardedged fun of pioneers Benga and Skream.
    Skrillex represents what’s considered to be the
    American version: more aggressive, with a heavier focus on glitch and electro. But dubstep’s most
    consistent elements—a bassline that oscillates
    so hard it can induce nausea (aka the wobble) and
    half-time syncopation rather than straight fouron-the-floor rhythm—are becoming some of the
    defining sounds of the time.
    “You turn on a television in the U.K. or Europe
    and you see a video from [dubstep acts] Nero or
    Magnetic Man in between Bruno Mars and Sara
    Bareilles,” says Kevin Kusatsu, who manages
    Skream, Benga and Diplo. “Snoop Dogg made a
    dubstep record [“Snoop Dogg Millionaire”]. Britney Spears’ ‘Hold It Against Me’ uses elements
    and sounds of the dubstep production swath.”
    Even DJs from other genres are embracing it.
    “Dubstep has definitely made a significant impact on dance music,” says Tiësto, one of the
    world’s top-earning DJs who’s best-known for the
    epic sounds of trance. “I enjoy listening to a lot of
    the producers as they are pushing the envelope.”
    The sonic affinity is translating to touring success for the genre’s artists, big and small. “The
    way it’s moving kind of reminds me of electrohouse three years ago,” says Anderson, who also
    represents dubsteppers Gemini, Mt Eden and
    NiT GriT. “First bigger weekly parties got started
    in L.A. and New York. Then weeklies started
    popping up everywhere: Tuesday in Oklahoma,
    Wednesday in Arizona. Now it’s moved from softticket clubs to hard-ticket touring venues.”
    Skrillex could be easily grouped into the dubstep ranks, but the diversity of his sound shows
    that he draws from a broader palette. “The thing
    about electronic music is that it’s more of a platform than a genre,” he says. “Nine Inch Nails,
    Prodigy, the whole Warp Records catalog. Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, glitch, acid house, breaks.
    It’s all in my blood; it all comes out in my music.”
    Skrillex is now working on his debut full-length,
    scheduled for the fall. “It’s going to have the same
    sort of vibe and intensity of the last few releases,
    in the sense that it will go all over the spectrum,”
    he says. “But I don’t really think about it. I just
    produce music; make a melody, write a bassline.
    I don’t try to change anything or make a statement. I’m a musician. This is what I do.” ••••

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