Skrillex

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Skrillex
Skrillex in 2017
Skrillex in 2017
Background information
Birth nameSonny John Moore
Born (1988-01-15) January 15, 1988 (age 36)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Disc jockey
  • record producer
  • singer
  • music programmer
DiscographySkrillex discography
Years active2004–present
Labels
Member ofDog Blood
Formerly of
Websiteskrillex.com

Sonny John Moore (born January 15, 1988),[9] known professionally as Skrillex, is an American DJ and music producer. Growing up in Northeast Los Angeles and Northern California, he joined the post-hardcore band From First to Last as its lead vocalist in 2004, and recorded two studio albums with the band—Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Bodycount (2004) and Heroine in (2006)—before leaving to pursue a solo career in 2007.[10][11] He began his first tour as a solo artist in late 2007. After recruiting a new band lineup, Moore joined the Alternative Press Tour to support bands such as All Time Low and the Rocket Summer, and appeared on the cover of Alternative Press's annual "100 Bands You Need to Know" issue.[12]

After releasing the extended play Gypsyhook (2009), Moore was scheduled to record his debut studio album, Bells, with producer Noah Shain. Although its release was cancelled, he began performing under the name Skrillex and released the dubstep EP, My Name Is Skrillex (2010) as a free download on MySpace. It was followed by Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (2010) and More Monsters and Sprites (2011), both of which were met with moderate commercial successes. At the 54th Grammy Awards, he won Best Dance/Electronic Album, Best Dance Recording, and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical, as well as a nomination for Best New Artist.[13][14] In late 2011, he was nominated on BBC's Sound of 2012, and was named MTV's Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year.[15] His debut studio album, Recess (2014) peaked at number four on the Billboard 200. His second and third albums, Quest for Fire and Don't Get Too Close, were released one day apart in 2023.

Moore has won nine Grammy Awards, the most of any electronic dance music act.[16] He has collaborated with Diplo and Boys Noize to form the groups Jack Ü and Dog Blood, respectively. It was announced on his 29th birthday, that he reunited with From First to Last to release the named "Make War". In 2017, Skrillex produced and mixed 8, the eighth studio album by rock band Incubus.[17]

Early life

Moore lived in the Highland Park neighborhood of Northeast Los Angeles,[18][19] but was brought to the Forest Hill neighborhood of San Francisco at the age of 2, where he attended elementary school.[20] At the ages of 9 and 10, Moore attended a boarding school in the Mojave Desert LV[clarification needed], but eventually moved back to Northern California. Both of his parents were Scientologists.[21][22] He was adopted at birth by family friends of his biological parents and did not find this out until he was 15.[23] By the time he was 12,[citation needed] his family moved back to his birthplace of Northeast Los Angeles. There he enrolled in a private academy school specializing in arts that used some of L. Ron Hubbard's teachings.[24] Later, he was home schooled at the age of 14 due to bullying. In 2004, he learned he was adopted[25] and dropped out of the program when he was 16.[26][27] While a young teenager in Los Angeles, Moore would attend punk gigs in Mexican American neighborhoods in East and South Los Angeles, and later at electro club raves in the downtown's Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods.[28][29]

Career

2004–2007: From First to Last

In 2004, Moore contacted Matt Good of From First to Last about playing guitar for the band on their debut album. After flying out to Georgia, Moore was heard singing by three studio producers, Derrick Thomas, Eric Dale, and McHale Butler, and was then made lead singer, with Good playing guitar. In June 2004, Epitaph Records released the band's first full-length record with their new bandmate, Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count. After performing on several successful tours, two being the Vans Warped Tour and Dead by Dawn tour, they began recording their second album, Heroine with producer Ross Robinson. The album was released in March 2006 on Epitaph. With high record sales once again, the band found themselves part of many successful tours, until Moore started suffering vocal problems, causing the band to resign from several tours. After going through a successful vocal surgical procedure, Moore informed the band he would be permanently resigning to work on a solo career. FFTL's last show performed with Moore was in their hometown of Orlando at The House of Blues while touring with Atreyu.

Moore announced he had left From First to Last to pursue a solo career. He then launched a Myspace page displaying three demos ("Signal", "Equinox", and "Glow Worm"). This led to Moore's first performance since his leaving From First to Last. On April 7, 2007, alongside harpist Carol Robbins, Moore played several original songs at a local art building. After months of releasing demos via Myspace, Moore played on the Team Sleep Tour with a full band. The tour also featured supporting acts Monster in the Machine and Strata. Moore made several demo CDs available on this tour, limited to about 30 per show. These CDs were tour exclusive and were packaged in "baby blue envelopes", each with a unique drawing by Moore or bandmate.[30]

2008–2013: Solo career and extended plays

Skrillex's logo
Skrillex in 2011

In February 2008, Alternative Press Magazine announced the second annual AP Tour, with All Time Low, The Rocket Summer, The Matches, and Forever the Sickest Kids, as well as Sonny Moore. The tour started in Houston, Texas on March 14 and went through North America, ending in Cleveland, Ohio on May 2, with the majority of the shows being sold out. All bands playing the tour would be featured on the cover of Alternative Press Magazine's annual 100 Bands You Need to Know special, and would be interviewed on the Alternative Press Podcast. During this tour, Moore's line-up consisted of Sean Friday on drums, Christopher Null on guitar, and Aaron Rothe on keyboards. On April 7, 2009, he released Gypsyhook, a digital EP, which featured three songs and four remixes. Also included was "海水" ("Kaisui"), a Japanese version of "Mora". Physical copies of the EP were available at his shows. After going on tour with Innerpartysystem and Paper Route and opening for Chiodos on their European tour, Moore performed at Bamboozle on May 2. He performed on Bamboozle Left's Saints and Sinners stage on April 4. He toured with Hollywood Undead in April 2009 performing under the band name Sonny and the Blood Monkeys, with Chris Null (electric guitar), Sean Friday (drums, percussion, and beats) and Aaron Rothe (keyboards, synthesizers, programming, and turntables). Moore stated in 2010 that the album Bells would not be released.[31]

In 2008, Moore began producing and performing under the alias Skrillex at clubs in the Los Angeles area.[32] The name, according to Moore, has no meaning and was "a stupid old online AOL screen name".[33] Previously, he had been known on the Internet as Twipz.[34] On June 7, 2010, Moore released his official Skrillex debut EP, My Name Is Skrillex as a free download.[35] Moore provided programming and vocals for UK metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon on their third studio album, There Is a Hell Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let's Keep It a Secret.[36] Later in the year, Sonny began a nationwide tour with deadmau5 after being signed to mau5trap recordings and released his second EP, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.

(L to R:) Porter Robinson, Zedd, and Skrillex performing at SXSW in March 2012

Moore kicked off the "Project Blue Book Tour" in 2011 with support from Porter Robinson, Tommy Lee and DJ Aero as well as appearances from Sofia Toufa for a new song, "Bring Out the Devil". Skrillex unveiled several new songs on this tour including "First of the Year" (formerly known as "Equinox"), "Reptile", and "Cinema" (remix of a Benny Benassi track). "Reptile" was featured in the TV commercial for Mortal Kombat 9, and "First of the Year (Equinox)" is featured on More Monsters and Sprites, his follow-up EP and remix companion to Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. In April 2011, Spin premiered "Get Up", an exclusive new track from Korn that was produced by Skrillex. Korn made the track available for free download via their Facebook page.[37] On April 15, 2011, KoRn joined Skrillex on stage for his set at Coachella 2011. On April 18, 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEA) development studio Naughty Dog released a trailer[38] for the multiplayer component of their PlayStation 3 game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, featuring "Kill EVERYBODY" from Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.

In June 2011, More Monsters and Sprites was released on Beatport, an EP consisting of three original tracks, including "First of the Year (Equinox)" and two versions of his original track "Ruffneck". The track "Ruffneck Bass" had been leaked on the internet months prior which used the same sample as in the new "Ruffneck" tracks on the EP. Skrillex released a music video for "Rock n' Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain)" on his official YouTube page on June 20, 2011.[39] On August 17, 2011, he announced his label, Owsla.[40] The label's first releases came from Bristol-based dubstep producers KOAN Sound, then-electro-house producer Porter Robinson from North Carolina, singer-songwriter Alvin Risk, and San Francisco-based M Machine.[41]

On August 19, 2011, Skrillex released a music video for "First of the Year (Equinox)" via Spin.com. In late August 2011, it was released that he would be appearing Knife Party's first release, collaborating on "Zoology", a Moombahton style track. A preview was released on YouTube. In late September 2011, he created the track "Syndicate" as promotion for the video game of the same name. Kaskade's 2011 album Fire & Ice features "Lick It", a collaboration between Kaskade and Skrillex. The video for Skrillex's song "First of the Year (Equinox)" appears on the first episode of the Beavis and Butt-head revival.

On November 8, Skrillex stated that he intended to release an album, Voltage. Skrillex gave fans more info about Voltage in RockSound Magazine after a photoshoot for the cover and doing an extensive interview on his tour.[42] For unknown reasons, however, the album was never released, however on December 21, 2011, Skrillex unveiled the Bangarang EP for a Beatport release on December 23, then on August 12, 2012, his new side-project formed with Boys Noize called Dog Blood released an EP called Next Order/Middle Finger. On November 6, 2012, Skrillex released a limited edition triple vinyl box set.[43] Skrillex composed the song "Bug Hunt" for the 2012 animated film Wreck-It Ralph, as well as making a brief cameo as a DJ in the film's first act, and in December 2012, "Make It Bun Dem" is used in as a looped variant during the single-player mission 'Kick the Hornets Nest' in the video game Far Cry 3. He composed the score for Spring Breakers with Cliff Martinez.

In 2012, Skrillex formed Dog Blood with Boys Noize. Their debut single, consisting of the songs "Next Order" and "Middle Finger", was released on August 12, 2012, on Beatport and iTunes. The song "Next Order" managed to top Beatport's Techno chart.[44]

In 2013, Skrillex formed a duo with Diplo called Jack Ü. Jack Ü's debut performance took place at the Mad Decent Block Party in San Diego on September 15, 2013, which is a nationwide tour that record label Mad Decent puts together to showcase different artists signed to the label.[45] Diplo announced the project by releasing the Mad Decent Block Party lineup with Jack Ü playing at multiple stops on the tour. After some guessing by many of who Jack Ü was, Diplo finally came out to reveal that "Jack Ü ... means Skrillex and Diplo together".[45]

2014: Recess

Skrillex confirmed at a show in January 2013 that he would release a new LP in the summer.[46] On January 2, 2013, Skrillex released his 7th EP, Leaving, on the OWSLA subscription service, Nest IV.[47] He later released the single "Try It Out" with Alvin Risk.

On March 7, 2014, an App titled "Alien Ride" was put up on Apple's App Store which contained a secret folder with 11 hidden objects and a countdown ending March 10 at 6:30 EST. Moore's website was updated with the App's picture on the front page and it was later revealed the folder contains Google Play and iTunes url's which eventually were revealed to be 11 new songs available to stream that comprised his debut LP, titled Recess. The album was made available for pre-order at midnight and was released on March 18, 2014.

2016–2022: Collaborations and return to From First to Last

Skrillex performing with From First to Last at Emo Nite in 2017, his first show with the band in over ten years

In 2016, Skrillex collaborated with the K-pop girl group 4Minute. The first track, "Hate", was composed and arranged by Skrillex.[48]

On January 15, 2017, Moore tweeted "Happy Birthday" with a link to a new From First to Last song which featured Moore on vocals.[49] He later joined the band in Emo Nite LA for the first time in nearly a decade.[50] In 2017, he released the songs "Chicken Soup" with Habstrakt, "Would You Ever" with Poo Bear, "Saint Laurent" with DJ Sliink and Wale and "Favor" with Vindata and NSTASIA.

In July 2018, Skrillex teased fans by collaborating with Missy Elliott on a snippet nicknamed "ID",[51] released in 2023 as RATATA. On July 28, 2018, Skrillex collaborated with Japanese musician Yoshiki for performances of "Endless Rain" and "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" at Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata, Japan.[52][53]

On October 8, 2018, Skrillex uploaded a photo to Twitter showcasing a collaboration between him and English DJ and producer Joyryde, later posting a video teaser of the song to Instagram.[54][55] The collaboration, "Agen Wida", was officially released on October 19, 2018.[56][57] On October 25, 2018, the single "Arms Around You", a collaboration between XXXTentacion and Lil Pump featuring Maluma and Swae Lee, was released; the song was produced by Skrillex alongside Mally Mall and JonFX.[58]

Skrillex, Poo Bear, and Japanese-American singer Hikaru Utada collaborated on "Face My Fears", an opening song for the video game Kingdom Hearts III. The single was released on January 18, 2019.[59][60]

On July 18, 2019, Skrillex released a two-track EP, Show Tracks, consisting of "Fuji Opener" featuring Alvin Risk and "Mumbai Power" featuring rapper Beam.[61][62] Later that year, Skrillex made an appearance at The Warehouse Project in Manchester alongside Four Tet and Jon Hopkins.[63]

On October 27, 2021, Skrillex performed his first solo set in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic at Avant Gardner in Brooklyn, New York.[64]

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Skrillex released various singles including "Butterflies", "In da Getto" and "Don't Go".

2023: Quest For Fire and Don't Get Too Close

In January 2023, Moore posted a short video to social media teasing the release of his long-anticipated follow-up to his 2014 album, Recess. He subsequently announced that the lead single "Rumble", featuring Flowdan and Fred Again would be released on January 4.[65]

On February 13, 2023, Skrillex released the single "Don't Get Too Close". He is separately credited as "Sonny Moore" on the title track of his second 2023 album, and is featured as a vocalist for the first time since 2015's Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü.[66]

On February 17, 2023, Skrillex released his second album, Quest For Fire, featuring a mix of pre-released singles and new songs, containing a range of genres with artists such as Flowdan, Porter Robinson and Fred Again credited. Critical reception was generally positive, with Ben Jolley for NME writing that "[Skrillex's] return largely lives up to the hype" by "often channel[ing] nostalgia", yet also commenting that "the album lacks a clear narrative or overarching theme".[67][68][69][70]

On February 18, 2023, while performing at a sold out Madison Square Garden venue with Four Tet and Fred Again, Skrillex released his third studio album, Don't Get Too Close, less than two days after the release of Quest For Fire.[71] On April 19, Skrillex posted a tweet teasing two further albums for release in 2023: Contra and Skrlx.[72]

Influences

Moore has cited Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails[73] and the Doors[74] as early influences. Moore stated in an online interview that he is a longtime fan of Warp, a label whose roster includes notable electronic artists such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher.[75] In an interview for Daft Punk Unchained, a 2015 documentary about the French electronic music duo Daft Punk, Moore said he was first exposed to electronic dance music after attending the duo's highly praised 2006 Coachella set.

Personal life

Moore dated English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding[76] throughout 2012. In a 2015 interview, Moore stated that although his parents practiced Scientology, he does not. He explained that music consumes most of the time he could theoretically devote to religion.[21] His mother died in June 2015.[22]

In a series of tweets in January 2023, Skrillex shared his struggles with mental health, revealing the reason behind the cancellation of his appearances at Movement Detroit and Tampa's Sunset Music Festival: "[I have] had the toughest year of my life in 2022, as did so many others. I literally found myself with no drive and purpose for the first time in my life." He noted that his mother's passing in 2015 saw him turn to alcohol: "I drank the pain away and kept going"; "2022 was sort of my tipping point."[77]

Discography

Studio albums

Filmography

  • Let's Make a Spaceship (2014)

Moore partnered up with Red Bull to produce a documentary titled "Let's Make a Spaceship". It premiered on October 11, 2014, at 10 p.m. CT at the ACL Festival after his headline performance.[78] His performance and documentary, and others' performances are available for stream at Red Bull TV's website.[79]

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations received by Skrillex
Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
Annie Awards 2013 Wreck-It Ralph Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production Won [80]
Electronic Music Awards 2017 "Purple Lamborghini" (with Rick Ross) Single of the Year Nominated [81]
Grammy Awards 2012 Skrillex Best New Artist Nominated [82]
"Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" Best Dance Recording Won
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites Best Dance/Electronica Album Won
Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go – "Cinema (Skrillex Remix)" Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical Won
"First of the Year (Equinox)" Best Short Form Music Video Nominated
2013 "Bangarang" Best Dance Recording Won [83]
Bangarang Best Dance/Electronica Album Won
"Promises" (Skrillex & Nero Remix) Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical Won
2016 "Where Are Ü Now" (with Diplo and Justin Bieber) Best Dance Recording Won [84]
Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü (with Diplo) Best Dance/Electronic Album Won
2017 Purpose (as a featured artist, producer & engineer) Album of the Year Nominated [85]
"Purple Lamborghini" (with Rick Ross & Beat Billionaire) Best Song Written for Visual Media Nominated
2020 "Midnight Hour" (with Ty Dolla Sign & Boys Noize) Best Dance Recording Nominated [86]
2022 "Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)" Album of the Year Nominated [87]
2023 "Renaissance" Album of the Year Nominated [87]
2024 "Rumble" Best Dance/Electronic Recording Won [88]
Quest for Fire Best Dance/Electronic Music Album Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2017 Skrillex Favorite DJ/EDM Artist Nominated [89]
MTV Iggy 2011 Best New Band in the World Nominated [90]
MTV Video Music Awards 2012 "First of the Year (Equinox)" Best Electronic Dance Music Video Nominated [91]
Best Visual Effects Won [92]
2013 "Breakn' a Sweat" Best Visual Effects Nominated [93]
2015 "Where Are Ü Now" (with Diplo featuring Justin Bieber) Best Visual Effects Won [94]
Best Art Direction Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
Song of the Summer Nominated [95]
2022 In Da Getto (with J. Balvin) Best Latin Nominated [96]
Gold Derby Awards 2021 "Chromatica" Album of the Year Nominated [97]
Premio Lo Nuestro 2022 In Da Getto (with J. Balvin) Crossover Collaboration of the Year Won [98]
Song of the Year - Urban Pop/Dance Nominated
Billboard Latin Music Awards 2022 Skrillex Crossover Artist of the Year Won [99]

Listicles

Skrillex on selected listicles
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
DJ Magazine 2011 Top 100 DJs 19th [100]
2012 10th
2013 11th
2014 9th
2015 9th
2016 9th
2017 16th
2018 21st
2019 21st
2020 15th
2021 24th
2022 23rd
2023 17th

See also

References

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External links