Being versatile is defined as being capable or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks or fields of endeavor. And in the electronic dance community, no one embodies that definition quite like Sonny Moore, better known to EDM fans as the king of dubstep, Skrillex.
Skrillex has become famous for his eccentric sounds and has become a trailblazer for the dubstep regime, single-handedly bringing the sound to the forefront of American music culture. His name is synonymous with the genre and he has become arguably the most prevalent name in dubstep as well as one of the most recognizable faces in electronic music as a whole.
However, there are many layers to the dubstep lord beyond the genre that has defined him during the age of the EDM renaissance. He is not just an electronic producer, but rather an all-around artist with an innate ear for music overall and a background that stretches beyond his days behind the decks of a mainstage. This background has helped catapult him into a category all his own when it comes to creating music.
Many still refer to him by his legal moniker Sonny and remember him fondly from his days as the front man for the band From First to Last, along with his brief solo stint and a subsequent tour with such popular bands as All Time Low and Forever the Sickest Kids. Yes, the man known as Skrillex can rock out with synth pads and live instruments alike; you may have seen him jamming out on his guitar at an Above and Beyond acoustic show in Los Angeles not too long ago.
Skrillex burst onto the scene with his “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” EP in 2011 which immediately cemented him in dubstep lore for all eternity. His follow up compilations, most notably “Bangarang” and “Recess”, re-emphasized the dubstep genius Skrillex truly is and garnered even more notoriety to his sound than before.
But throughout those incredible dubstep creations, Skrillex has almost nonchalantly ventured outside the realm of dubstep and has been experimenting with other genres and artists. And guess what? Those sounds are equally as incredible as the sounds he has become infamous for. Which is why we who adore him so much in the EDM community should not just keep him shackled to the dubstep stigma and rather praise his overall musical repertoire and prowess.
His background in rock music has created some interesting projects with various members of the rock community. He has worked with such groups as Atreyu (You Were the King), The Doors (Breakin’ a Sweat), Korn (Get Up), and Tommy Lee’s Methods of Mayhem (All I Wanna Do). He even brought out popular pop/metal Japanese trio Babymetal during his Ultra Japan performance this year, showing off his unmatched live showman skills and ability to play to a crowd; he threw in a live remix with them for good measure as well.
His super group with Diplo named Jack U has already reached mythical heights in popularity across the globe, as the sound in that group is equally as crazy as a typical Skrillex sound albeit in a different manner. Less is the pure dubstep and more is a hybrid fusion of elements of dubstep, trap, moombahton, drum and bass, and all-around wonkiness.
His undertaking into the hip-hop and rap world has been wildly successful as well. Even when he is not the focal center of a project, the creativity from this mastermind is front and center as you can undoubtedly hear his stamp on all of his collaborations. His productions include the hard-hitting return of former G-Unit star The Game on “El Chapo”, a heavy bass infused banger with up-and-coming Vic Mensa called “No Chill”, and his well-known trap-sounding banger with ASAP Rocky “Wild for the Night”.
He has even dipped his musical toes into pop music waters. Not only has he created extraordinary remixes of mainstream pop hits like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Rock That Body”, and La Roux’s “In For The Kill”, he was also recruited by Justin Bieber to be one of the main producers for his next album. I know that name can be cringe-worthy to some EDM fans’ ears, but the release of his song “What Do You Mean” can be called quite enjoyable due to the rhythmic and melodic beat Skrillex created for him. Ellie Goulding has also worked with Skrillex on multiple occasions, such as her song “Bittersweet” and his beautiful “Summit” track.
Skrillex is a man of many talents and is consistently upping his game higher and higher with each new song or collaboration. He has become a true icon in the music world as a whole, not just EDM, and is one of the most respected and sought-after producers in the game today. Don’t believe me? Just watch this mini documentary on him “Let’s Make A Spaceship”. It’s a mind-blowing peek inside the genius that is Skrillex that’ll sum everything up for you. He is a musical Einstein who is never afraid to experiment with new sounds and new ideas, and we should all appreciate everything he creates and not just tie him to the EDM genre, but applaud him for being one of the most well-rounded and accomplished pure musicians in the world today. Check out his sick collab with Big Grams!