Back in late 2010, EDM superstar DJ/producer deadmau5 told MTV News a star was on the rise. He said his friend and former post-hardcore/emo rocker Sonny Moore — producing and performing under the name [artist id="3827427"]Skrillex[/artist] — was going to be a force to be reckoned with.
“He’s taking over — I think he’s going to outdo me,” deadmau5 told MTV News at the time. “I think he’s going to be the first artist on Beatport to eat my lunch and take over the top 10. I don’t think anyone in Beatport history has ever done it, but if he does it, I’ll be so proud of him, the little goblin!”
Now, the ever-prophetic ‘mau5 has more to be proud of. A lot more. In our Best Electronic Dance Music Artists of 2011 coverage, MTV’s roundtable has named Skrillex the #1 EDM Artist of 2011, underscored by his most recent series of accolades: He scored a whopping five Grammy nominations, including being the first DJ to land a Best New Artist nod.
Indeed, Moore’s musical background — both on his own and as a member of his former group, From First to Last — has carried over into Skrillex’s brand of fiery electronica. Skrillex has garnered an audience the world over that includes ravers, house heads and rockers alike. In today’s laptop generation of music, Skrillex is the new “rock.”
From his remix of Benny Benassi and Gary Go’s “Cinema” to the recent Avicii pop song “Le7els” (not officially released yet), Skrillex dropped massive re-workings in ’11, in addition to his More Monsters and Sprites EP. He scored video games, produced records for Korn, launched his own OWSLA label and hit almost every major festival in the States, including Coachella and Lollapalooza. An exceptional catalog of releases coupled with an incessant touring schedule has made Skrillex the biggest EDM star of the year. In 2012, he plans to tour 322 of the 365 days.
While he didn’t expect to become recognized as this year’s biggest success story, Skrillex’s peers say the swell of critical and fan support is fitting.
“He definitely deserves it,” former OWSLA tourmate, DJ/producer Porter Robinson, told MTV News. “I’ve been saying it all year: He’s the most influential musician of this year, in any genre. Incredible sound designer. Incredible songwriter. Amazing performer.”
“He’s been in bands before,” EDM artist and collaborator Sofi told us. “He’s an excellent songwriter. He can sing. He’s just so versatile that I think that comes through in his music. He kind of brought this ‘rock,’ ‘raw’ element into electronic music. He’s the punk rock of the new generation.”
Even industry veteran David Guetta, who lands at #2 on our list of the Best EDM Artists of 2011, agreed with all the praise heaped on Skrillex.
“He’s extremely talented, and I’m very happy for him,” Guetta said of Skrill’s Grammy noms. “It’s a statement: I think it’s really good that an artist from our community is nominated just as ‘an artist.’ Not as a ‘dance’ artist, you know? I think that it’s good that [our] music is now getting the attention and the respect that all the other styles of music, like hip-hop, are getting.”
MTV will reveal the best artists, songs and movies of the year. Come to MTV News each day to see more big reveals and check out more of MTV’s Best of 2011 music, TV, movies and news coverage.