I’ve always felt like an outsider: Skrillex

Sonny Moore on pushing music in his direction, Yo Yo Honey Singh and sampling Indian music for his India tour

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published: October 9, 2015 12:00 am
Skrillex is the winner of six Grammy Awards Skrillex is the winner of six Grammy Awards

Sonny Moore aka Skrillex burst on to the music scene a little over half-a-decade ago and instantly became the most hated as well as popular boy of dubstep. He was an American DJ, who was putting South London’s EDM scene on the world stage. On his maiden tour to India, Moore, 27, with his ratty hair, rave synths and bass jiggles, promises to serve some delirious tracks.

Excerpts from an interview:

With six Grammys, four EPs and 300 shows a year, you haven’t only been at the cusp of the electronic music scene but are also one of the influential musicians in mainstream dance music. Where does this energy come from?

For me, I’ve always been into emotion. A lot of emotion, a lot of melody, a lot of intensity and a lot of visceral feelings. The way I produce is very intimate. I think this never-ending energy comes from the feeling that you need to constantly evolve, make something better than the last one.

A lot of purists have called your dubstep style as “aggressive” and “commercial”.

I’ve always felt like an outsider. I still do, in the sense that when you think of EDM as a whole, it paints a certain picture in people’s heads of what that means — Not that, that’s a negative thing, but I’m constantly just pushing music in my own sort of direction and using a computer as my tool. A lot of times, we even get lumped into a certain category. When I first came out, everyone just called me a dubstep artiste, though, if you listen to my full releases, it wasn’t just dubstep. People are always going to put you in a certain box.

Have you heard any Indian music? Do you plan to sample some in your set over the weekend?

Yo Yo Honey Singh, I know he’s blowing up right now on the dubstep scene and I think his stuff is pretty cool. Other than that, I don’t know too many local Indian EDM artists and I’m excited to check it out. I love Bollywood; I watch Bollywood movies all the time on airplanes.

What is the plan for your India gig?

I’m always a very spur-of-the-moment type of guy when it comes to what I want to play and what I want to do, so I’m sure I’m going to be getting influenced by my surroundings and by the sounds and traditions.

What inspired you to create music?

All my musical influences have been people who have done things differently or come from an alternative side. I grew up listening everything, from hip-hop,  to metal, to punk and EDM. I first heard Aphex Twin when I was really young and I realised that you can do something all by yourself, and let your imagination run wild and use a computer or electronics as an instrument. That inspired me to become a producer. When I heard Michael Jackson, I wanted to be a singer, and when my dad took me to see Metallica when I was 9 I wanted to play guitar.

Tell us about some of your collaborations with other artistes.

I like that, no matter who you are collaborating with, you always learn something new about yourself and how to approach making music. Collaborating with Diplo is fun because, when we go into a session, it’s normally never really a session. We’re just kind of hanging out and ideas pop out randomly. I always respected Justin Bieber as an artiste and the fact that he was so young and was doing what he did, as well as his natural charisma and just him as a person. I was intrigued by him.

Skrillex is touring four cities as part of Vh1 Supersonic. He will perform at Jio Garden, Bandra Kurla Complex on Saturday

suanshu.khurana@expressindia.com

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