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10 moments that defined Skrillex

The seminal songs and key guest appearances that have put bass-heavy dance producer Sonny Moore on the map...

Skrillex has become one of the most recognisable faces in EDM after leaving post hardcore band From First to Last to pursue a solo career in 2007. After years at the top end of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll, he landed Highest Bass in last year’s vote.

As a key driving force in the explosion of brostep with tracks like 'Bangarang', Skrillex also has a strong prowess for collaboration, with the DJ/producer making music as Jack Ü alongside Diplo and as Dog Blood with Boys Noize. He’s also reportedly currently working with Rihanna on her new album.

Diplo was clear on his feelings on the importance Skrillex has had on EDM in an interview in March, when he said he’d “had the biggest cultural impact of any DJ”.

His prolific OWSLA imprint – which won Best Label at this year’s Best of North America Awards – has also broken acts including Kill the Noise, Hundred Waters, Wiwek, JOYRYDE and more.

After a quiet year of live performances in 2018, last month Skrillex was announced to return to the festival stage in December, with sets locked at Contact Music Festival in Canada and Minneapolis’s Snowta.

Here, we take a look back at some of his most iconic moments…

7. ‘Purple Lamborghini’ with Rick Ross

Yet again, Skrillex slides into a theatre near you — this time for the super-villain flick Suicide Squad. Its namesake is a reference to the purple Lambo owned by The Joker (played by Jared Leto). The video features a menacing Joker flanked by Skrillex dressed in black, scowling through crime scenes in Gotham City. The song itself is pumped full of police sirens, heavy bass and a seething flow from Rick Ross: “Got that purple Lamborghini lurkin’”.

8. ‘Leaving’

‘Leaving’ is a curious release in Skrillex’s catalogue. Three tracks and a little under 15 minutes is all it took for him to shake up his sound. ‘The Reason’ rides a smooth electro groove with a few inspiring climaxes, while ’Scary Bolly Dub’ is a spacious percussive jam. Final track ‘Leaving’ feels like it was both a quickly put together statement and a victory lap.

9. Jack Ü feat Justin Bieber

Skrillex and Diplo’s collaborative project Jack Ü spawned a shinier, high energy take on both of their sounds. As the extended Jack Ü crew, they worked with a number of artists including Kai, Diddy and Justin Bieber. The Bieber collaboration ‘Where Are Ü Now’ saw the three make one of the more exciting pop songs of the time, winning a Grammy for Best Recording in 2015.

10. Skrillex’s Boiler Room set

During the International Music Summit Asia-Pacific, Skrillex played a 75-minute set as his Boiler Room debut. On the buttons, Skrillex hammered down a genre-bending mix of hip-hop and melodic pop tunes, while casually standing beside elated fans.

Words: DeForrest Brown.

Want more? Check out DJ Mag digital editor Charlotte Lucy Cijffers’s opinion piece on why we should stop calling all dance music genres ‘EDM’.