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Who And What The Hell Is Skrillex?

By / 02.10.12

Just like Kreayshawn, Lana Del Rey, Odd Future and a few others before him, oddly coiffed DJ Skrillex has seemingly come out of no where, propelled by the internet, to suddenly be all over the goddamn place. And with his appearance on the Grammys this weekend and in the new RE:GENERATION film, more and more people, including your mom and dad, will probably be asking the question, “Who the hell is Skrillex?” God help us all.

Thankfully, the Daily Beast has a timely and handy profile of him out today. And while entire swaths of it do, in the words of Matt Ufford, “read like a Stefon sketch on SNL,” it does shed a little more light on who the hell the Skrillex is — namely, he’s a 23 year-old who ran away from his family home in Georgia at 16 after finding out he was adopted, he doesn’t do drugs, and he’s basically a Vampire who bounces from show to show and never sleeps.

Earlier that day at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, Skrillex is hunched over in a booth, sipping on a pineapple-grapefruit juice (he doesn’t do drugs, instead subsisting on a diet of sugar-free Red Bull and vodka).

“I passed out in the cab over here,” he says between yawns.

With no major label marketing machine behind him, the surge in popularity was accomplished in true DIY fashion: through incessant touring and Internet word-of-mouth. He’s released four EPs over the Internet, the most recent of which is titled Bangarang. His YouTube videos get tens of millions of views. Facebook singled him out as one of the year’s most prolific artists, boasting two of the top six most-played songs on the social network. He’s one of the stars of director Amir Bar-Lev’s (The Tillman Story) music documentary RE:GENERATION, in theaters Feb. 16. And the cherry on top: he’s not only been nominated for five Grammy Awards—tied with music luminaries Radiohead and Lil Wayne for the third most of any musical act—including Best New Artist, but also has become the literal poster child for the Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 12.

The other major misconception that bugs Skrillex, he says, is when people claim he received a record-label makeover similar to much-maligned pop star Lana Del Rey.

“That pisses me off ‘cause nobody gave me anything,” says Skrillex. “People think that a label came in, scooped me up, and created an image to sell to people. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“My music doesn’t really fit into what people think of as ‘pop music,’ and it’s not made for the radio,” said Skrillex. “It’s made for the shows.”

The Beast also put together a mini-documentary on Skrillex that is both interesting and hilarious in its absurdity…

Is the world ready for Skrillex at the Grammys? Like it’s doing with Bon Iver, CBS is using his name and image relentlessly in promotions.

And speaking of the Grammys, we’ll be doing an open thread here Sunday night, so come hang with us!

(Skrillex ad pic via Bobby Finger, GIF via)


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