In the spring of 2010, few people could have expected that the person about to turn electronic music upside down was the long-haired frontman of From First to Last, a Los Angeles post-hardcore band. But from virtually the moment that Sonny Moore (born in LA in 1988) stepped out as Skrillex, he radically changed the course of dance music. His serrated synths and wobbling bass, as heard on 2011's “First of the Year (Equinox)” and “Bangarang,” helped introduce America—and the world at large—to dubstep, and his irrepressible, punk-like energy brought a crucial dose of personality to EDM at the very moment it was evolving from previous incarnations of rave culture. But boundary-breaking, whiplash-inducing tunes like 2010's “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” were just the beginning: Turns out that Moore is blessed with a rare talent for reinvention. For those who thought he was an unrepentant headbanger, he turned up with sweet, sensitive jams like 2011's “Summit,” featuring Ellie Goulding; by 2014’s shape-shifting Recess, he was wriggling out of dance music’s pigeonholes by teaming up with Chance the Rapper (a remix of Hundred Waters’ “Show Me Love”) and K-pop stars CL and G-Dragon (“Dirty Vibe”). Skrillex’s OWSLA label has proved just as restless in its desire to rewire the future of dance music, releasing work from artists like Anna Lunoe and Dillon Francis. And we haven’t even talked about “Where Are Ü Now,” the runaway hit that Skrillex and Diplo made with Justin Bieber in 2015, which introduced yet another sound to Skrillex's arsenal. The lesson is clear: Having remade dance music in his own image, he's now shifted his aim toward pop music.
HOMETOWNLos Angeles, CA
BORN15 January 1988