The UK electronic trio Nero became bass icons in the 2010s with their dark, cinematic blend of dubstep, electro, pop, rock, and other sounds.
• Producers Dan Stephens and Joe Ray grew up in north London, learning to play cello and classical guitar, respectively. They met as teens and connected with singer Alana Watson soon after.
• After five years in the game, Nero made their chart debut in 2010 with “Innocence,” a funky, wobbly dubstep tune that reached the Top 20 on both the UK indie and dance charts.
• Months later, the group debuted on BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix program. The two-hour mix was heavy and cinematic, featuring mostly Nero edits of other producer’s songs. It’s regarded as one of the greatest episodes of the show’s history.
• Considered a bass music classic, Nero’s 2011 debut album, Welcome Reality, reached No. 1 on the UK pop charts and cracked the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Songs tally in the US.
• Welcome Reality yielded a number of hit singles, including “Crush On You,” a dubstep-infused cover of The Jets’ 1986 pop hit, and “Promises,” which topped the UK singles chart. Nero later co-remixed “Promises” with Skrillex and earned a Grammy for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.
• Their 2015 sophomore LP, Between II Worlds, is a concept album that explores even more genres and styles, leaning into dark melodies amid future bass, house, and electro rhythms. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
• Nero has remained mostly silent since 2016. Ray launched a solo project that year while Stephens and Watson got married and announced a side project called The Night in 2017.
• In 2018, the trio released the stand-alone single “Lullaby” via game streamer Ninja’s Ninjawerks: Vol. 1 compilation.