Sonny John Moore aka Skrillex has become one of the most influential names in mainstream dance music. This Grammy award-winner's name usually sits on top of almost every popular music festival's line-up. Whether EDM or otherwise, this American electronic music producer, DJ, singer and songwriter is undoubtedly one of the biggest and busiest dance music producers today.
While his recent collaboration with Justin Bieber on "Where Are You Now" is still running hot on charts, Skrillex continues making good music as part of Jack Ü (collaborative project with Diplo).
In an exclusive interview with IBTimes India, Skrillex, who is currently on a four-city tour as part of VH1 Supersonic Arcade in India, opened up about his music, tours, collaborations and future plans.
Here are excerpts from the interview –
1) This is your first time tour to India, what is your mindset and expectation about the crowd here?
I want to experience, eat, see and do as much as I can. Everything that people should do when they're here. I'm just excited to be in India, I've heard nothing but great things about the country and crowd here.
2) What do you have in store for your fans in India? What does your set look like?
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. That's probably going to come out musically, but I don't know how.
3) Working with Justin Bieber — how was your experience and what's your opinion about the pop singer?
I always respected Justin Bieber as an artist and the fact that he was so young, when he started off. I respect his natural charisma and just him as a being, a person. I was always really intrigued by him.
4) Jack U's hit "Where Are U Now" featuring Justin Bieber is still hot on the charts. How did you guys end up collaborating?
When it comes to Jack U (Skrillex and Diplo collaboration), the whole point is about things that me and Wes like to do together. We don't really have any rules about who we work with or don't work with. It's all about what vibes are right and what feels natural at that point of time. We ran into Justin in a very kind of organic situation, so, it was just awesome and I think Justin is one of those few talented people in the world, that we worked with.
5) Do you think EDM has evolved over the years? How would you define EDM today?
EDM is basically just a platform for making music, it's not a genre. People said it was going away a couple years ago. When kids stop using computers then I think electronic music will go away, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. It's just a tool. At the end of the day as an artist, it's not really about doing something for the sake of it. You get inspired by a tool because it gets you from point A to point B. And that's what electronic music is. It's a platform for how you create something, it's a palette.
6) Skrillex has some awesome collaborations to his credit, which one do you consider as the best?
You know, it's crazy because everybody works differently and I just like that no matter who you are collaborating with – it's for you. You always learn something new about yourself and how to approach making music. Obviously, collaborating with Diplo has been fun because when we go into a session, it's normally never really a session. We're just hanging out and ideas pop out randomly. But doing the song with The Doors - Robby and Ray was just amazing. I made a drum loop and they were literally jamming, and from there we pieced stuff together. That's how they like to work. A lot of the collaborations even happen online — it's the new way of collaborating.
7) Is any particular artiste on your wish list that you haven't worked with yet?
I get asked this question all the time, but I don't really have a wish list. I get just as excited about working with people who are unknown, who I don't know, or who no one knows, as much as working with established artists. I think the most exciting things, the most exciting collaborations have always happened in a whimsical moment where you weren't planning it and all of a sudden s*i* happens. You know who I want to work with, for real? YoYo Honey Singh. Shout out, bro.
8) Fans think Skrillex's energy never drops down despite his tight scheduled packed with back-to-back gigs and tours. How do you manage? Or should we say, music is your drug?
I guess when I'm in the moment of making and producing music, I've always been into emotion — a lot of emotion, a lot of melody, a lot of intensity and a lot of visceral feelings. So, I think, the way I produce is very intimate. Sometimes it's very collaborative with a lot of people in the room, but a lot of that really emotional stuff is very intimate when I'm just in my own zone. So, maybe it comes a lot from my influences — Disney movies or Japanese animation movies, like Miyazaki films. There is a lot of joy and emotions and child-like feelings that I draw from, inspiration-wise. Maybe that's why I'm so energetic all the time.
9) What's next for Skrillex?
I'm doing a lot of collaborations with different artists. I've been working on other people's records. Obviously, I'm doing a lot of stuff from the new Bieber album and I'm really excited about working with The Game, A$AP Ferg, Peter Gabriel... the list goes on.
Skrillex will perform as part of VH1 Supersonic Arcade in:
Bengaluru (8 October): Supernova Arena & Convention Centre
Hyderabad (9 October): Gachibowli Stadium Hockey Ground
Mumbai (10 October): Reliance Jio Gardens
Delhi (11 Otober): Huda Grounds, NCR Gurgaon