Skrillex: Biography and Origins of the Dubstep Producer
Skrillex: Biography and Origins of the Dubstep Producer

Skrillex: Biography and Origins of the Dubstep Producer

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Born January 15th, 1988, Skrillex (then Sonny Moore) got into music at an early age and started attending punk rock shows and electro rave gigs. Between 2004 and 2007, he found success as the lead singer for screamo band, From First to Last. However, vocal problems forced him to quit and Moore then pursued a solo career exploring electronic music. He made his debut as Skrillex in 2010, making a name for himself in the dubstep community with his own music and by producing for other artists. He won 3 Grammys in 2012. In this video, takes a look at the musical origins of Skrillex.

This artist successfully made the move from hardcore to dance floor. Welcome to, and today we’re taking a look at the musical origins of Skrillex.

Growing Up

Sonny John Moore was born January 15th, 1988 and raised in San Francisco, California. When he was 12, his family moved back to his birthplace of Los Angeles where he spent a few years attending a performing arts school. In his mid-teens, he dropped out and learned he was adopted.

Musical Interests

During this period, Moore also frequented underground punk rock concerts and electro club raves. These two styles later influenced his musical career.

From First to Last

In 2004, he auditioned to be a guitarist for the post-hardcore band From First to Last, but was recruited as lead singer instead. Their full-length debut, Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count, dropped that same year. That metal, hardcore punk and emo effort placed within the top twenty of the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart.

Second Album

Following several successful tours, From First to Last released Heroine in 2006. When the record sold over 200 thousand units, it became the band’s best-selling album, and even reached the twenty fifth position on the Billboard 200. They soon signed with major label Capitol Records and took part in a series of profitable tours.

Health Problems

However, things took a turn for the worse: Moore contracted health issues that required vocal cord surgery and eventually forced the band off the road. Ironically, that turned out to be a blessing in disguise for this young musician.

Solo Demos

In 2007, Moore left From First to Last to focus on his solo career. He then began releasing demo songs online and playing gigs with a full band on several tours.

Sonny Moore

Within two years, he released his first digital EP Gypsyhook under the name Sonny Moore. That year, he also performed under the band name Sonny and the Blood Monkeys.


Meanwhile, Moore also began producing music for himself and for other artists. He made his debut as electronic music producer Skrillex in 2010 with the release of the dubstep EP My Name is Skrillex. That same year, he worked with metalcore group Bring Me the Horizon and toured with Deadmau5.

Successful EP

Skrillex was also signed to the popular house DJ and producer’s label, mau5trap Records, and it was that outfit that released Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. That dubstep EP managed to chart within the top fifty of the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified gold. It also helped put Skrillex on the mainstream radar.

First Remix Album

Skrillex followed his second release with his first remix album, More Monsters and Sprites. The 2011 EP included the single “First of the Year (Equinox),” which was accompanied by a Grammy-nominated music video.


Also in 2011, Skrillex launched his own record label and collaborated with artists such as nu metal band Korn, electro-house duo Knife Party and DJ/Producer Kaskade.


By the end of that year, Skrillex released Bangarang. That EP featured collaborations with artists like The Doors, Kill the Noise and Ellie Goulding. Not only did it manage to reach the Billboard 200 top twenty, it also topped the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

Grammy Recognition

In 2012, the industry and the mainstream took notice of this up-and-comer when he was awarded three Grammy Awards at the 54th annual ceremony. Unfortunately, that recognition also earned him the ire of the underground, and he was labeled by some as “the most hated man in dubstep.” Despite that, he was still considered one of the most exciting new acts to debut in years, and he continued touring, producing for other acts and releasing new music.

Force to Be Reckoned With

Even though he is relatively new to the genre, Skrillex’s ability as a dub-step/electro-house producer is apparent. He is ranked among the best in the biz, and is often compared to electronic music heavyweights like David Guetta and Deadmau5. With his impressive résumé and awards already piling up, Skrillex is most certainly a force to be reckoned with.