In the world of Electronic Music, this year’s Grammy Awards brought little surprise as rising 25-year-old dubstep superstar Skrillex took home three awards for the second consecutive year.
Essentially, he went a perfect three-for-three, snagging wins in “Best Remixed Recording,” “Best Dance Recording,” and “Best Dance/Electronica Album” categories for his Bangarang EP, featuring Sirah. For the third award, Skrillex defeated several other top DJs, including Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, and Kaskade.
This sweeping victory, in tandem with his grossing an estimated $15 million last year, demonstrates that the academy and the world are paying close attention to the rise of electronic dance music, notably Skrillex’s field of expertise, dubstep.
Skrillex described the concept behind the winning album, saying, “The whole premise of it is just like in Peter Pan, never growing up and that Lost-Boys attitude.”
The album first arrived online in December 2011 and was released on CD shortly after. It dominated U.S. EDM charts and even made its way onto the top 100 Billboard, ranking fourteenth. Since its release, the album has received wide spread praise, demonstrating why Skrillex succeeded so greatly in this year’s Grammy’s.
Though Skrillex swept the competition, likewise runner-ups in the EDM category contributed an immense deal to electronic music over the past two years. Avicii’s huge-hit single “Levels” shook the world and became one of the most popular electronic music songs of all time. Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” reached the rank of number one in several countries’ top billboards.
Calvin Harris’ “18 Months” showed the world the promise of his unique European beats and indicated a great future ahead for the singer-DJ-producer. This year’s Grammy line-up for EDM artists was rife with stars.
Another topic circulating within the electronic music community is the Grammy nomination of producer Al Walser. An arguably unknown musician in the field, Walser was put up against high-profile figures such as Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, and Avicii.
Walser’s popularity pales in comparison to that of other DJ’s, as he is really only known for his single, “I Can’t Live Without You,” a song whose music video garnered a meager 7,000 views. Incidentally, Walser himself is a Grammy voter, and he explained that he fostered a connection with other voters to score a nomination. To symbolize the abnormality of his nomination, Walser dressed in a spacesuit, declaring, “I come from outer space. I come from Liechtenstein, nobody knows where it is… the nomination is really like a moon landing for me.” Skrillex’s Grammy wins essentially helped the EDM community evade a huge controversy.
This year’s Grammy Awards prove more than just Skrillex’s dubstep production prowess; it’s indicative of a great explosion in the music industry entirely. In Skrillex’s words, “the electronic music scene came up from the underground,” and now it’s breaking out of obscurity into the limelight of the world. Music listeners are accepting the culture of entirely electronic music, and this is paving the way for more organic electronic musicians who now have the resources to produce.
Hinson is a member of
the class of 2016