“The times they are a-changing.” Some famous dude once said that. Except, when he first said it 40 years ago, I don’t think he realized that dubstep would exist one day. Now the times are REALLY changing. The world has been flipped upside down: Skrillex has been nominated for 5 Grammy awards.
This puts the dubstep phenom THIRD for most nods this year, right behind Kanye West and Adele. Yes, you heard me. Lady Gaga, Britney Spears – both have less nominations than Skrillex. I’m gonna get this off my chest right out of the gate: I’m not the kind of person who trusts the Grammys. I don’t think they accurately represent popular musical tastes in this country anymore, and they choose to exclude large amounts of music that exist outside of their realm of understanding.
And that’s why this blows me away – because up until now, Electronic Dance Music has been chilling on the borders of popularity, waiting to be recognized for its achievements (obviously there are a number of exceptions). Dubstep specifically has been a growing phenomenon, and Skrillex is helping pave the way for the American dubstep fad. I say fad because that’s all it will be after the Grammys get through with it.
But I’m not here to be all pissy about this: I am genuinely excited for Sonny Moore, former screamo band singer, to be recognized for his talent. And I’m even more ecstatic to see a bunch of old people change their minds from “what is this god forsaken noise?!” to “I sincerely think dubstep is art and the next wave of popular music.”
So what is this funky-haired freakshow of a man nominated for? Here’s the list: He beat out the likes of Foster the People, Wiz Khalifa, Thompson Square, Il Volo and Fitz & the Tantrums to earn a Best New Artist nomination. His single “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” is up for Best Dance Recording, a nomination that became possible when Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and other pop artists were booted out of the category. His album of the same name was nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album. He is also up for Best Remixed Recording for his remix of Benny Benassi’s “Cinema,” and his latest video, “First of the Year (Equinox),” made the cut for Best Music Video, among an awkward batch of other nominees that include Adele, Radiohead, OK Go and Weird Al Yankovic. Yes. Weird Al.
So what will this mean for the burgeoning American EDM scene? We have yet to see, but I can guarantee this will mark a strange new era for dubstep: fans who liked it before its explosion into mainstream will shun it and move onto the next thing, and a whole new generation of young children will be permanently scarred by its influence on pop culture.
And now as a bonus, here’s a live sneak peek at Skrillex’s new remix of Avicii’s “Levels”: