The producer/DJ talks about his musical origins, investing in himself and finding his audience at the IMS Engage conference.
One of the most anticipated panels during IMS Engage, the industry confab held in Los Angeles on April 17, featured Skrillex (real name: Sonny Moore) sitting down with Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of the Summit Series (a sort of millennial generation Ted conference). Their one-on-one conversation covered a range of topics from Skrillex’s early love of Michael Jackson to where he spent his first million dollars. Watch the premiere of this conversation here:
While they bond in a bro-down sort of way, Rosenthal and Moore clearly come from different worlds. Rosenthal speaks in the terms of his field: communitarianism and venture funding, name-dropping Tony Hsieh and Bill Clinton and the belief in “doing cool shit.” He also discusses his group’s recent acquisition of a mountain in Utah – the purpose of which goes somewhat under-explained. Moore also talks about a recent purchase: a building in LA’s Chinatown he plans to turn into a recording studio and art space.
As the ad-hoc interviewer, Rosenthal guides the conversation through a biographical discussion of Moore’s early rock band days to the beginning of Skrillex, while also interweaving more philosophical dialogue on being 21st century thought leaders. Moore explains how he and his label spent nothing on marketing and promoting his most successful release, “Bangarang.” “It 100% came from my Facebook,” Skrillex says of the EP’s success.
“Bangarang,” of course, went on to win a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
However, the most revealing moment comes during the question portion of the talk, when an audience member offers a nervous explanation for why he would like to give Skrillex a USB stick of his own music. Without hesitation Moore asks him to toss the drive to him right then and there. He might be buying buildings, winning awards, and hanging with guys who buy mountains but Sonny Moore is still a down to earth dude.