Last night's Grammy nominations announcements brought both the expected (Adele, Kanye and Lady Gaga) and the unexpected (Bon Iver and Mumford & Sons getting nods in both the Record and Song of the Year categories). But no moment brought about more of a "holy shit!" response than 23-year-old Dubstep favorite Skrillex, who broke into the prestigious Best New Artist category alongside Nicki Minaj and country success story the Band Perry.
Skrillex's nomination, the first in that category for a dance artist, was hailed by L.A. DJ Jason Bentley as "a historic event for electronic music" on his Twitter. Count Skrillex (real name Sonny Moore) among those who were blown away. Talking to Rolling Stone this morning, he said, "It’s now just starting to hit me."
Landing five nominations still seems unreal to him. "I didn’t even think it was ever possible for any nomination – maybe Dubstep Music Awards, which happened this year in London. But I didn’t think I would have any nominations for anything like Grammys," said Moore.
Moore's surprise was totally justified, but 2011 performer Bruno Mars told press backstage he wasn't so shocked by his six nods. "What do you think I'm doing this for – fun?" he quipped.
Getting serious, he said he was very happy with "Grenade" being chosen in both the Record and Song of the Year categories. "It feels incredible," Mars said. "That's the song we worked the hardest on. That's our trophy right there."
Mars performed on the awards telecast this past year, and with his six nominations he seems likely to be asked to play again this year. The Grammys are, of course, famed for their duets. If he could pick his dream partner, who would it be? "Prince, for sure," he said. "If he's listening, my number is 1-800-Grenade."
Skrillex picked what might be a more obvious choice. "It would be cool to do something with the Doors, because I just did a track with them," he told us, referring to his work with the classic band on the upcoming ReGeneration film.
Skrillex's fellow Best New Artist nominees the Band Perry tipped their hand last night to their own perfect Grammy pairing when they threw a snippet of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" into their performance on the nominations special. "We’ve always been in love with Tom Petty," Kimberly Perry told Rolling Stone. "He’s a huge influence of ours – just his songwriting sensibility."
Though the group has been performing the song since the summer, they have yet to hear from Petty. They hope that will change, now that they have done it on national TV. "Our fingers are crossed anytime we play that live that someone who knows him or is a friend of someone will pass the word along," Reid Perry says. "I guess you figured us out," Kimberly added, laughing. "We simply played 'Free Fallin'' to try and get a response from Tom Petty."