15 Ways Skrillex Changed the World

How our cover star dropped in and rumbled culture
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15. He's the missing link between generations

Skrillex became EDM's everykid Generational Connector, providing a bridge back to the great (primarily white) youth-culture movements of the 1990s and 2000s – from goth to industrial to alternative rock to electronica to emo. He was recognizable to outsiders as a flag-bearer for the next Youth Culture Uprising. And by not being able to articulate any of this, he seemed to be a particularly authentic emissary. First, as an L.A. punk-urchin guitarist weaned on Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar, he became the unlikely 15-year-old frontman for screamo contenders From First to Last. Then, he signed a solo deal with Atlantic and released an electro-pop EP under his own name (Sonny Moore) that recalled Postal Service being lightly whipped by Trent Reznor. Later, after having an Aphex Twin epiphany and being influenced by local dubstep champs 12th Planet and Dr. P, he evolved the Skrillex project into something darker and more crowd-pleasing, gradually dominating the Beatport charts and pointing the way forward.

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