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Skrillex: Getting to know him

How did the onetime frontman of a Tampa screamo band become the new king of DJ culture — and a five-time 2012 Grammy nominee?

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In November, when the Grammy nominations were announced, there were only two appropriate responses to learning that Skrillex had earned five nods, including Best New Artist: (1) ”It’s about time that an underground DJ got as much love as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga combined!” or (2) ”Who?” But now Skrillex — a.k.a. L.A. native Sonny Moore, 24 — is famous enough that even mainstream rock fans know about ”brostep,” the style of dance music he popularized. (If your mom is reading this: ”Brostep” sounds like a more aggressive version of dubstep — basically, electronic beats with bass riffs that mimic heavy metal guitars.) Already, his first post-nom release, the EP Bangarang, has hit No. 2 on iTunes. Next up, catch him in the music doc RE:GENERATION, which follows Moore, Mark Ronson, and others as they remix artists from different genres. (Moore teams up with the Doors on the giddy thrasher ”Breakn’ a Sweat,” found on Bangarang.) When the Grammys air Feb. 12, you can watch him arm-wrestle Nicki Minaj over that Best New Artist statue. Okay, maybe not. But wouldn’t that be cool?