Skream Promises To "Bring A Little Piece Of UK Club Culture To NYC" Tonight
Skream's forward-thinking has turned him from a bedroom beat-maker into a super-producer within the Brit-pop arena, but it hasn't happened overnight. After spending ten years helping to build one of the most influential sounds to come out of Great Britain, Skream has earned every right to be the face and authoritative figure of dubstep music.
Oliver Jones, as the 26-year-old from Croydon was born, unearthed his talent for producing at the age 15 while working at the legendary south London dub-hub, Big Apple Records -- where he also met his Magnetic Man bandmates, Artwork and Benga. After releasing 2005's MC-loved dubstep classic, "Midnight Request Line", Skream instantly became an underground music star, and he has remained at the top of the bass culture ladder ever since.
We spoke with Mr Jones about his career highlights, the mainstreaming of dubstep, and what he really thinks of Skrillex, all before his show tonight at Webster Hall.
What have been the highlights of your career so far? I'm sure there are many for someone who's a decade deep in the game, like yourself...
I guess a couple of things, really. Getting a gold disc for the La Roux remix has got to be up there, as well as having a top five album with Magnetic Man. Those two are definitely career highlights. I tell you what, my Skreamism gig at the Electric Brixton the other day, which sold out, was great. It might not seem like a big deal, but it was quite a personal thing to see my name on it and having everything go to plan. It was amazing, like, next level.
I heard the night was a big success, so well done on that. You've played a major role in helping dubstep get to the mainstream level that it's currently at. Do you feel it's gone the right way, though? Like, what are your thoughts on artists like Britney Spears and Taylor Swift using dubstep in their records?
We started doing this 10 years ago and nobody would listen to it, nobody would buy it. In my honest opinion, the fact that it's gone that far and some of the biggest artists in the world are using dubstep on their records, I think it's a good thing. I know you get people who moan about it, but for somebody who's been there before dubstep was dubstep, it's a huge thing. We created something, and it's gone beyond the boundaries, it's gone over to America and now it's one of the lead genres in the country so, personally, I don't feel bad about it. It's not something that pisses me off; it's just another one of the crazy things that has happened in the last decade.
Skrillex is a big fan of yours, and always shows love to you in interviews. Are you proud of what he has achieved for the London-born genre in the States and beyond?
Skrillex is a good mate of mine, I think he's sick! The thing is, he's massive and it's not for no reason. He's extremely talented, and what he's done is sick. He's opened dubstep up to a whole new white America and it's crazy now. Skrillex has taken what we started and turned it into something else. I'm a huge fan, so huge respect to him.
Can we look forward to hearing Skream and Skrillex on the same tune soon, then?
It would be great! People wouldn't stop talking about it [laughs]. Realistically, with how busy he is and with the things I've got going on over here, it's probably not gonna happen for now. It could happen one day, it's not ruled out, but that fucker's got a crazy schedule, you know what I mean? [Laughs] He's doing next things, he's working for Disney or something at the minute, but it could definitely happen.
You recently worked with Kelis on your new track, "Copycat" -- which everyone seems to be loving at the moment -- but who would you like to get in your production lab next?
I'd love to do something with The Weeknd. I was talking with him a little while ago about doing something, but it's another one of those things where we've both got hectic schedules. The next person I'm going to be working with is Miles Kane, and I was out with one of the Klaxons last night and it looks like I'm going to be doing something with them. I'm just working a lot as a producer at the moment.