Skrillex performs at Coachella in 2011. (Luis Sinco )
One would think that L.A.-based electronic producer Skrillex would stick closer to home for his just-announced festival, "With Your Friends." But instead, he and fellow producer Pretty Lights on Friday planted their stakes in the country music capital of the world, Nashville. Could new subgenres bass twang and country-step be far behind?
Skrillex in the last two years has risen to superstar status and nearly singlehandedly propelled his noise-heavy version of dubstep into the mainstream. Long a headliner at festivals around the world, the artist born Sonny Moore is a natural as a festival curator.
That roster will gather in downtown Nashville on the waterfront on Oct. 26-27, and will include not only Skrillex and co-headliner/curator Pretty Lights, but also rapper Nas (with a nine-piece backing band) and fellow New Yorker Santigold, L.A. dubstep/experimental producers 12th Planet and Tokimonsta, along with Dillon Francis and Michael Menert.
The announcement also offers further evidence of Skrillex's power in American music culture. Given that his work has accomplished the unlikely feat of crossing over not only to fans of EDM, but metal-heads and emo freaks whose desire for noise and aggression has historically excluded music remotely considered "techno," that he and Colorado-born Pretty Lights are committing to the South says something about EDM's continued dominance. It's also further confirmation of Nashville's resurgent power as a music center.
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