Today, Sonny Moore turns 25.
It's been 25 years of dreaming, hard living, rule breaking, game changing, love, laughter, angry lyrics, highs and lows -- and of course, lots and lots of bass dropping.
Moore, famously known the world over as American dubstepper Skrillex, has always had a fanatic love for listening to and creating music, but his journey to the top of the game was not an easy ride.
Join us now as we traverse the elations, tribulations, and accomplishments that have shaped Sonny Moore through the years.
January 15, 1988 Sonny Moore is born. He's given up by his natural mother and he's raised by two loving adoptive parents. The truth of his genetic lineage is unknown to him.
Age 2 Moore, his parents, and four siblings leaves their native Los Angeles and begin their lives in San Francisco.
Age 5-ish Moore wants to be a music man. He becomes obsessed with Michael Jackson, AKA the King of Pop. "I would dress up like him every day," he later tells Rolling Stone. "And I'd perform for my parents all the time. I'd even go to school in a hat, white shirt and black pants with high-water shoes."
Age 9 Moore receives his first guitar as a Christmas gift and decides he'll be a rock star. He is an exceptionally resolute human being.
Age 12 The happy family moves back to Los Angeles, where Sonny in enrolled at a special private school for children who excel in the arts.
Age 13 The young punk rocker starts his first band, The Riots, with friends he met at concerts. He also plays in another band later on, Hazel-rah, experimenting more with ambient rock, showcasing his diverse musical tastes at a young age.
Age 14 Moore is pulled out of his private school to be homeschooled due to overwhelming issues with bullies.
Age 15-ish A full-blown workaholic, he gets mad at his high-school bandmates for not holding practices every day (three times a week is not enough for teen-age Skrill) and leaves his most serious pre-career gig, the pop-punk band At Risk, because someone's parents are "medling too much."
Age 15 Moore learns accidentally that he is adopted when someone tells him they ran into his birth mother. He is hurt and ashamed to learn everyone around him has known about his real mother all along. He gets all "Fuck you" with his adoptive parents, and leaves home.
June 2004 Since he's already been incommunicado with From First to Last members, Moore drops out of school and leaves for Georgia to become the Florida-bred scream act's new guitarist. Instead, he lands the role as the new lead singer. His first release with the group, Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count, is a triumph for the budding genre.
2006 FFTL release their second album with Skrill at the mic, Heroine, which also sees great success. However, the repeated strain on Moore's vocal chords force him to undergo throat surgery. Moore later told the New York Times about that period: "I was angry, so I kind of just said forget everyone and made some music that was angry music, but I'm not an angry person."
Age 17 Moore is now officially pulling a salary larger than his father ever has.
2007 Moore's had about enough of his bandmates, who apparently aren't very nice to him, and he leaves FFTL after a final show in the band's hometown at the Orlando House of Blues. It's OK, though, because he almost immediately signs a solo deal with Atlantic Records.
Age 19-ish Moore begins producing and performing around the L.A. club scene as Skrillex. Even though he's seen a lot of critical success for his solo rock outfit, he's incurred a lot of debt. He's basically homeless for a time and sleeps on the couch of his homie John Dadzie, 12th Planet, AKA the American King of Dubstep.
2009 Moore shaves part of his head to show he's no longer a slave to insecurity. "I used to hide my face with my hair all the time. That's why I have long hair," he later tells Rolling Stone. "I shaved the side of my head as a kind of way to get over that ... I was like, 'Fuck it, now I can't hide my face! I'm not here to be pretty. I'm here to make music.'"
June 7, 2010 Skrillex releases his debut Skrill EP and dubstep game-changer My Name Is Skrillex. He takes over the Beatport Top 10, basically overnight. Dubstep never sounds the same again.
2010 Mere months after his initial release, Skrillex is signed to Mau5trap records, which goes on to release his chart-shattering Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.
2011 Moore becomes the harbinger of American bass wobbles and all that is "underground" and "EDM." He taps into his hard rock roots and helps produce tracks for KoRn's The Path of Totality. He founds label imprint OWSLA, signing acts like Porter Robinson, Alvin Risk, and Dillon Francis. Through OWSLA, he releases his third EP, Bangarang.
December 2, 2011 Moore shares his favorite song with his fans: Aphex Twin's "Flim." The most vocal of them gather in the YouTube video comment section and they are generally pretty disgusted, spawning the infamous "Where's the drop?" Internet movement.
February 2012 Skrillex is nominated for five Grammy Awards and wins three of them. He's effectively the first electronic music producer to win an award, other than Best Electronic Music Recording, in the history of the awards.
March 15, 2012 Spin Magazine releases an epic feature story written by Neil Strauss, shedding light on the new Grammy winner in ways no one had yet understood the mysterious music maker. It also outs him for dating London's Ellie Goulding. Unfortunately, the relationship won't last through October.
August 12, 2012 Moore switches up his sound and collabs with another megastar DJ, German acid-techno-electro-hop master Boys Noize. The two-song EP from Dog Blood marks an interesting maturation in Moore's production style.
Aug. 28, 2012 Skrillex releases his fourth EP, Make it Bun Dem After Hours, featuring a collaboration with reggae legend Damian Marley. He puts the dub back in his dubstep.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
January 2013 Moore shares with the world a first glance at a new Skrillex sound with his fifth EP, Leaving. A total departure from the brostep-y screeches which made him so popular and spawned a million copycats.
January 15, 2012 Hits that watermark age of 25. And holy fucking shit, look at what he's done so far.