By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Skrillex, Major Lazer, and Dillon Francis will perform live at Estação Leopoldina in Centro on Thursday, March 26th. Arguably at height of their respective careers, the three well known electronic dance music (EDM) acts will perform here in Rio de Janeiro before going on to play as part of the São Paulo Lollapalooza 2015 lineup.
Skrillex is 27-year old music producer, DJ, musician, and singer-songwriter Sonny Moore. Born in California, he entered the music scene first as a guitarist and vocalist for the hardcore band, From First to Last. He then struck out on his own, began producing ear-shattering sounds, with massive drops and beats and eventually adopted the moniker Skrillex in 2008.
Releasing demos and EPs online and playing numerous gigs at clubs while distributing his productions, Skrillex steadily built a reputation as a growing major player in the EDM scene.
In 2010, he released his debut EP, My Name Is Skrillex, as a free download. The EP led to a tour of America with Deadmau5 and to the release of his second EP, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, on Deadmau5’s label mau5trap.
His songs then began appearing in commercials and trailers, as Skrillex continued to create new tracks and remixes while touring and appearing at various festivals. In 2011, he created his own label, OWSLA.
He released the albums More Monsters and Sprites and Bangarang in 2011, the Make it Bun Dem After Hour EP in 2012 and the album Leaving in 2013 and won a total of six Grammy Awards in 2012 and 2013. Before releasing his most recent album, Recess, in 2014, Skrillex teamed up with music producer Diplo to create the project, Jack Ü, in 2013.
The powerhouse dance music duo then recently released the project’s first album, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü, as a co-release on Skrillex’s OWSLA and on Diplo’s Mad Decent labels.
Born Thomas Wesley Penta in Florida, Diplo is a music producer, DJ and songwriter. He rose to fame through his productions that highlight and sample genres like Jamaican dancehall and Carioca funk.
Jack Ü is by no means Diplo’s first collaboration. In addition to working with artists including former girlfriend M.I.A., Shakira, Robyn, Justin Bieber, Madonna, No Doubt and Brazilian group Bonde do Rolê, he created Major Lazer with DJ and producer Switch.
Major Lazer’s first album, Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do, was released in 2009 followed by Free the Universe in 2013. Both albums’ tracks were a blend of Jamaican dancehall, reggae, and electronica, and featured appearances by well-known artists including Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Ms. Thing, Tyga, Bruno Mars, Peaches, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, among others.
A third Major Lazer album is scheduled to be released next month and rumored to feature Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, among others.
A friend to both Skrillex and Diplo, Dillon Francis is a DJ and moombahton music producer. His arguably rose to fame, thanks to a collaboration with Diplo on the song “Que Que”.
Francis released multiple tracks on both Skrillex’s OWSLA and on Diplo’s Mad Decent labels before releasing his highly anticipated debut album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule, on Mad Decent, with the help of Columbia Records, in October of last year.
With three longtime friends and collaborators coming together to perform in Estação Leopoldina, a renovated and wonderfully spacious former train station located in Centro, Thursday night’s show promises to truly be a party and a show not to be missed by fans of dance music.