Skream at Metropolis in Leeds
|Birth name||Oliver Dene Jones|
|Born||1 June 1986|
West Wickham, Bromley, London, England
|Origin||Croydon, South London, England|
Oliver Dene Jones (born 1 June 1986), known as Skream, is an English electronic music producer based in Croydon. Skream was an early and influential exponent of the dubstep genre. After producing several singles, he released his first full-length album, Skream!, in 2006.
In July 2011, Jones had his first child, a son.
Jones was born in West Wickham, Bromley, London. As a teenager, he worked at Big Apple Records, a Croydon-based record store that was at the centre of the early dubstep scene; even prior to this, Jones had become acquainted with Hatcha, another dubstep pioneer, because Jones' brother worked on an adjacent floor in Big Apple Records. As a result of this encounter, Hatcha was the first DJ to play Skream dubplates.
He began producing music at the age of 15, (using FruityLoops) and later claimed to have roughly 8000 tracks in various stages of development. He reports that he was frequently truant when he was a teenager, and spent a considerable amount of time at Big Apple Records. On occasion he attended FWD, a club night that was first hosted at the Velvet Rooms, but which moved to Plastic People in Shoreditch.
Early career: 2005–2010
Skream's early productions were stark and sinister works he co-produced with another frequenter of Big Apple, Adegbenga Adejumo (Benga). Together, they produced several tracks that Big Apple Records published on two EPs: The Judgment in 2003, and Hydro in 2004.
One of his first solo singles, 2005's "Midnight Request Line," has been credited as a key factor in the evolution of a more melodic sound in the dubstep music. Justin Hampton of the LA Times called the track "dubstep's most recognizable crossover hit". and has been praised by producers as diverse as grime producer Wiley, and minimal techno producer Ricardo Villalobos. A writer for The Wire wrote that the song has "an epic change of key and tempo that recall[s] the classicist mannerisms of Derrick May."
As dubstep attracted the attention of mainstream media outlets such as The Guardian and Pitchfork Media, Jones' music started to diverge from the darker, UK garage-influenced sound of early dubstep artists such as Horsepower Productions, and to incorporate elements of dub and house music.
Skream has released records on several British record labels, such as Tempa, Tectonic, and Big Apple Records. He has co-produced a number of tracks with Niall Henshaw (aka Spectrum). He has performed throughout Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan, as well as the UK. From 2006, he hosted a weekly Rinse FM show called Stella Sessions. In 2010, Benga joined the broadcast, which was renamed The Skream and Benga Show.
In 2007, "Angry" and "Colourful" from Skream!, as well as an exclusive mix, were featured in the E4 teen drama Skins. This marked the first instance dubstep was featured on television. Skream was also featured on BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix that same year.
In September 2008, Harmless released Watch the Ride, an album mixed by Skream. On 2 October 2008 Skream featured in a fly-on-the-wall German TV show Durch die Nacht mit … alongside drum and bass artist Goldie. In this, Skream stated that he currently had writer's block, but he was working on music in other genres, also mentioning a possible Skream & Goldie collaboration.
Mainstream success and a change in sound: 2011–present
Jones has seen commercial success as part of Magnetic Man, a live electronic music project with fellow dubstep pioneers Benga and Artwork. Their debut album peaked at number 5 on the UK Albums Chart and its lead single, "I Need Air" reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.
Jones has worked with many prominent pop artists. In addition to La Roux, he has produced for and collaborated with the likes of Kelis, Miles Kane, and Chromeo, as well as Katy B and John Legend as part of Magnetic Man.
In response to his success, Jones launched his Skreamizm tour to offer himself a change of pace from arena and festival performances, opting to play three-hour sets in small clubs. These shows saw a greater incorporation of disco, house, and techno in his sets. His recent productions have increasingly veered away from dubstep into these various genres, seen in tracks such as songs such as "Sticky," "Bang That" and "Kreepin'". He has addressed the change in direction on his Twitter and in interviews, noting that he was inspired to do more varied sets by the likes of Jackmaster. In March 2013, he contributed a house mix to Pete Tong's All Gone Miami 2013 on Defected Records, a leading house label that releases yearly compilations dedicated to Miami and Ibiza. Resident Advisor wrote that with the release, he gained "entry to one of the most established institutions in house music."
- Skream! (2006)
- Outside the Box (2010)
- Unreleased Classics. Vol.1 2002-2003 (2020)
- Unreleased Classics. Vol.2 2004-2006 (2020)
With Magnetic Man
- Magnetic Man (2010)
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- "UK album chart // 2010-10-23". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "UK singles chart // 2010-10-23". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Finlayson, Angus (18 March 2013). "Interview: Skream". Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Jones, Oliver (I_Skream) (7 March 2013). "YES I WILL BE PLAYING TECHNO/HOUSE/DISCO AT ALL FUTURE SHOWS". Twitter. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Carter, Dan (1 April 2013). "Skream's changing sounds: "It isn't new to me, but it will shock people."". Beatport. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Ryce, Andrew (21 March 2013). "RA Review : Skream & Pete Tong – All Gone Miami 2013". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2 May 2013.