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Skream at Metropolis in Leeds
Skream at Metropolis in Leeds
Background information
Birth nameOliver Dene Jones
Born (1986-06-01) 1 June 1986 (age 36)
West Wickham, Bromley, London, England
OriginCroydon, South London, England
  • Record producer
  • musician
Years active2003–present

Oliver Dene Jones (born 1 June 1986), known as Skream, is an English electronic music producer based in Croydon.[1] Skream was an early and influential exponent of the dubstep genre.[2][3] After producing several singles, he released his first full-length album, Skream!, in 2006.

Skream and longtime collaborators Artwork and Benga co-founded a music group called Magnetic Man.[4] Their debut album, Magnetic Man was released in 2010.

In July 2011, Jones had his first child, a son.[5]

Jones is the brother of jungle DJ Hijak.[6]


Jones was born in West Wickham, Bromley, London.[7] 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.[7] As a result of this encounter, Hatcha was the first DJ to play Skream dubplates.[1]

He began producing music at the age of 15,[7] (using FruityLoops)[1] and later claimed to have roughly 8000 tracks in various stages of development.[8] 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[edit]

Skream's early productions were stark and sinister works he co-produced with another frequenter of Big Apple, Adegbenga Adejumo (Benga).[9] Together, they produced several tracks that Big Apple Records published on two EPs: The Judgment in 2003, and Hydro in 2004.

Skream in July 2009

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.[9] Justin Hampton of the LA Times called the track "dubstep's most recognizable crossover hit".[10] and has been praised by producers as diverse as grime producer Wiley, and minimal techno producer Ricardo Villalobos.[11] 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."[12]

As dubstep attracted the attention of mainstream media outlets such as The Guardian[2] and Pitchfork Media,[3] 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.[9]

Skream has released records on several British record labels, such as Tempa, Tectonic, and Big Apple Records.[13] He has co-produced a number of tracks with Niall Henshaw (aka Spectrum).[14] He has performed throughout Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan,[15] as well as the UK.[16] From 2006, he hosted a weekly Rinse FM show called Stella Sessions.[17] In 2010, Benga joined the broadcast, which was renamed The Skream and Benga Show.[18]

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.[19] Skream was also featured on BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix that same year.[20]

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.

Writing for The Guardian in 2009, music journalist Tim Jonze attributed the success of La Roux's single "In for the Kill" to Skream's remix, "Let's Get Ravey".[21]

In the summer of 2010, Tempa Records released Skream's second album, Outside the Box. Spin magazine rated the album 7 out of 10.[22]

Mainstream success and a change in sound: 2011–present[edit]

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[23] and its lead single, "I Need Air" reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[24]

In January 2011, he and Benga left Rinse to replace Alex Metric in his 'In New DJs We Trust' slot on BBC Radio 1. The duo was eventually given a weekly slot on Radio 1, which began in April 2012.

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,[25] 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 "Sticky," "Bang That" and "Kreepin'". He has addressed the change in direction on his Twitter[26] and in interviews, noting that he was inspired to do more varied sets by the likes of Jackmaster.[27] 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."[28]


Solo albums[edit]

With Magnetic Man[edit]


  1. ^ a b c O'Connell, Sharon (4 October 2006). "Dubstep". Time Out London. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  2. ^ a b Warren, Emma (22 April 2007). "Various, Dubstep Allstars 5 – Mixed By DJ N-Type". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  3. ^ a b Clark, Martin (20 July 2005). "Column: The Month in Grime / Dubstep". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 6 June 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  4. ^ IMO Records "Skream Biography", IMO Records, London, 20 October 2011. Retrieved on 22 November 2011.
  5. ^ Wolfson, Sam (3 December 2011). "Skream and the perils of going pop". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  6. ^ Churchill, Tom (1 November 2006). "Skream: The dubstep scene's hottest property". Clash. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Clark, Martyn (27 August 2005). "Interview with Skream". Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  8. ^ Heller, Josh (27 December 2008). "Benga and Skream Interview". The Comment Tree. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  9. ^ a b c "The Primer: Dubstep". The Wire (279).
  10. ^ Hampton, Justin B (12 April 2007). "Dubstep: music dark enough to tug the guts". LA Times. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  11. ^ Cowdery, James (6 April 2006). "Bass in the place". Collective. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  12. ^ Walmsley, Derek (1 August 2006). "Review of Dubstep Allstars vol. 4, on Tempa records". The Wire (270): 1.
  13. ^ "Skream releases - Toolbox records - your vinyl records store". Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  14. ^ Whalley, Matt. "Skream!". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  15. ^ Smart, Richard (18 May 2007). "Viral sounds from South London". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  16. ^ Madden, Joe (12 October 2006). "Skream if you wanna go deeper". Collective. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  17. ^ "Skream on rinse fm 100.3 tonight 1–3". Dubstep Forum. 13 March 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Bye Bye Stella Session's : (". Dubstep Forum. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Skins Music Guide : series 1, episode 8". E4. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  20. ^ "BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix Tracklisting". 17 June 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  21. ^ Jonze, Tim (23 May 2009). "La Roux: Killer Queen". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  22. ^ "Skream, 'Outside the Box'".
  23. ^ "UK album chart // 2010-10-23". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  24. ^ "UK singles chart // 2010-10-23". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  25. ^ Finlayson, Angus (18 March 2013). "Interview: Skream". Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  26. ^ Jones, Oliver (I_Skream) (7 March 2013). "YES I WILL BE PLAYING TECHNO/HOUSE/DISCO AT ALL FUTURE SHOWS". Twitter. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Ryce, Andrew (21 March 2013). "RA Review : Skream & Pete Tong – All Gone Miami 2013". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2 May 2013.

External links[edit]