Skream (born Oliver Dene Jones in West Wickham, Bromley, London on 1 June 1986) is a dubstep producer based in Croydon. One of dubstep’s first and most prominent producers, he has played an important role in the genre’s development.
As a teenager, Jones worked at Big Apple Records, a Croydon-based record store that was at the center 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.
Jones began producing music at the age of 15 using FruityLoops and claims to now have roughly 800 songs in varying stages of development. Skream’s early productions were often with another alumnus of Big Apple, Benga, and are of a decidedly darker and less melodic nature than later releases. As dubstep gained notice from conventional media such as The Guardian and Pitchfork Media, Jones’ music started to take on a more melodic sound; less overtly influenced by the darker, UK garage influenced sounds of early dubstep artists with dub, house, and even jazz influences instead.
The 2005 Skream track “Midnight Request Line” has been described as “dubstep’s most recognizable crossover hit,” and has been praised by producers as diverse as grime producer Wiley, and minimal techno producer Ricardo Villalobos. The key change in the chorus, which The Wire has described as “an epic change of key and tempo that recalls the classicist mannerisms of Derrick May,” has been credited as being a key factor in the evolution of a more melodic sound in the dubstep genre.
Skream has released records on a variety of UK record labels, such as Tempa, Tectonic, and Big Apple Records, including a self-titled album “Skream!” which was released in 2006 on the Tempa label. He collaborated with Benga, Niall Henshaw (otherwise known as Spectrum), Cluekid, Distance, Hijack, Loefah, Warrior Queen, Freckles, D Bridge, JME and many others musicians and vocalists. Since 2006 he produced 5 volumes of his “Skreamizm” EP.
In 2009, he rose to further prominence when his remix of “In for the Kill” by La Roux became firstly an underground hit in the early part of the year before bursting onto the mainstream, being used in promotional material for the 2010 video game Bayonetta and was featured in an episode titled “Hair” on the hit HBO series Entourage. Skream also created great remixes for Bat For Lashes, Toddla T, Klaxons, Dave Gahan, Chromeo, DJ Zinc, Donaeo, Lethal Bizzle, Digital Mystikz and Katy B.
In the summer of 2010, Skream released his second full-length album “Outside the Box“. He also making records as a part of Magnetic Man, a live electronic music project consisting of dubstep producers and DJs Skream, Benga and Artwork. From January 2011, Skream, along with Benga, will be replacing Alex Metric in his ‘In New DJ’s We Trust’ slot on BBC Radio 1.
Latest hits from Skream include his collaboration with Example “”Shot Yourself In The Foot Again” and new great megahit remix of Casssius “I Love U So” which recently became Essential New Tune in Pete Tong’s Radio 1 show Essential Selection.
Skream – Midnight Request Line
Skream – Funkanomika
La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream Remix)
Skream & Example – Shot Yourself In The Foot Again
Cassius – I Love You So (Skream remix)