The emperors are here

As youngsters partying at the legendary south London club Fabric, the duo, Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray, knew that the music they wanted to make had to be bass heavy. Little did they, then teenagers, realise that the niche genre they love was soon going to take over the world. Nine years later, dubstep and bass heavy sounds have become synonymous with Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and their act Nero, is one of the biggest names in the genre.

The duo, who is classically trained, started making waves in the underground jungle scene as producers when they were still in their teens. But it is a remix of Promises, their own track with Skrillex, which has given them worldwide fame including a Grammy this year. Nero is coming to India to play at a festival that is looking to combine visual arts with music, an Amon Tobin-esque production. The festival which will be held on December 21 in Bangalore will also feature dubstep veteran Rusco and a host of Indian acts including the Bay Beat Collective. In this interview, Nero talks about going mainstream and the future of dubstep.

How did the collaboration with Skrillex come about?

We'd been talking with him about doing a Promises remix, he'd been really into the original when we'd played it to him. We decided to work on a few ideas in the studio and the track was pretty much done the same day. That was probably the first time we'd worked with another producer, it felt very natural though.

There have been accusations of you selling out because Promises won the Grammy. Do you fear being perceived as too mainstream an act?

We never had that thing of wanting to be underground or not liking something once it became popular. We wanted to be a 'pop' act but by doing it in a completely genuine way. I'm sure there isn't a band in the world that doesn't want mainstream success. We've been very lucky but also worked hard so it's nice to get an award like a Grammy. It shouldn't change anything.

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