The electronic music scene has experienced a renaissance in the past few years that has put dance music at the top of the charts, and that is due in no small part to the dubstep epidemic sweeping clubs and frat houses across the nation. And while the hipper-than-thou will be quick to tell you dubstep was around for years before his arrival on the scene, this new craze is still largely the work of Grammy-winning super DJ Skrillex.
Sonny Moore, the man behind the moniker, gained popularity initially as a screamo frontman, but abandoned the Hot Topic scene to pursue electronic music at the peak of his band’s success. Now he’s built an enormous fan base and has become a household name, playing to sold out venues and hitting the Billboard charts with every release. Forbes recently published an article and interview that hits at the question on the minds of many: with a music industry ravaged by piracy, just how much can a DJ make, even if he is the biggest DJ in the world?
The answer is astounding. This past year Skrillex’s income was estimated at $15 million. He toured through 19 countries, playing 150 shows to at least 250,000 people. His fiscal success is credited to his low production costs, savvy use of the internet (releasing most music for free to negate the effects of piracy), and constantly changing live show. And the live show is where much of the income that would be made from record sales is regained. Moore says his biggest paycheck from a single show was “a couple hundred thousand.” His income has even surpassed one time mentor Deadmau5. In fact, he is now the second highest earning DJ, just below Dutch superstar Tiesto.
For more statistics and the full interview, check out the article on Forbes.com.