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Grammy surprise: Who's that? His name is Skrillex

The Associated Press, Friday, December 2, 2011, 5:20am (PST)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Many people were surprised when the name Skrillex was announced in the best new artist category, along with the likes of Nicki Minaj and The Band Perry, during this week's televised Grammy nominations special.

Count Skrillex as one of them.

A day after earning a whopping five nominations in total, the 23-year-old dance and dub-step producer is still taking it all in.

"It just hasn't really hit me yet," he said in a phone interview from Manchester, United Kingdom on Thursday. "I wouldn't have thought I would come this far in so many ways."

Skrillex scored the third-most nominations, matching Lil Wayne. Kanye West leads with seven nods; Adele, the Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars scored six each.

The Los Angeles-based Skrillex, born Sonny Moore, may be best known for "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" (he's also a producer on Korn's new album, "The Path of Totality," out next week).

Skrillex hasn't had much success on the Billboard charts — he's more of an underground artist. He'll have some tough competition in the best new artist category: Besides facing The Band Perry and Minaj, who were both nominated for Grammys earlier this year and have dominated their respective fields and at other awards shows, he'll compete with Bon Iver, a critical darling, and J. Cole, who had a No.1 album and is the protege of Jay-Z.

Skrillex is nominated for best dance recording for "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," and also nominated for best dance/electronica album for his EP, which shares the same name. In 2010, Lady Gaga earned those trophies, and Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)" was the winner of best dance recording earlier this year.

Skrillex will have to battle Robyn, Deadmau5 and David Guetta, acts who come from a similar background to his.

"I feel very proud of where I come from," Skrillex said of being in the electronic music scene, a genre that has exploded on Top 40 radio in recent years. "I do feel like I represent something and I'm a part of something and it's an honor to be there."

Skrillex, who is also nominated for best remixed recording (non-classical) and best short form music video, says he hopes his Grammy love will give more attention to the dance music genre.

"I just hope it opens more doors for next year, not only Grammy nominations, but just everything in general," he said.

The Grammys will be held Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.

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Online:

http://www.skrillex.com/

http://www.grammys.com

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Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/musicmesfin

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