Struck by the holiday spirit, Skrillex has given the gift of a sweeping rework of "Stranger," a track off his 2014 EP Recess, featuring vocals from Sam Dew as well as additional soft-touch production from White Sea and Canadian duo Tennyson. The remix is accompanied by a sweet video starring the megaproducer himself shooting off firecrackers with a bunch of students from a local school in Griffen, Georgia.
"The fact that the video is so driven by children and that sort of idea on the aesthetic level, it just sort of comes back to [these three charities]," Skrillex explained in an email to The FADER about the remix and its charitable bent. "They all have to do with children of course, I thought it was very appropriate and there are a lot of less fortunate kids out there on Christmas Day."
In addition to this project, Skrillex discussed his favorite Christmas traditions (ice skating!) and goals for the new year with The FADER. Read more below.
How would you describe the sound or vibe or this remix? How did it come together?
The sound is a bit more ethereal and the melodies changed from the original version. The original is more of a house track. After we shot the video I wanted to rework the song so it made more sense for the video. I got Tennyson and White Sea, Morgan Kibby, to help recreate the sound with me. Morgan performed with M83 a lot and Tennyson is this new prodigal melody duo from Canada. It was an opportunity to do something completely different so it made the video more special.
What do these three charities mean to you?
I think the fact that the video is so driven by children and that sort of idea on the aesthetic level, it just sort of comes back to all of them—Boys & Girls Club, Bridges For Music and Jhamtse Gatsa Children's Community. They all have to do with children of course, I thought it was very appropriate and there are a lot of less fortunate kids out there on Christmas Day. I also didn't have a chance to go Christmas shopping because I was so busy, so I wanted to do something else as far as a gift goes.
Do you have any Christmas traditions you hold especially dear?
One of my favorite Christmas traditions aside from going to see my family is going to this place called The Compound in downtown L.A. which is where 12th Planet lives, one of my real DJ mentors. It's this awesome studio/living place that he has, and every year on Christmas Eve he has a big cookout where all the L.A. industry orphans go if they haven't gone back home. It's really, really fun. I also like to try to go ice skating in Pershing Square and fall on my ass in front of everybody. That's pretty fun too.
What is next year looking like for you?
I'm writing so much music so rapidly right now and collaborating so much. I guess just planning on how and when to release it, what to do with the music. Also really focusing on the new studios we built in L.A. and the new creative spaces we have for OWSLA, which has become more of a creative group than a record label. We're collaborating with so many more creative people to take the label and the symbol and use it for much more than just putting out music. It's still the Wild West but at the same time we're excited to create that zeitgeist for ourselves that doesn't exist yet.