The spotlight on dubstep wouldn’t be quite as bright if Nero weren’t around.
The extremely talented group hails from London and has managed to take the scene out of its element and into something huge. Smashing single followed by smashing single, they’ve continued to push the bar and boundaries of the genre.
The two men behind the tables, Dan Stephens and Joe Ray, met as teenagers and grew up feeding off their parent’s tastes of classical and jazz. Dan plays a couple instruments (including the cello) and his father was a jazz bassist. Joe is an expert guitarist whose mom and dad listened to Beethoven and Barry Manilow. All of that, mixed with a love for funk, disco, soul, and rock and roll, make for one of electronic’s most well rounded pairs.
But what about that beautiful voice ringing out in all their biggest hits? Why, that’s friend and singer Alana Watson who often jumps in the mix with lyrics, vocals, and live performances.
About those hits. Their list of massive tracks are the reason Nero is becoming such a huge name. “Promises” is a certified gold-record in the U.S. and was featured in an HP computer commercial. Other songs like “Me & You” and “Guilt” have scaled the charts and gained praise from press around the world. In 2012, they even planned to tour as Madonna’s official deejays, but later decided to pass on the offer.
These aren’t just empty, un-worthy pop hits either – they’re packed with creativity. In 2011 they teamed up with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra to perform their truly epic track “2808.” They’ve refer to their songs as nothing but sped up classical compositions, so the link up wasn’t a far jump for the crew. That tune also happens to be the first song on their debut album, Welcome Reality, which was released that same year.
The album, which racked up rave reviews, is a zipping, retro-futuristic ride. From the shiny synths to the triumphant guitar riffs, there exude a heavy ‘80s influences. But suddenly it twists and morphs into a punishing drop, then back… and now you’re dancing.
They started out making drum and bass around 2004, but soon found their element closer to dubstep and haven’t looked back. In fact, Nero is looking way, way, forward.