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Featuring producers Dan Stephens and Joe Ray along with vocalist Alana Watson, London's Nero were born a straight drum'n'bass act, but they steadily evolved into a more layered affair, mixing dubstep beats with classic house music melodies and vocals. Formed in 2004 and signed to the Formation Records label that same year, the group released a series of drum'n'bass 12"s that would take them up to 2008. That year, the Audio Freaks label released their "This Way" single, marking their shift toward dubstep. The year 2009 would find them breaking through with their own hit single, "Act Like You Know," plus a hit remix of the Streets' "Blinded by the Lights." Remix work for Daft Punk, Deadmau5, and La Roux would follow, as would an award for Best Dubstep Act 2010 from the popular online music store Beatport.
In late 2010, they placed in the Top 15 of the BBC's Sound of 2011 list. In August of 2011, Nero released their debut album, Welcome Reality, an ambitious concept album created as a score for a fictional film. The album reached the number one spot on the U.K. album chart. Late in the year, the track "Reaching Out" with Daryl Hall on guest vocals was released as a single. The year 2012 saw their remix of Michael Jackson's "Speed Demon" land on the 25th anniversary edition reissue of Bad, while their debut album was reissued as Welcome Reality + with the addition of two new tracks along with a remix of their U.K. number one hit single "Promises" from Skrillex. The remix won the 2013 Grammy for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.
Nero's track "Into the Past" was featured on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Near the end of the year, Nero announced that their second album would be arriving in 2014. The album's first single, "Satisfy," was released in May of that year, but it would still be another year before the album's title and release date were announced. Between II Worlds finally appeared in September of 2015. ~ David Jeffries
- London, England
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