Skip to main content

In the music industry, there's seemingly only a few degrees of separation between Skrillex and any given hit.

One such track on The Weeknd's new Dawn FM album stands as a prime example. The story of how Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys came to be involved with the project is something of a butterfly effect—with Skrillex playing a pivotal role. 

Johnston, now 79, tells the Los Angeles Times that he was out surfing at Zuma Beach and decided to stop in at the nearby Shangri-La Studios afterwards. There, the legendary musician met Skrillex, who was working with multi-Platinum producer Rex Kudo and renowned guitarist Heavy Mellow at the time.

Johnston explains that Skrillex and the artists in his orbit at Shangri-La have an unrelenting work ethic, likening them to "the Wrecking Crew in the 21st century."

"They can write, sing, play, produce," Johnston said. "They pool the music and then offer it around, and for the artists it’s like trying on clothes before you customize it."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Santino's On Heaven

Santino's Rooftop "On Heaven" In the Underground Dance Music Destination of Playa Del Carmen

Nestled along Mexico’s Caribbean shoreline in Playa del Carmen is one of best hidden spots for underground dance music, Santino Playa.

dirtybird campout

"Ganja Garden": Cannabis Culture Comes to Dirtybird Campout

Now you can buy cannabis, learn to roll it and smoke it at Dirtybird’s famously ratchet, summer camp-themed music festival—and it's 100% legal.


Look Inside Portola, San Francisco's Newest Electronic Music Festival

Flume, Four Tet, Fred again.. and many more touched down in the Bay Area to crystallize Portola in San Francisco's festival lore.

Johnston says a subsequent session with Kudo and Christian Love, son of fellow Beach Boys member Mike Love, yielded a jam that eventually made its way onto The Weeknd's radar. The track ultimately found a home on Dawn FM as "Here We Go… Again" (with Tyler, The Creator) six months after Johnston, who is credited as a writer and producer, says he'd heard secondhand that The Weeknd was interested in the demo.

Interestingly, Johnston says he continues to stop into the studio where Skrillex regularly grinds away, and says his visits have resulted in hours worth of accumulated, unreleased music.




jim carrey the weeknd

Jim Carrey Is Featured On The Weeknd's Upcoming Album, "Dawn FM": Listen

"Dawn FM" will also feature appearances from Quincy Jones, Lil Wayne, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Tyler, The Creator.


Skrillex Takes to TikTok to Tease His Next Potential Release

Fans of Skrillex's "Chicken Soup" collaboration alongside Habstrakt, or "AGEN WIDA" alongside JOYRYDE will likely find a lot to be excited about in this new teaser.

the weeknd

Electronic Music Pulls the Strings of The Weeknd's "Dawn FM" Album—With Production From Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia

Despite its escapist narrative and lovelorn motifs, at its core, "Dawn FM" was designed for dance parties.

swedish house mafia the weeknd

The Weeknd Lists Swedish House Mafia As Inspiration for New Album, Fueling Speculation of Collab

According to The Weeknd, his next album was inspired in part by the legendary trio of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello.


Kavinsky Confirms New Collaboration With The Weeknd

Kavinsky and The Weeknd have been looking to follow up 2013's "Odd Look" for quite some time.

Skrillex and Mike D

Skrillex Shares Studio Footage with Mike D of The Beastie Boys

This comes just months after he was spotted in the studio with Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys.