Skrillex is one of the most famous and influential EDM producers in the world, known for his groundbreaking dubstep sound and Grammy-winning hits.
But Skrillex’s breakthrough single “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” from 2010 owes a lot to a competitive cup stacking video by a teenage girl from Portland, Oregon.
The song features a voice sample from a video titled “Yes, Oh my gosh” uploaded by Rachael Nedrow, who goes by the name speedstackinggirl on YouTube.
The video shows Nedrow demonstrating her impressive skills of stacking plastic cups in various patterns and sequences as fast as possible.
At the end of the video, she exclaims “Yes, oh my gosh!” in excitement, which Skrillex used as the drop for his song.
Nedrow had no idea that Skrillex had sampled her voice until a friend sent her a YouTube link of the song.
She told The Duke Chronicle in 2013: “I could just recognize my voice. It’s copied straight from the ‘Oh my gosh’ video, just copied straight from it. I could definitely hear it.”
She added: “He didn’t [ask permission], but we squared up last year. He ended up paying me a royalty. I wasn’t expecting that.”
Nedrow, who is now 25 years old and works as a nurse, said that she received a “decent amount” of money from Skrillex, but did not disclose the exact figure.
She also said that she met Skrillex in person at a concert in Portland in 2012, where he invited her backstage and thanked her for the sample. She described him as “super nice” and “down to earth”.
Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny Moore, has not publicly commented on the sample or his relationship with Nedrow.
However, he has acknowledged that the title of his song was inspired by David Bowie’s 1980 song “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” and album of the same name.
The song won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2012 and peaked at No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.
It also earned a 2x Platinum certification and helped popularize “brostep”, a more aggressive subgenre of dubstep.
The song has been sampled, interpolated and remixed by many other artists, such as Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, N.E.R.D and Charli XCX.