Alan Walker has had quite the year. For starters, his YouTube channel became the most subscribed channel registered in Norway, after passing about 4.5 million subscribers, and currently has 2.4 billion views on his videos. Phew!
It's been incredible to see his journey over the past couple of years amplify to what is now, being that he's one of the most viewed DJ on YouTube and rightfully so.
In addition, his collaboration with Dane Alex Skrindo, "Sky", was also released on the compilation, Insomniac Records Presents: EDC Las Vegas 2017.
We got a chance to catch up with him at Tomorrowland to hear from the man himself about all that's going on in his life. Enjoy!
YOU HAVE STARTED YOUR MUSIC CAREER SO YOUNG, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST
BIG GOAL AND HOW IT REALLY WAS IN REALITY?
When I started making, music I didn't have any goal at all. I was just
trying to make something for fun, and then I realized that I really
liked it and I kept on going. After some time, I got in touch with
other producers on the internet and kind of got to know those internet
labels and local press. So it immediately became my goal to work with
them. In 2014 I released my first track, which was ‘Fade", and then I
followed up with "Spectre" and "Force".
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF "FADED"? SUCH AMAZING TRACK
AND SO EMOTIONAL! WHAT WAS THE CONCEPT BEHIND TALKING ABOUT
It all started with "Fade", back in 2014. '"Fade" was actually
inspired by two artist called "K-391" and "Ahrix". "Ahrix” is Dutch
producer and he had a track called "Nova", which was really an
inspiration for my song, it really helped me a lot. Because I had
already the melodies for “Fade”, but I didn't know what to do.
With a combination of this sounds, I managed to create Fade. There
were songwriters on this song as well. So when it comes to the lyrics,
it means when you are looking for something, like, it can be a place
or someone. So Atlantis is a lost city on the sea, you don't really
know where Atlantis is.
WE NOTICE THAT YOUR SONGS HAVE ALWAYS A PURPOSE, AS AN ARTIST CAN
YOU TELL IN ONE SENTENCE WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TELL THE WORLD WITH YOUR ART?
If I could describe my music, I would say that my music is very
uplifting and also melancholic. I really like to create different
experiences when they listen to my songs, I'd make them really happy
or maybe touch them emotionally. The songs can touch people
differently depending on the mood, and I really like that because it's
something you can listen anytime. And also I like to make music that
is down tempo because they can listen to it if they are relaxed or
partying or anything. Rather than have that really hard sound that we
only listen if we are going to a party, I want to make songs that you
can listen anytime.
YOUR NEW SONG, "TIRED" IS AMAZING, WITH A "HOPE" LYRICS AND YOUR
SIGNATURE SOUNDS, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A LITTLE OF YOUR INSPIRATIONS FOR THIS ONE?
Tired was a song that was written by Gavin James, he wrote the whole
song and his team send it to me and asked me if I wanted to make the
production on it. And knowing Gavin James for his other song
"Nervous", I immediately wanted to give it a try and his vocals is
really a perfect match. Also, I really want to make a collaboration
with a male vocalist because so far we've had only female vocals on
"Faded", "Alone" and "Sing Me To Sleep", and I wanted to make
something knew with Gavin James and now we have new songs coming up
with male vocalists!
WHAT IS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT TOURING ALL OVER THE WORLD?
Obviously meeting the fans, getting the chance to experience different
stages, different cultures, different people. It's always so unique,
like the time I played in Malaysia, it was really fantastic. I really
embraced that opportunity.
HOW ARE YOUR FEELING BEFORE PLAYING HERE AT TOMORROWLAND?
When I was trying to sleep last night, I had trouble. I'm so excited
and also a little bit nervous because it's such a huge stage and
there's gonna be so many people.
DISCOVERING MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Meet 20-year-old Alan Walker. With just 4 singles under his belt, he is already one of the most streamed artists in the world, and dubbed one of the most exciting names within electronic pop music.
The young artist, DJ and producer caught a fascination for gaming, coding and graphic design at an early age (he designed his own logo at the age of 16), which slowly developed into a passion for music and production. He cites film scores by the likes of Hans Zimmer and Steve Jablonsky to be one of his musical inspirations, which may have paved the way for his unorthodox and melodic approach to producing music. Furthermore, Alan’s interest in technology and gaming is also visible and further solidified in the DNA of Alan's artistic brand, which is consistently integrated and implemented in all aspects of his visual identity, whether it is the music videos or his on-stage visual design and outfits.
If you’ve seen one of Alan Walker’s performances, or simply come across one of his official photos online, you have probably noticed the black hoodie and signature mask covering most of his face. Contrary to popular belief, the mask is not about him wanting to hide his identity. In fact, Alan wears the mask to symbolize that people are all the same and all equal. For him, anyone could be the person behind the mask, and anyone can achieve amazing things.
Alan, the son of a Norwegian mother and British father, first started producing music from his bedroom in Bergen, Norway. After sharing his first music online in 2012 via digital media outlets such as SoundCloud and YouTube, he later began releasing his tracks via NoCopyrightSounds, an online record label focused on putting out music stripped of any copyright restrictions and free to exploit for its listeners. This led to Alan’s music being exploited heavily within the gaming community as soundtracks for gameplay videos and other User Generated Content (UGC), thus spreading the music across the globe and introducing it to new listeners.
In late 2015, Alan Walker signed with Norwegian music company MER, after being discovered by Norwegian artist manager Gunnar Greve, who initially noticed Alan’s name on a poster for a local music festival in their mutual hometown of Bergen, Norway. Shortly after he joined the Sony Music Entertainment roster. With the release of his single «Faded» (an updated version of his instrumental track «Fade», now including vocals) in December of that year, he first made his mark on the global music scene. The single has now sold more than 9,4 million units worldwide, in addition to being streamed more than 1,6 billion times on digital platforms and being the 10th most streamed song on Spotify in all of 2016. Furthermore, Faded entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart and it was certified gold and platinum in 29 countries. The music video recently surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube, in addition to being the 9th most liked video on YouTube of all time (and with the highest Like to Dislike ratio of all videos on the chart).
Since then, Alan Walker has followed up the success of “Faded” with two more hit singles «Sing Me To Sleep» and «Alone» (both reaching incredible numbers on Spotify, YouTube and sales charts all over the world. The latter was also Alan’s first #1 single on the US Dance Radio Chart and his second top 5 single on the Billboard Club Chart), as well as being one of the most sought-after remixers in the game, with refreshing takes on songs from Coldplay, Sia, and Charli XCX, to name a few. In 2016, Alan also went from completing his first ever concert in Norway, to performing at some of the biggest stages in Europe and Asia, with festival highlights that include Tomorrowland, Creamfields and Lollapalooza. He was also selected to support Rihanna during the European leg of her ‘ANTI World Tour’.
2017 has been just as busy for the young Norwegian, having released both “Tired” with Gavin James and his recent release “The Spectre” a remake of his instrumental “Spectre”. And also getting some additional high profiled remixes for artists such as Bruno Mars, Julia Michaels and Miley Cyrus on his merit list.
He even sold out his first ever European headliner tour before embarking on a tour across North-South and Central America. He was also chosen to support Justin Bieber on his first ever Purpose Tour show in India. This fall he announced his first album project going under the name “World Of Walker” and will be releasing music and high quality content frequently in the months to come. Walkers unite!