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Alan Walker

Alan Walker, The British Norwegian DJ, Youtuber and record producer, quickly took the electronic music scene by storm with his distinctive sound even before turning 20! He created waves with hitting one billion streams on his breakthrough singleFaded’ and receiving platinum certifications in 14 countries. From amassing billions of streams on Spotify to collaborating with the one and only Hans Zimmer, Alan Walker has truly carved his lane in the industry. 

FACE’s Managing Editor, Neha Sachar Mittal chatted with him to reveal the man behind the mask!

  1. From someone who started producing music on his laptop to now being an international sensationHow do you feel about this fascinating journey of yours?

A: It has definitely been quite the journey, and it all happened so fast that sometimes I have to stop and look back at how many amazing opportunities I have had. It feels very surreal to think about. I have enjoyed every single step of it so far, and I feel like we’ve only just started!

  1. You were known as DJ Walkzz before you signed your record deal and released your debut single in 2014… is DJing something that gives you creative freedom and instant gratification?

A: It gives me a big creative freedom where I can play around with different sounds, melodies and elements to make a song or a remix that I enjoy. It’s always a very unexpected process, you never know how writing a song will go and how quickly you will finish. Everytime I sit down to start a new project, I’m always excited about how it’s going to go. I feel a huge gratification once stepping on stage seeing all the people who are there to watch me perform a song I have worked on. Every crowd is different and gives me so much energy once I’m up there.

  1. Your Single “Faded” topped the year-end charts in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden, iTunes charts in 33 countries, and made it to the top 10 on Spotify Global Chart. The music video on YouTube has over 3.2 billion views and 24 million likes, placing it among the top 10 most liked YouTube videos. It has over 1.1 billion plays on Spotify and is also one of the Top 10 Most Shazamed tracks of 2016. How did you conceptualize the track and the video?

A: Making Faded was about finding a melody that really sticks in your mind, in addition to making a different sound to an EDM track that no one has heard before. The Faded music video was the first time I introduced everyone to the World of Walker. I wanted to keep it mysterious and not reveal too much yet as this would be a story continuing throughout several songs and videos. Despite all the work that I put into this song, I had never even dreamed of it being as successful as it is.

  1. Does this kind of success of a song put excessive pressure on the next one?

A: In some way it did, people would naturally expect an equally good second single, but for me, it’s always been about just making music that I like and that I think others would enjoy too. I try not to let results get in my head too much. At the end of the day, I am experimenting with my own sound and trying to always evolve as an artist, not necessarily following a certain music trend to make sure I get a hit.

  1. Your other songs like “Sing Me to Sleep”, “Alone”, “Darkside”, and “Routine”, all of which attracted millions of views. So what exactly is your secret to success? What is it that’s unique about your music that makes it appeal to people?

A: I think there are several layers to all of my projects that can attract different groups of people. I like to not only focus on catchy melodies, but also deep lyrics that people can relate to and also a fictional storyline for those who share the same interest as me in cinema. Most of my music is accompanied by a story and a bigger meaning. I don’t have a formula for success, my main focus is to be genuine and have a purpose to your music, it will eventually fall into place.

  1. We believe you quit high school to pursue your music careerit’s a gamble that surely paid off! But is there a piece of advice you would like to give your younger self?

A: Finish school! Haha, no but even though it worked out great for me I wouldn’t encourage people to quit school. It’s also realistic to consider that luck played a big part in how I got started. I wouldn’t go back and change anything, but I do think it is important to follow your dreams if you are willing to work hard to achieve them.

  1. You are someone who made masks cool before the pandemic. Why do you always have a hoodie and a mask on while performing on stage?

A: The original idea behind the mask was that everyone can be a DJ/producer/artist regardless of how they look or where they come from. I wanted people to be able to feel like we are all the same regardless of what we do or work with. I don’t think appearances play a part in success, so I wanted to keep this trademark to represent this.

  1. Are you familiar with any musicians from India? Any songs you might have heard and liked?

A: Yes, I am! I actually played some Indian songs in India like “Jugnu” and “Brown Munde”, which I also really like the vibe of.

  1. Today everyone is a global citizen thanks to the internet and social media. Does music also, in your opinion, transcend borders?

A: No matter in what language the lyrics may be in, the energy is still there and that is universal. That’s what’s so great about music, it brings people together across the world no matter if you understand what the lyrics mean or not.

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