Fresh from playing one of the best DJ sets at ZoukOut 2016, the Norwegian wunderkind comes out of his shell to have a chat with us
They just get younger and younger… At just 20 years of age, Martin Garrix headlined the recently-concluded ZoukOut with a manic maelstrom of a set, but he wasn’t even the youngest of the EDM-proficient lot. At 19, Alan Walker, the Norwegian electronica wunderkind who’s been compared to the likes of Porter Robinson and Madeon, similarly showed his mettle at the gargantuan beach festival. A nascent production whiz to watch out for, the lad responsible for video game-skewed, synth-soaring anthems like “Faded” and “Sing Me To Sleep” is actually quite the enigma, often concealing his mien with a mask and hoodie. But lucky for us, we managed to get the shy hotshot to spill some beans, on growing up, teaming up with the biggest DJs in the world, and what he was looking forward to chomp on in Singapore.
p.s. check out our full review feature of ZoukOut 2016 if you haven’t yet!
Hey Alan! You’re only 19, but you’ve already collaborated with the likes of Dash Berlin and the legendary Tiësto. How does all that make you feel?
I am just extremely honoured and really grateful that I have all my fans supporting me and making all of this possible. I’ve been a fan of artistes such as Tiësto for quite a while, so it is amazing to be able to work with them.
Who were you most excited to see at ZoukOut?
That’s a good question, because that line-up was insane. Martin Garrix, Lost Frequencies, Dillon Francis and Hardwell… it’s hard to choose!
Your sound definitely has a video gamey element to it. Do video games play a huge influence in your sound?
Yes, video games have certainly had an influence on the overall sound of my music. I’m an avid gamer, so it’s natural that my music has been inspired by that as well.
We understand that you had to quit school to pursue music full-time. What was the biggest difficulty in making that decision, if any at all?
It was certainly not an easy decision for me – not at all. But because making music full-time was my dream, and the success with “Faded” left me no time for school, so I had to make a choice. But I do recommend to all my fans to stay in school and complete their education!
Good advice! What are some complications on tour that you’d like to fade away?
Nothing that comes to mind. I miss my family and friends on tour, but overall, I think it’s fun! My fans are incredible. But I can’t say that I’m a big fan of those early flights in the morning.
“Faded” was supposed to be a tropical house track before it took an electronic turn. Were you almost gonna become a full tropical house producer at first, similar to say, Kygo, who’s also from Bergen?
I wouldn’t say that. I respect Kygo, but I try to make my music a bit different. As for “Faded”, it was based on an original instrumental I had released earlier, entitled “Fade”.
Before Alan Walker, you went by the alias of DJ Walkzz. How do you feel you’ve grown as a producer and personality over the years?
I have changed, of course, with the input from my surroundings, as well as friends and family. I feel that I’m growing more and more as a person, and producer. But it is important that I stay true to myself and my identity. I always try to be myself.
Is it good to be a DJ and producer in Norway right now?
I would say that it’s good. There are a lot of great and promising DJs and producers from Norway right now, and everyone is just being supportive of each other, actually.
There’s a whole lot to do in Singapore, so we’re gonna shoot you with some fun questions… Are you okay with hot weather? Or cold only?
The hot weather is nice. However, it can get quite hot on stage with the hoodie on…
Singapore’s known as a shopping paradise. Are you a dude who loves your shopping, Alan?
Hmm… I think I am just like every other guy – I buy whatever I need, and occasionally some cool clothes that I’d like to wear. I haven’t had the time to really go on a shopping spree.
What’s your favourite type of food? We hope you’re hungry for Singapore…
I love hamburgers, as well as pizza. I’m quite happy to find lots of hamburgers in Singapore too!
Coffee and café culture is also pretty big here – how do you like your coffee?
I am not a big fan of coffee, actually.
Finally, Singapore’s an extremely clean city. Would you say you’re a tidy and organised person, or the complete opposite?
Maybe somewhere in between? Hah!
To find out more about what went down at ZoukOut 2016. check out our full review feature.