The name Alan Walker is synonymous with mystery for many reasons. One, because he burst into the dance music scene seemingly from out of nowhere with arguably the biggest hit of 2016, “Faded“. And two, because even in real life, he’s almost never without his signature black hoodie and mask.
So blink and you might miss him ;)
Currently in Malaysia as part of his “Walker Tour: Asia” and Heineken Malaysia’s #LiveYourMusic series of events, we were fortunate enough to have been given a chance to get to know the EDM wonder boy a little bit better.
Here’s what went down during our interview:
Alan, we heard that your DWP 2016 set was epic! Welcome to Malaysia. How are you?
Hey, I’m doing good! It’s my first time in Malaysia. Yeah, DWP. It was the biggest festival I’ve ever done here in Asia. It has been quite an incredible year so far.
What was it like to play at Tomorrowland 2016? That must have been pretty mad, right?
That was crazy! But also, it was pretty cool to see how music can bring so many people together.
Do you still get the jitters/nerves before you go on stage?
Oh yeah, that’s natural. After being on stage so many times though, I’ve learnt how to control myself more. The first time I went up on stage in front of a huge crowd, it was horrible. I was always afraid of being in front of an audience but I kinda jumped right into it. And I just did it! After it was over, it was like, “Omg it’s finally done.”
Is there anything that you do backstage before you get up there and play a gig?
Drink Red Bull. Just to get my energy up, pretty much.
Now, Alan you exploded seemingly out of nowhere, and I think a lot of dance music fans would agree. How has the journey been for you?
It has been a crazy journey and really fun too. It’s kinda like living a bedroom producer’s dream. I never imagined that I would end up signing with a major label like Sony. The whole year, 2016, has been incredible. I’m super looking forward to 2017.
Since you’ve signed with a major label, is there pressure for you to put out more music and eventually put out an album?
Em, no not really. For me it’s just important to release a single when I’m ready to. I don’t feel like releasing an album now. I think I’m just going to stick to releasing singles. For 2017, my plan is just to release singles and to tour more. We already have some tour locations for next year confirmed. Some in Europe, some..actually here in Asia, and some around the globe.
So “Faded” is a huge track, you know that, right? It’s the most streamed song on Spotify in Malaysia. Do you fear that people would just recognise you for that song and not anything else that you put out?
Yeah, it’s very hard to say because it really depends on the kind of person who listens to the song. Some people will just listen to the top list, for example, and therefore it gets more attention. Some people would know Alan Walker for “Faded” and that wouldn’t really surprise me because that has been my biggest hit so far. And yeah..some people actually take the time to do more research and find out like, “What else has Alan Walker done?” For example, my previous version of “Faded”, titled “Fade”. And maybe other songs like “Spectre”, or “Sing Me to Sleep”, or my most recent one, “Alone”.
Do you find that..because it’s such a huge track, every time you put out a song now, you have to kind of top the success that “Faded” achieved?
No, not really. I try to avoid things like that because that’s what tears an artiste apart. It’s going to put you in pretty much a vicious cycle where you end up producing something but you feel like it’s not good enough, because it’s not going to get streamed enough, that kind of thing. I just avoid that and make whatever I like.
Are DJs/producers now reaching out to you and wanting to do collaborations with you?
Yeah! Major success just opens a lot of doors and I’ve been in touch with many DJs that I really never imagined that I would be someday e-mailing. Like..someone like DJ Tiësto. That was pretty cool. I really hope that we will work on a collaboration someday because so far what he has been doing for me has been very helpful and he has been very supportive. He also very supportive of all the other up and coming artistes in the EDM community. He’s cool.
What would you say is your guilty listening pleasure? What would totally surprise your fans if they knew?
I think, maybe..rock (laughs). I’m a big fan of Green Day and Linkin Park. And I used to play a lot of Guitar Hero and they also have the hits of the century. I feel like I get influence and inspiration from these kinds of songs as well.
Tell us, what is a day in a life of Alan Walker?
Hmm, I would say that a regular day in the life of Alan Walker when I don’t have to do anything is..I don’t know, just relax and try to be with my friends as much as possible and hang out.
Last one for the road – what has been the craziest fan moment you’ve had so far? Can you name one specific memory?
This actually happened in Beijing, if I remember it correctly. I was on my way in, I didn’t have much time..I just had to rush right in but a girl managed to give me a book. Like a photo book. Then I went backstage and opened it, and it was a photo book full of pictures of me. I didn’t really expect that! I was like, “Whoa, okay..”
Thank you so much for spending time with us, Alan! Special thanks to our friends from Heineken Malaysia for making this interview happen :)
Don’t forget! Alan Walker is scheduled to take over the decks at Zouk Club Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (16th December, Friday) night. Get the deets here.
We’ll leave you now with his latest track, “Alone”. Enjoy:
Heineken Malaysia’s #LiveYourMusic campaign also includes a series of pretty darn cool events including (but not limited to) their Insider Series (a 3-part series of music discoveries via Facebook live-streaming), the Takeovers (a series of pop-up takeovers at unexpected locations across KL), and the Ultimate Heineken #LiveYourMusic Experience where they will be sending music fans on the ultimate music experience at the biggest music festival in the United States of America in 2017. Go here for more information on how to win.
Don’t say we didn’t share ;)