British-Norwegian EDM producer Alan Walker was a mere 18-year-old when his track “Faded” became a massive European hit, topping the charts in ten countries and entering the Top Five in six more.
Born August 24, 1997 in Northampton, England to a Norwegian mother and British father, Walker moved with his family to Bergen, Norway at the age of two. A true post-millennial child, Walker grew up surrounded by technology and became fascinated by computers. In 2012, inspired by EDM producers K-391 and Ahrix, whom he’d discovered on YouTube, and film composers Steve Jablonsky and Hans Zimmer, he began to create his own music on his laptop. Working in the genre of “drumstep,” a kind of slowed-down drum’n’bass, he eventually uploaded the instrumental track “Fade.” The track was soon picked up and re-released via the No Copyright Sounds (NCS) YouTube channel and free net label that promoted the two aforementioned EDM artists. “Fade” was a huge success, eventually garnering a staggering 65 million hits, and was followed by two more equally cinematic songs, “Spectre” and “Force.”
In 2015 Walker signed to Sony Music and released the first single for the label, “Faded,” a reworked version of “Fade” featuring uncredited lead vocals by Oslo pop singer Iselin Solheim. Driven by Solheim’s angelic, ethereal vocal, a melancholy yet catchy melody, as well as a dark, dystopian music video shot in a number of crumbling post-industrial locations in Estonia, the song topped the charts in Sweden (where it went nine-times platinum), Germany, France, Italy, his native Norway, and elsewhere around the world. He later released a stripped-back acoustic “restrung” version with all the EDM elements taken out.
Walker made his live debut at the X Games in Oslo in February 2016, followed by a series of high-profile festival appearances. In 2017 Walker dropped the single “Tired,” which featured Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James, as well as “All Falls Down” with Noah Cyrus and Digital Farm Animals. This was followed by the single “Ignite” in collaboration with K-391 (featuring Julie Bergan and Seungri) in 2018, and his latest release “Darkside” (featuring Au/Ra and Tomine Harket).
Today Alan Walker headlines some of the biggest festivals and shows worldwide and has more than 12 billion audio and video streams. In 2016 he debuted at #55 on DJ MAG Top 100 list, climbing to #17 in 2017. He was featured on the cover in May 2018. His awards and nominations include Norwegian Grammy 2x, Best Breakthrough artist at IDMA and #33 at Bill board Dance 100. He provides Filthy Lucre with little insight into his EDM producing world.
When did you get into DJing? What or who were your early passions and influences?
I became interested in music production around the age of 13/14. I was spending a lot of time on YouTube, and that ́s how I became attracted to different artists and the electronic music genre.
How do you find your inspiration?
I get inspired by movies, other producers on YouTube and Hans Zimmer.
Where are people most likely to see you perform?
I travel a lot to perform everywhere so it really depends where I am!
Do you have original music that is available online?
Yes, all my original music is available online.
What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs making?
Not spending enough time developing and experimenting to create their own sound.
If you could be eternally stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
Something around 2011/2012, the year I discovered my biggest influencers and passion for electronic music.
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
Hans Zimmer– Time.
What is something that bugs you about the DJ scene?
What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe?
Through my melodies, lyrics and music I want the world to feel a connection, like they are not alone.
Where would you most like to perform?
The moon would be pretty awesome.
What are your predictions for the music industry in the next five years?
I think artists and the public in general will collaborate with each other much more through remixes and so on, on different social platforms.
How do you prepare your sets?
I try to tailor my sets according to current and trending music, sometimes using specific tracks that are popular in the countries and location I am performing in.
What have you learned since you started out as a DJ?
To never give up.