Alan Walker On Unity Through His Music In Exclusive iEDM Interview
Alan Walker is a master of his domain. Known for wearing his trademark mask, the Norwegian producer keeps rising through the ranks in the EDM scene. He's survived many raves, and now he is talking to iEDM in an exclusive interview about his hot streak this past year.
The DJ discusses his experience playing Electric Zoo last month, in addition to his message of love and unity through his music.
iEDM: What's up Alan! You played the main stage for Electric Zoo's anniversary.
Alan Walker: It's the tenth anniversary, huh?
iEDM: Where did we hear that one before? I don't know! Seriously though--during those ten years, the industry has gotten crazier. For you to have this presence, during an important moment in time for the scene; what was it like playing out there for the fans who gathered in New York City?
Alan Walker: It's been incredible. It was an honor to return to E-Zoo. Being the tenth anniversary of the festival, what a great way to celebrate. The lineup was insane. The crowd was insane. The stage was insane. I had a fantastic time, and I was super honored to play a little bit later, compared to last year. I'm just really happy.
iEDM: It gets bigger and bigger, every time. I love seeing the progression of the festival scene. It really is special to see the artists evolve as time goes on. I know you are from Norway, and have a big fan following in your home country. It seems to me that you have transitioned incredibly well in the United States. Can you explain to music fans what the biggest challenge was when developing your crossover appeal? What went into creating your base?
Alan Walker: These days, I really like doing my own thing. I think people respect when you do your own thing. For me, I have a very different style of music from what's really popular [in the USA.] I think that's what really stands out to people. They wind up really liking it.
iEDM: It's the perfect storm. You find the right crowd, and hello: it sticks out, for all the right reasons. We talk a lot about fashion at iEDM. I know you have talked about your famous mask to death, but I am all about unity.
Alan Walker: Same here.
iEDM: I think your logic behind it resonates with a lot of our readers. The electronic world, for the most part, is very inclusive. When you put your music out there, it adds another layer of positive energy that's vastly needed in today's society. Other genres, like hip hop for example, there is still opposition for inclusion. Can you explain why the electronic world is more open than other subcultures in the music industry.
Alan Walker: For me, the whole electronic dance music world has been very inclusive. Look at the festivals. Those are very big examples of music connecting people, no matter who you are, or what you've done. People are there for the same reasons. People don't care what you've done. That's what is great about the music industry. My music is all about unity, and bringing out positive vibes in people. That's what I want to do.
iEDM: I'm not much of a numbers. I don't do math. However, the numbers don't fly. DJ Mag is a source that industry people keep track of. You ranked really high in 2017. It says a lot about you, and your artistic choices. When hearing that kind of announcement, what was going on in your life?
Alan Walker: It happened when I was in Amsterdam for ADE. That's usually when DJ Mag makes the announcement for their top list. I got the news the day before they announced it. My management surprised me with it. I was like, "Nah. You guys have got to be kidding me." I didn't believe it at first. The year before, I was ranked at #55. I went from #55 to #17. That was really weird. I am so thankful. I never, ever saw it coming.
iEDM: That kind of jump deserves a lot of respect. It shows the hard work you put into building your special section in the EDM community. Speaking of numbers, I know those YouTube views are also going up. The last time I checked, you got something around 50 million views. Talk about momentum. Is there a particular method as to how you work your creative process?
Alan Walker: My team and I have managed to create our own world. It's a place where fans can truly connect to. My fans are so dedicated, where everything becomes one big "Walker bubble," basically. It's incredible, but it also requires a lot of work. No matter where things go, people are always welcome in my world.
iEDM: It comes back to the idea of being inclusive. Not everyone is like you, man. Before we go, I'll let you have one more moment to to tell your fans something. The floor is all yours.
Alan Walker: Thank you guys for all of your love and support. The past year has been outstanding. I really want to thank every fan, follower, and supporter. They made an impact on my life, and I hope I made an impact on their lives as well. I'm really looking forward on continuing this journey with everyone. The journey has barely just begun.
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