At the end of last month, the following teaser video appeared online (below). Dramatically and artistically shot, it started off suggesting that some monumental event was going to befall London this summer — like a UFO landing, or something equally epic.
Hurtling into 2017 with the same energy, momentum and high-profile focus as he’s had in previous years, Alesso instantly kicked the year off with a massive vocal hit, ‘Falling’.
Always one to keep us on our toes, however, he followed it up with one of his heaviest dancefloor tracks: the grunting, shunting bass house bumper ‘Move It Like That’. A crowd-shaking heavily-demanded ‘ID’ at his headline showcases at the likes of EDC, Ultra and Tomorrowland, he gave it away for free earlier this summer as a way of saying thanks to his loyal fanbase, the champ.
In contrast to big weighty bass bruisers, the future is looking very interesting for the Swedish pop fusionist. A big announcement landed in September regarding him parting with Swedish House Mafia’s old management company for the Bieber-invested Shot Studios, who work with a host of pop singers and writers — including award-winning writer Poo Bear, who’s written for and with everyone from Chris Brown to Bieber himself.
They launched this new chapter with the belting tropical poplet ‘Let Me Go’ featuring Chainsmokers’ mate Hailee Steinfeld, a track that’s still building momentum as you read this. Packing a UK No.1 (with Calvin Harris) and a string of hits since he emerged in 2010, it looks like there’s plenty more airplay action and crossover electronic/pop blends from Alesso to come…
Alesso obviously puts as much time and effort into making EDM/pop tunes as he does his hair. However even his mentors — Steve Angello and the now-paired Ingrosso & Axwell — can claim to have half a foot in the past — within dance music's underground roots — while embracing pop modernity to move forward.
Perhaps it's an age thing, but for Alesso — considered the protege of Swedish House Mafia — it's about hits, plain and simple. His 2013 track with Calvin Harris 'Under Control', featuring Hurts, is a manufactured major label super-collab of Grand Canyon proportions, while anyone hoping for last year's 'Heroes (We Could Be)' to be influenced by Bowie's '77 anthem can think again. The only consolation for Bowie fans is that he didn't attempt to cover it.
Still, the numbers don't lie. With 3m+ followers on Facebook and almost 95m plays on YouTube for a single song, this guy is the modern face — and hair — of pop music. After refusing to answers Qs for the poll this year and no sign of a campaign, Alesso appears to have turned his back on dance culture in 2015. But, would you blame him? Pop hits are far more lucrative.
During January, Radio 1’s eternal Essential Mix dedicated four weeks of programming to their designated ‘future stars’ of 2014.