DJ Mag has just been sent the after-movie for Ultra South Africa. The event may have occurred earlier this year in February, but the production values on the video indicate why it has taken a while to finish.
Headliners such as Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Alesso, Krewella and South Africa's own Goldfish are all interviewed in the seven-minute film, but it's most notable for its stylish slo-mo footage of festival-goers and for capturing the rush of a big EDM event at ground level.
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.
DJ style: EDM
Alessandro Lindlad — better known to his 3 million-strong fanbase as Alesso — is no stranger to the Top 100 DJs poll, having made his first appearance back in 2011. It looks as though the Swedish superstar hasn’t slowed the pace since then, with a back-catalogue of hit singles that repeatedly top the charts.
His first chart-topper was the major collaboration ‘Under Control’ with Calvin Harris, and last year’s ‘Let Me Go’ with Hailee Steinfeld and Watt dented the lower reaches of the charts. Right now his summer single ‘Remedy’, featuring the vocals of British singer Conor Maynard, is still doing the rounds. This year he’s been once again gigging across the USA and Canada relentlessly, including a string of shows at the Hollywood Palladium, Ushuaa and Pacha in Ibiza, not to mention pit-stops at Daer Nightclub in Atlantic City, Echostage in Washington and Marquee in New York. The hitmaker’s story continues...
Words: ANNA WALL
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.