From: “Northampton, UK. Grew up in Bergen, Norway and currently live in airports.”
DJ style: “My sets fill the full range from 88bpm to 128bpm and can be described as both hard and quite laid-back, depending on when you join the crowd.
Best known for: “My debut single ‘Faded’. After ‘Faded’ I released ‘Sing Me To Sleep’ just before the summer, and am currently working on releasing my next single, ‘Alone’.”
What’s the next big track? “It's difficult, but I really like Armin van Buuren’s latest track ‘The Race’, which he released not too long ago.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “The Norwegian producer duo Seeb have had one of the biggest breakthroughs this year, especially with their remix of Coldplay’s ‘Hymn For The Weekend’ and Mike Posner’s ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’.”
Despite only having been released properly last year, 19-year-old Alan Walker's track ‘Faded’ has amassed an astonishing 680 million views online (and nearly a billion streams across all platforms), a rise to prominence that could only happen thanks to the manner in which we now consume music. Some further stats: he now has two million subscribers on YouTube (known as 'Walkers'), 615,000 followers on Facebook and 203,000 on Instagram.
Once ‘Faded’ was released officially, it sold 3.8 million copies, topping the singles chart in 10 countries and going double platinum all over the place (not to mention eight times platinum in neighbouring Sweden). Success is his to lose in an environment with so many eyeballs on him, but he shows no sign whatsoever of dropping the ball. He's supported Rihanna on tour, and was personally invited to join Tiesto during his headline slot at Tomorrowland over the summer. He remixed Coldplay this year too (the track 'Hymn For The Weekend'), as well as Sia, while his 'Walker' tour took in 15 countries. The phrase 'meteoric rise' barely does him justice. Watch him fly. BEN ARNOLD
What have been the new frontiers for you this year? “To be able and have the privilege to perform my music in front of thousands of people, and going on tour for the first time. From Tomorrowland and going all the way to China, my personal encounter with the fans has been nothing less than amazing.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form? “It’s undoubtedly headed in the right direction at least. What people are looking for in art is new experiences and feelings, whether it’s provoking you or making you happy.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why? “So far I've sworn loyalty to my favourite production software FL
Studio for music production, and to Nexus for live DJing. However, there’s a lot of new technology out there, and people are making huge progress and creating new tools for us to play around with.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be? “I would probably have switched to something like future house, or try my luck in movie soundtracks.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ? “As a fan, I would probably have paid anything to see myself performing at a festival. Ha! But in my perfect world, everything would be free for everyone.
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events? “From the artist point of view, I think it is important to do your best to be a good role model and set a good example for others to follow.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music? “Always do our best to encourage and inspire anyone and everyone that wants to create music.”