Brazil’s dance scene is most famous for its clubs Green Valley, Warung, Sirena and D-Edge. Its homegrown DJs haven’t yet attained quite the same level of recognition (apart from drum & bass don Marky), though that’s changing in a big way with the unstoppable rise of Alok Petrillo, or simply Alok. The DJ from the capital Brasilia seemed to appear from nowhere in 2014, winning an award for best DJ in the Brazilian House DJ Magazine.
Last year, he shot straight into the Top 100 poll at No.44, surprising for any selector but especially an unknown. Yet Alok’s been honing his art since the age of 17, and has worked his way up to the tipping point — he’s rewarded with a big jump again this year.
Plying a very ‘now’ mixture of sleek, techy house and saccharine EDM melodies, he’s cleverly tapped into the prevailing stadium dance mood. That’s why in 2016, his rep has gone from big to massive.
“This year I definitely had a taste of what it is like to have your music travelling through the corners of the world,” Alok says. “In addition to that, I was blessed enough to play at several major festivals, and got signed to one of the biggest labels [Spinnin’]. Altogether, these happenings made my 2016 a very ‘lucid dream’ so far.”
Alok thinks that Brazil’s dance scene is big now, but is going to be huge for the country. “It has boomed exponentially over the last few years. The scene in Brazil is very hot right now, every year it grows bigger and better.” BEN MURPHY
What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
“I guess we can start with five tours in Asia, plus the contracts signed with [label] Spinnin’ Records and [managers] William Morris.”
Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art-form?
“The principle and the idea of electronic music are meant to be original and truthful. We must always respect that in a way that it will persist and prevail.”
What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology?
“Nowadays we have producers that play live on modular synths, and just a few years ago they needed a truck to carry what they carry in a back-pack these days.”
If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
“If I ever had to switch, I would go into something hard in a particular style or genre. Such as The Prodigy, Daft Punk or Kraftwerk.”
As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
“If I was a truthful and loyal fan, I believe I would pay whatever the cost — even if that meant saving money for months in order to attend his or her show.”
What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
“The most important aspect is to raise awareness instead of using repression.”
How can we increase diversity in dance music?
“By respecting the boundaries, differences and tastes within the electronic scene and events.”