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Poll 2019: Alok

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“Well, 2019 started for me with my wedding with my beautiful and beloved wife Romana,” explains Alok when DJ Mag asks how the last 12 months have been — congratulations! From then on it was all go for South America’s highest-ranking DJ; over the course of what he describes as a “very intense but productive year [for] me and my crew”, Alok played shows such as Rock In Rio, Tomorrowland, DJ Mag’s Miami pool party, and performed for an “unimaginable crowd” in Japan. One particular highlight, he says, was a “remarkable stopover at Burning Man where we spent a few days experiencing the unknown and unseen” — very mysterious! 

Alok explains he’s used his extensive touring time to develop his performance to the benefit of both the crowd and himself. And to top it all off: “We found out that we were expecting a baby and he will be due in January. So much information and feelings combined, it all made my year of 2019 more than priceless and unforgettable so far.” We believe another congratulation is in order...

 

Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?

“Yes, and a very good piece of advice is: pay your debts while you can and ask for your rights while you can too. There are several rules that apply when [talking about] royalty. And the more we sell music, the more we owe to someone or the more we are owed by someone.” 

What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“First of all, you need to know how to distinguish what is lifestyle and profession. Being a DJ as a profession is often linked to lifestyle with endless, unmissable and incredible parties. Being aware that this can wear your mind and body apart from all [the] travelling can contribute to a healthier profession.” 

Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?

“Absolutely! I think the whole world is asking now for more equality in all possible areas and fields, not only connected to music but overall globally. I would even go beyond in saying that the current and next hypes will probably be the female headliners that are taking over the scene, especially the underground one. That is very powerful and beautiful to see and witness.” 

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“I have been sort of going vegetarian for a while now, but in 2019 I have become more conscious about food and the environment. It is a choice and for some a daily sacrifice, but each of us must do something within our powers to contribute more to the planet we live on.” 

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“I know it will sound cliché but trust me… it was a pair of CDJs that my parents had back then.” 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“Pre-workout powder [laughs]. Coffee.” 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-16 11:24

Style: 
“Pop.”
Best known for: 
“‘Vale Vale’, ‘Hear Me Now’, ‘Fuego’.”
Tune of the year: 
“Lee Foss ‘Crawl (CamelPhat Remix)’.”

Poll 2018: Alok

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From: Brazil
DJ style: “POP.”
Best known for: “‘Favela’, ‘BYOB’, ‘Hear Me Now’, ‘Fuego’, ‘Never Let Me Go’, ‘Me & You’, ‘Ocean’.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Fisher ‘Losing It’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Vini Vici.”

Whether he’s opening his heart and getting all emotional on massive mid-tempo pop-sprinkled chartlets like ‘I Miss U’, laying down thick Brazilian bass mutants with his mates Vini Vici and Armin van Buuren, or travelling the world playing to some of the largest crowds of his career so far, one thing is certain: Alok has been having a blast this year.

“This year I have travelled and worked a lot at a very insane and crazy pace,” explains the young DJ, who’s now enjoying his fourth consecutive year in the Top 100 — jumping up to an impressive No.13. “I toured in Asia, North America, Europe and South America in surreal and amazingly remarkable festivals and events.”

But don’t worry if you’re concerned he’s over-working himself; just like all the wisest DJs this year, Alok’s paying attention to his wellness and those close to his heart. Echoing his dewy-eyed lyrics and feels on pivotal 2018 tracks of his such as ‘Bella Ciao’ or the massive ‘Ocean’, Alok is every bit the sensitive, caring soul his music suggests. “I always make sure I come home and give my family and fiancé some time, attention and love,” he explains. “It is crucial.”

Words: DAVE JENKINS

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-12 11:10

Poll 2015: Alok

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Alok is a poster boy for Brazil's love of deep mid-tempo forms of house and techno — albeit with a pop twist. It's a subcultural penchant often outshone by the garish lights of EDM. 

Son of the founders of Universo Paralello, a huge dance festival set within the Brazilian mountains 15 years ago, electronic music exists in Alok's DNA. And in 2015, there's a sense his life-long aspirations are finally getting fulfilled. A main stage set at TomorrowWorld (US) and sets at festivals in Germany, Las Vegas and Portugal reflect a DJ taking things global, while his record label Up Club is helping to cultivate local talent. He has Alok to offer! (Sorry...)

Questions Top100 DJs 2015 - Jon Dommett - 2015-11-16 10:36

Style: 
“Techno/electro/deep.”
Best known for: 
“Brazilian mid-range bass techno (new design).”
Tune of the year: 
“Alok & Dazzo 'Winter Play feat. Ellie Ka'.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2015: 
“Jeremy Olander.”
What’s the most important skill a DJ should have?: 
“To be able to read the dancefloor and be in sync with the crowd’s flow.”
Is the future still bright for EDM?: 
“Electronic music is full of surprises these days... it’s a very unpredictable area and the market is fed up with repetitive and tiring formulas.”
Does the constant travelling and DJ lifestyle ever take its toll on you mentally?: 
“Long flights, delays, being everywhere but never being able to be home makes me really tired and sometimes physically and mentally drained. However, all the effort becomes worth it when you’re out there doing what you love.”
What cause is closest to your heart?: 
“Giving and caring for the universe is something that not only makes us receive back and learn, but also allows us to achieve knowledge and wisdom.”
Which club would you like to bring back from the dead?: 
“There was this club called Fiction, located in Goiania, in my hometown. I played since the first days until its end. It would be great to re-live those moments.”
Why aren’t there more women in the Top 100 DJs poll?: 
“There are a lot of great and remarkable female DJs/producers out there. Every year they seem to get better at what they do. It is just a matter of time.”
What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?: 
“I think that it is the same as lying to yourself... and one day or another the truth comes out. We should never outsource our dreams!”