Alesso discusses his year, ‘Calling,’ SHM, and more with us at Electric Zoo (Interview)
At only twenty years of age, Alesso is one of EDM’s youngest and brightest stars. The young Swede has put together quite a year and we got a chance to sit down with him at this year’s Electric Zoo to chat about his fast growing career, his relationship with Swedish House Mafia, and what new projects he has lined up.
Dancing Astronaut: Welcome to NY, how does it feel to be back?
Alesso: Thank you, thank you. I’ve had such a good time in New York so far.
DA: How would you describe the kind of year you have had in 2011? Alesso: Its been hectic, but its been so much fun. Everything has been going so fast. I mean, I started DJing 5 months ago. I’ve been producing for only 2 years.
DA: What got you into Electronic Dance music?
Alesso: I got in touch with electronic music about four years ago. When I was 16, one of my close friends gave me a CD and I was instantly hooked.
DA: What was on that CD?
Alesso: It was some Daft Punk, some early Swedish House Mafia stuff… very early stuff. It wasn’t many tracks either, only 5 or 6, but I was like “WOW” I need more.
DA: Sebastian Ingrosso is credited for having discovered you. How did you two first meet up?
Alesso: We met in Stockholm, about 9 months ago.
DA: Only 9 months ago?
Alesso: Yeah that recent. He heard some of my tracks, “Dynamite,” “Nillionaire,” & “Heiress of Valentina” and was like “Man I love your stuff. Do you want to do some shit together.”
DA: What was your reaction to Sebastian’s comments?
I was so shocked. We met in the studio the next day. It was that fast.
DA: How has it been touring with him?
He’s been very supportive. We’ve been connecting well with the crowd, the combination of me opening and Seb following. I think we put on a great show together.
DA: There’s a big announcement coming from Swedish House Mafia on September 23, 2011. There’s a lot of rumors going around, one in particular is that you are going to be added to the Swedish House Mafia. Is it true?
I can tell you now that isn’t the case. To be honest, I would never join Swedish House Mafia because that’s their thing. I want to do something else, my own thing. I love them. I love their music. They are a big influence to me, but that’s their thing.
DA: What about Ingresso? (Alesso + Ingrosso)
Ingresso? (Laughs) No, but that’s funny. Like I said, the news is not that. I won’t be joining them. I will still tour and do shows with them. DA: How important has he been in preparing you for the big stage?
He tells me what to expect and what I should think about, but he lets me do my own thing. So he’s not too involved. He’s been giving me great advice, you know, he’s been in this business for a long time.
DA: Your latest track ‘Calling’ has been a hit here at Electric Zoo? How would you describe the track?
I love the track. It has a little bit of my sound, obviously the slow down effect, and a little bit of Ingrosso.
DA: We noticed that the release specifically stated “Instrumental”. Can we expect a vocal mix anytime soon? Do you have a vocalist lined up?
Yes of course, but I can’t really tell you that yet.
DA: Well can you tell us whether its a male or female vocalist?
Ahhhhhh….It’s looking to be a female actually. (Laughs) So its going to be fun to see what people think.
DA: So just to confirm, it won’t be the “I Found You” Bootleg, which we love, that’s been circulating the web?
It won’t be that. That track had already be done. I saw some comments saying that, but it won’t. [The bootleg] is just in the same key, so it fits nicely.
DA: What is it about Swedish musicians? Across every genre it seems the Swedes (Swedish House Mafia & Avicii for electronic/dance, Peter Bjorn and John & The Hives for alternative/rock, Robyn & Lykke Li, for pop) produce some of the best music in their respective genres.
I get this question a lot actually. I don’t really know the answer. It could be the weather, you know, you have to find something to do. The winters are bad and the recent summers haven’t been great, so maybe it gives you a little bit more time to work on stuff, like music.
DA: What are your thoughts on the growth of EDM? Do you think its beginning to peak?
No, I don’t think it has peaked. I mean right now, its really starting to be big in the US.
DA: Its definitely hit the mainstream with pop artists reaching out to the likes of David Guetta and Afrojack for production. Do you think it has staying power?
Yeah, I think you can say its more or less like the electric guitar sound. When it first came to rock ‘n’ roll it was the new sound, but its stuck around for a long time now and is used in other genres. I still like to use that electric guitar in my tracks some times. So, I think EDM is still on the rise and can go even further. The thing about electronic dance music is it has so much energy. Nothing compares to it. There’s so much love, people are screaming and jumping the entire time during a live set. I want that. I want to scream and jump for the rest of my life.
DA: Last year when we interviewed Avicii and Thomas Gold they said you were the artist to watch out for in 2011. Who would you say is the next big artist to look out for?
Wow! That is a hard question. There are so many good producers coming out. I would say R3hab is really starting to break out. He’s a really good producer. Also my friend from Stockholm, Otto Knows, I’d probably put him there too. I don’t really have the time to look for new artists because I’m so new as well. Like I said, I’ve only been DJing for a few months and producing for a few years, but I would say those two.
DA: Any upcoming remixes, collaborations, or originals we should be on the look out for? I have a remix coming out within the next two weeks. Its a remix for DEVolution, a very vocal, melodic track. Emotional for sure.
DA: Are there any artists outside of dance music that you would like to work with?
Yeah there’s a lot. I would love to work with Keane, Adele, and Coldplay. There’s something about their music.
DA: Finally, what can we expect from Alesso in 2012?
I really don’t know. Hopefully many more shows. If you want to read about Alesso’s set at Electric Zoo and see how it all went down click here.