Saturday Night Session 022: Alok reveals his own record label is coming and gives fans a look into growing up with DJs as parents
Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.
Many artists tout the cliché that ‘music is in their blood.’ Few artists can actually claim this as fact, and Brazilian DJ and producer Alok is among the few. Alok Achkar Peres Petrillo was born in Goiânia, Brazil to DJs, Ekanta and Swarup. His parents are pioneers of psytrance in the country, and creators of the Universo Paralello, an electronic music festival. As Petrillo puts it, ‘his video game was a pair of decks as an 11-year-old,’ and growing up with the music has made it only natural for he and his twin brother Bhaksar to pursue careers as DJs and music producers. For those who do not know, breakout hit “Fuego” is a collaboration between the Petrillo twins.
Petrillo is now a globally renowned act, and he is truly one of the first current global powerhouses in electronic music to come from Brazil. The country itself has a vibrant electronic music scene, and Petrillo explains that there are many artists from the market on the horizon who have the potential to be as widely recognized as he is in the years to come.
When asked what it is like to be a breakout artist from Brazil, Petrillo states, “It does feel like I am still coming to terms with the reality at times. Although I feel that there is still a lot to be done and achieved, many other Brazilian artists are also progressively gaining recognition and admiration around the globe.”
Petrillo teamed up with Quintino for his latest release titled “Party Never Ends,” and according to him, this is the first of many forthcoming collaborations fans will be able to expect from him for the remainder of the year. “Party Never Ends” is geared towards live performance with its bouncing synths and catchy whistling, which is infused with the production backdrop. The kicking beat takes the listener on an energetic journey with builds culminating in dance-inducing releases, keeping the production true to Petrillo’s signature style.
Petrillo describes his goal for the release, stating, “It’s the type of track that makes people want to let go of their worries and dance. Life should always be a never-ending party. Happiness is healthy, and partying makes people happy. The goal of this song is to put listeners in a party mood forever.”
One promise Petrillo makes about the year to come is, “There are a lot of amazing collabs and productions going on at the moment with very prominent artists and singers, but I can’t give much away. The secret is part of the surprise.”
He will also be launching his own record label, Controversia, and his first release on the imprint is set to come out at the end of June. Petrillo will be putting out the official remake of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” called “The Wall.” While remixing Pink Floyd may seem surprising, few realize that the group has been one of Petrillo’s largest musical influences to date in addition to The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.
Petrillo’s Saturday Night Session is a good representation of what fan’s hear when they see the producer perform live, and it’s a great start to a big Saturday night. As Petrillo puts it, “Saturday night is always magic, so I prepared a set to let the party never end. I like to cross over styles and this is the kind of set I play during my shows. Fun, energetic, and exciting enough to fully charge your energy. Alone or with friends, at home or out, I hope you enjoy this Saturday Night Session prepared especially for you. Have fun!”
You have really been a breakout artist from Brazil when it comes to being globally recognized. How does it feel?
It does feel like I am still coming to terms with the reality at times. Although I feel that there is still a lot to be done and achieved, many other Brazilian artists are also progressively gaining recognition and admiration around the globe.
We know your entire family has been immersed in electronic music for your entire life. What was this like growing up?
Let me put it this way: my video game was a pair of decks when I was about 11 years old. Since then, my entire existence – as well as my twin brother Bhaskar and both of my parents Ekanta and Swarup who are DJs – has spun around music. It was quite natural, and I bet it was much easier for me back then to get in touch with electronic music, CDJs, mixers and parties as my whole family has always been deeply involved in this universe.
Who were some of your biggest influences growing up? Which artists are currently inspiring you?
Without a doubt: Pink Floyd, Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers with their unique style and electronic and psychedelic influences that they have given the world.
What can we expect from you in the coming year – more new music? Tours?
We have crossed the 4 corners of the planet in half a year. For the rest of this year and most of next, we are looking pretty busy tour wise. Next month I’ll be playing in Los Angeles, Mexico, Ibiza, and then at the end of July, I’ll fire up Tomorrowland in Belgium. I’m so excited.
I’ve already made some truly international collaborations this year, including Conor Maynard and Timmy Trumpet, plus I teamed up with Felix Jaehn and The Vamps. There are a lot of amazing collabs and productions going on at the moment with very prominent artists and singers, but I can´t give much away. The secret is part of the surprise.
What I can say is that I’m very happy to announce my new own label Controversia. It’ll be launching at the end of June and the first release on the label will be my official remake of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ called ‘The Wall’.
Can you tell us more about your song “Party Never Ends?”
It’s the type of track that makes people want to let go of their worries and dance. Life should always be a never-ending party. Happiness is healthy, and partying makes people happy. The goal of this song is to put listeners in a party mood forever.
A lot of our readers are based in North America. What is the Brazilian market like in terms of music, festival, and club scene compared to say, the U.S.?
When it comes to electronic and pop music in North America and Brazil, both markets have grown exponentially over the last 3 years in my opinion. Even the more underground artists have reached places that they never imagined before. I have seen a video of Fisher playing for thousands and thousands of people at Coachella. For a tech house artist, that is something so surreal to happen. The same thing is happening in Brazil where we have artists getting to play their music at places that were considered “impossible to play” before.
What are your hobbies when you aren’t producing music?
Most of the time when I’m not producing, I’m doing something related to music. I like to listen and search for new songs. It’s so important for me, as an artist, to be involved in different kinds of styles and genres. Besides that, my biggest hobbies are: working out, keeping a healthy lifestyle, reading, and spending time with my lovely wife and family.
What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listener’s ready for?
Saturday night is always magic, so I prepared a set to let the party never end. I like to cross over styles, and this is the kind of set I play during my shows. Fun, energetic, and exciting enough to fully charge your energy. Alone or with friends, at home or out, I hope you enjoy this Saturday Night Session prepared especially for you. Have fun!