Wonderland talks to superstar DJ, Alesso, about his brand new single ‘Hereos (We Could Be) ft. Tove Lo’, the video for which is world premiered on Wonderland today
With over 2.75 million Facebook likes, 600,000 Instagram followers, and 1 million Twitter followers, plus more than 100 million combined YouTube views, 23-year old Alesso is making the transition from dance floor hero to hard hitting house-hold name heavyweight. And when his fans and collaborators include dance/electronic music luminaries Sebastian Ingrosso, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Calvin Harris, OneRepublic, and influential BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong, it’s no surprise why.
Alesso was still in his teens when he was first mentored by Ingrosso, who then signed him to his management company and record label in 2012. Since then after playing for sold-out crowds all over the world, including a Las Vegas residency, Coachella, Electric Daisy and Ultra, Alesso’s millions of fans around the world, ardent followers of his many single releases since 2012 (and remixes since 2010), are thrilled to hear he is working on the completion of his debut album for Virgin EMI UK /Def Jam Recordings.
The Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Swedish DJ’s new single ‘Hereos (We Could Be) ft. Tove Lo’ is expected to smash the UK charts with over 3.5 million combined YouTube/Soundcloud plays ahead of its November 16th release. With the video for the aforementioned single world premiered on Wonderland today, Alesso talk’s to us about his current success, the new single, and his future plans…
Tell us about your first encounter with music…
I’ve always been in contact with music since I was born. I had a lot of music around me growing up. We always had the radio on in the car and there was always some music played back home in the background. I played the piano when I was younger, I took lessons for a short period of time. I even took dancing lessons for a while. I guess music has always been around me. But I think my real passion started when I decided to try to make music on my own.
So what did you listen to growing up?
I didn’t just listen to a specific genre. My interest for music was quite wide. It could be everything from pop, rock, hiphop, disco and later on dance music. An artist I listened a lot to was Michael Jackson. But it was everything from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lenny Kravitz to Coldplay and Keane.
What about growing up in Stockholm, how did that shape you as an artist?
Stockholm is where I grew up, it’s my home. This city has of course made a big impact of who I am today. But I had a wish to get somewhere, explore more of the world. Stockholm is becoming a more and more international city, but it is still a small city compared to the rest of the world. I knew there was more and I wanted to see that, experience it, and that hunger gave me a very working hard mentality. One thing I learned was that if I wanted to get somewhere I had to try to do my best everyday with no exceptions.
Tell us how you first become involved with Sebastian Ingrosso…
I met Sebastian about four years ago. His father always went to the same coffee place in Stockholm. I was able to give him a CD with some of my work on which he then gave to Sebastian. After he heard it he called me and asked if we could meet up and of course I said yes! He said he liked my work and that he saw talent in me and we started to talk about how we could go forward. And that, is in short, how we started to work with each other!
The rest is history! What about touring with Madonna, that must have been pretty surreal?
Madonna and her crew contacted my management and asked if I wanted to do a couple of shows with her and I said definitely. I thought that this would be something else, something new for me. It was her crowd so it would be different from what I was used to, and it was, it was a great challenge and a great experience. I love challenges, it makes you grow as a person, and to be able to spread my music to others that might not have heard of me is just a great opportunity that I had to take. And to meet a person who has had such a big career in music is very inspiring!
Aside from that what’s your most surreal moment to date?
It’s impossible just to pick one. All the fantastic moments I’ve been blessed to experience around the world are just incredible. I can for example mention my latest summer tour which has probably been the best summer of my life this far, and each year it just seems to be more amazing after another. This summer I experienced the massive crowd in Tokyo for the first time, the warm welcoming back home in Sweden at Bråvalla festival and one particular standout is my show at Tomorrowland with the overwhelming fireworks which just still gives me goosebumps when I think about it!
Having played at Tomorrowland, Coachella, Ultra and in so many cities across the globe, which is your favourite and why?
Again, it’s impossible to just pick one or a few. All the places I’ve been able to visit and the shows I’ve had the opportunity to do are all different. Each show, venue and crowd has its own identity and energy. And that makes them all special in their own way!
That’s so true. We’re loving ‘Heroes (we could be)’, how did the collaboration with Tove Lo come about?
Thank you! I first heard about Tove through the label I’m attached to. When I heard some of her work I instantly thought she had a huge talent, and I felt she had something genuine and unique. What she sang about in her songs was real and honest, and that is what I fell for. So I asked the label if they could connect us, and when they did we really hit it off and we found a great way to work with each other.
Tell us about the message behind the lyrics?
I believe that the best experiences in life are the ones you share with others. We wanted to write around that topic, when you feel a special bond with someone and can drop everything else to just be yourself together with that person. And especially to encourage one another, to push yourselves forward an appreciate each other’s.
Definitely! How does it feel being the first dance artist to sign to Def Jam?
I don’t know if I’m the first or not, but that doesn’t really matter. I’m just really happy and very excited to be a part of the Def Jam family!
You have such a huge following, particularly in the dance sphere, why is cracking the mainstream so important to you?
I believe music is meant to be shared. I want to share my music with so many as possible, so I use all the different channels that are out there and I think radio is still one of the biggest channels to share your music. For me it’s not important what is mainstream or not, and it doesn’t matter to me what people call the different genres or how they label music. When music speaks to me, no matter what type of music, I’m happy, and hopefully I can make my music speak to others too, and that’s what’s important to me.
A little birdy tells us you’ve been giving Zac Efron DJ lessons, is this true, tell us more…
I will be doing a small cameo in an upcoming movie in which Zac Efron stars in. He is portraying a DJ, so while I was there I taught him a few tricks!
Amazing! What else do you have coming up for 2014?
I will continue touring where I have some very exciting show coming up in the US, Australia and the UK among others! But besides that the biggest thing coming up, and probably one of the biggest moments in my career, is my debut album! This is a huge one for me and I’m more than excited to be able to share what I’ve been working very hard with for a long time now!
Where do you want to be in ten years’ time?
Hopefully I will still be doing what I love! I have hopefully evolved and grown both as an artist and as a producer. I work every day to challenge myself and grow as a person, and I hope I’m still blessed to be able to work with my passion.
We hope you are too!