You’ve probably heard of Alesso. He’s the Swedish DJ and producer who’s been propelled to stardom over the past year with his fiendishly addictive brand of dance-inducing pop. His platinum certified track “Heroes” received plenty of radio (and club) play, as did floor-filling bangers like “Cool” and “Sweet Escape“. Which is to say nothing of the runaway success of his debut LP, Forever, that debuted Top 10 on iTunes in the UK and was met with widespread critical acclaim. He’s been mixing in our kind of circles too: we caught him at Calvin Klein’s pre-Coachella party a few weeks ago where he was getting the crowd sufficiently pumped for the festivities ahead. Not a bad start to a musical career, is it?
On top of all that he’s just dropped the video for his instantly likeable new single “I Wanna Know” featuring the vocal talents of Nico & Vinz. The short film, directed by Colin Tilley, tells the unusual unrequited love story of Alesso’s stuntman (played by real stuntman Wyatt Cornell) who yearns in vain for his co-star. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. So, plug in and read on as we talk new sounds, growing as a songwriter, and early career highlights with Alesso himself.
‘I Wanna Know’ is a change in sound for you, what was the thinking behind it and what were you hoping to achieve ?
I wanted to not be restricted by the BPM I am expected to make. This whole new album is about me growing. I hoped people would like it and its great to see they have. I’m still making versions that work for my shows, and there are multiple higher BPM tracks on the album but there is also a lot of slower pop songs and I’ve written or co written all the top lines. That was important to me – to grow as a producer and song writer and to write about what I go through as a 24 year old, keep it real, not send out tracks for toplines.
The video for the track is fantastic, there seems to be a clear narrative, talk us through it and what you wanted to say ?
I worked with Colin Tilley who was someone I admired since the Kendrick Lamar video he did. I want this whole project to feel like a movie and he came to me with the concept of a stunt man he’d seen the week before, not even given a trailer and wandering round the set covered in blood. I loved it. I didn’t want to play the lead role I wanted to make the best video I could and I wanted it also to have some irony in it that people conceive music to have other people behind it and in my case that’s not true, so I sort of wanted to play with that. Colin shoots in such an amazing way, its like a movie set and that’s something I wanted to come across in the video and my shows.
You’re now living in LA instead of Sweden, how do they compare and do you ever get homesick? Why did you feel you needed to move to L.A ?
I just wanted to take this time of my life to live somewhere new and experience all of that. The writers and producers live in LA I wanted to work with, and I wanted to make sure I evolved which required a change of scene. Even the view in my house inspired me. I Wanna Know was written gazing at the sunset.
You performed at the Calvin Klein pre-Coachella party last weekend – how was it, what was the highlight?
I love working with brands like that. Fashion inspires me and their take on a stage design was exciting for me. To play a warehouse was so dope.
The last year has been huge for you. What was your favourite moment?
I think handing in an album, getting it done at 23. And Coachella 2015. An absolute highlight, and headlining a sold out show at Globen in Sweden, my home town, 10000 fans, it was a dream come true honestly.
You’ve got lots of live dates coming up, including Creamfields, Radio 1 Big Weekend and T in the Park in the UK, what can we expect?
New music! I’m playing a set of almost entirely my own material…and that’s important to me.
What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
3rd album, movie scoring, developing new ways for people to see and listen to my sound. And involved in fashion in some way, the way music and fashion come together fascinates me.