Meet 20-year-old music sensation, DJ, and producer Alan Walker. Alan was still in high school when his song “Faded” took the world by storm. His hits have generated almost 4.5 billion views on YouTube and hundreds of millions of Spotify plays. Asia Pop 40’s host Dom Lau sat down with Alan to discuss his single “Alone” and the comfort his music brings to people.
Dom Lau: “Alone” is a great tune! I really enjoyed the video as well, but we’ll get to that in a second. Can you tell us a little more about the single?
Alan Walker: It’s a song that I started with my vocalist Noonie Bao. So we just started writing the top line and the melodies and everything, and soon everything came together. And also we managed to get the message of “you’re not alone, we’re all together, we’re all equal” into the song. I think people really appreciate that message. People keep sending messages about how for example, “Alone” has really helped them and some have felt it has helped them emotionally.
DL: That’s awesome, and I actually felt that message when watching the video on YouTube, because there’s people you can tell, even from behind the masks and everything, but there’s people from all different walks of life, and right at the end you can see all their faces too. So, that’s a really great message. Speaking of the video – it got over 25 million views in just over a few short days [and is now over 692 million]. Does that blow your mind? I struggle to get even one view if I post a video on YouTube.
AW: It is pretty cool. Just thinking back, [I used to get] around 100 views. And now it’s just mindblowing to see how many people I can reach out to in such a short time, and I really appreciate it. It’s so fantastic to be part of such a journey.
DL: It’s great. I mean I love the tunes, the melodies, the beats. The videos are beautifully shot as well, but it’s great that there’s a message behind your music as well.
AW: Yeah, and I think it’s really important to create, for example something melancholic, that also gives people some resemblance of their feelings, whether it’s sad or happy. It can really have a big effect on your mood.
DL: What do you love about music?
AW: It’s mainly the melodies. I think that when you can express yourself through music, and create something that’s calm, [that] can help you.
DL: Yeah, very emotive. So I’m in Hong Kong right now, and “Sing me to Sleep”, I love it! I love the video. You have to understand that when I’m watching videos and I see Hong Kong in the background, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. So what was it like to shoot that video in Hong Kong? It looks amazing – why did you choose this location?
AW: With all the music videos, we wanted to make it somewhat like a TV series – having a story to tell; it’s continuing with each music video. In “Faded”, we recorded the music video in Thailand and Estonia. It showed people things that they maybe did not expect – like a hidden, or forgotten city, lost in a war. And in “Sing me to Sleep”, we wanted to show people another different aspect of the world – show people a brand new culture, and give people a look into how life is like in, for example, China. So I think Hong Kong was the right decision, the right city to record in because it’s a beautiful city, with many colors and has a powerful culture.
DL: So what has been your favorite part of Asia so far? The people? The food? The nightlife? What has been a highlight for you?
AW: I think everything – the people, the venues. It’s just been so fun performing around Asia. I have formed very personal relationships with all my fans and followers in Asia.
DL: One last thing: do you have a message for your fans in Asia right now?
AW: Thank you so much for all your love and support. I really appreciate it. I’m looking forward to releasing more music. And I hope to meet you all soon.
In just three years, Alan Walker has taken the world by storm. He is one of few musicians that has surpassed one billion plays on YouTube. But more importantly, by blending happy, energetic beats and harmonic, sentimental melodies, the young artist and DJ has created a unique brand of music, inspiring a whole generation.
Asia Pop 40 is the first regional weekly chart countdown radio show produced in Asia specifically for Asian radio. Each week Asia Pop 40 counts down the most popular downloads on iTunes across Asia, showcasing iTunes charts from multiple markets to produce a pan-regional radio program.