Alan Walker (music producer)

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Alan Walker
Alan Walker in 2020
Alan Walker in 2020
Background information
Birth nameAlan Olav Walker
Also known asDJ Walkzz
Born (1997-08-24) 24 August 1997 (age 24)[1]
Northampton, England
OriginBergen, Norway
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments
Years active2012–present
Labels
Websitealanwalker.com
YouTube information
ChannelsAlan Walker
Years active2015–present
Genre
Subscribers40.5 million
Total views10.6 billion
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2016
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2016
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2017

Updated: 1 September 2021

Alan Olav Walker (born 24 August 1997) is a British-Norwegian DJ, YouTuber and record producer, primarily known for the critically acclaimed single "Faded", which had received platinum certifications internationally in 14 countries since its launch on 3 December 2015. He is the second son of Briton Philip, and Norwegian Hilde Omdal Walker. He had an early interest in computing and music, and though he had no formal education in either, he was able to learn them from online tutorials.

Walker's artistic style was shaped and inspired by EDM producers K-391 and Ahrix, and film composers such as Hans Zimmer and Steve Jablonsky. In 2016, Walker left high school to continue his career, and has since participated in many on-stage performances; notable songs excluding "Faded" included Sing Me to Sleep", Alone, Darkside, and Routine, which all attracted millions of views. In early 2017, Walker's channel emerged as the most subscribed YouTube channel registered in Norway, with then 4.5 million subscribers. He also had the most views of Norwegian creators with an approximate 7.7 billion views as of 25 January 2020.

Early life[edit]

Walker was born on 24 August 1997 in Northampton, England to Anglo-Scottish British Philip Alan Walker, and his Norwegian wife Hilde Omdal Walker. As a result, by his international parental inheritance, he was granted dual citizenship from both the United Kingdom and Norway.[3][4][5] He grew up with two siblings, an elder sister named Camilla, who was also born in England; and a younger brother named Andreas, who was born in Norway. At the age of two, along with his family, he moved to Bergen, Norway.[2][6] Walker later found interest in computers, a hobby which has driven him deeper to computing graphical design, and musical programming. He initially had no musical background, but was able to teach himself by watching YouTube tutorials based on musical production.[7][8]

Career[edit]

2012–2016: Career beginnings and breakthrough[edit]

In 2012, Walker was listening to a song by Italian DJ David Whistle (also known as DJ Ness) and reached out to him to find out how he produced his music. He was inspired by EDM producers K-391 and Ahrix, and by film composers like Hans Zimmer and Steve Jablonsky.[9] He started producing his music on his laptop using FL Studio. In July 2012, with the help and feedback from his fans online, he began pursuing his music production career and slowly began posting his music to YouTube and SoundCloud. Starting as a bedroom producer, he was better known as DJ Walkzz before signing a record deal and releasing his debut single in 2014.

Walker released the track "Fade" on 17 August 2014.[10] The track gained attention after its re-release via the record label NoCopyrightSounds on 19 November 2014.[11] Walker stated that the creation of the track was inspired by K-391 and Ahrix, whose tracks were also picked up by the record label. The track has over 400 million views on YouTube,[12] 115 million plays on Spotify,[13] and 41 million streams on SoundCloud.[14] The tracks "Spectre" and "Force" followed in 2015.

Walker signed with MER Musikk under Sony Music Sweden and released his next single, "Faded", a remastered vocal version of "Fade". It was released on 8 December 2015 and featured uncredited Naustdal pop singer Iselin Solheim.[15] The single topped the year-end charts in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, iTunes charts in 33 countries, as well as entering top 10 in Spotify Global Chart. The music video on YouTube has over 3 billion views and 18 million likes,[16] placing it among the top 10 most liked YouTube videos. It has over 1.1 billion plays on Spotify,[17] and is also one of the Top 10 Most Shazamed tracks of 2016.[18] The single also received official remixes from Tiësto,[19] Dash Berlin, and Hardwell. He later released an acoustic "restrung" version of the song, with all the EDM elements taken out.[20]

2016 Stavernfestivalen Stavernfestivalen performance in Norway.
Stavernfestivalen festival held by Walker in Norway 2016, an example of many of his performances.

Walker quit high school in January to pursue his music career.[21] On 27 February, Walker made his performance debut at the Winter X Games in Oslo, where he performed 15 tracks including the song "Faded" together with Iselin Solheim.[22][23] By March, Walker had produced 30 to 40 songs in total, but "Faded" marks his first single with Sony Music Sweden, and the first to achieve such global success.[18] On 7 April, Walker teamed up with Zara Larsson at the Echo Awards in Germany. Together they performed each other's songs "Faded" and "Never Forget You".[24] Four weeks previously, he achieved the first place on NRJ Euro Hot 30 for the first time, which only has been achieved by one other Norwegian artist, Kygo.[25]

The single "Sing Me to Sleep" was released on 3 June, featuring female vocalist Iselin Solheim, the same vocalist as in "Faded". The song topped iTunes charts in 7 countries. Its music video on YouTube has over 570 million views,[26] and it also reached 250 million plays on Spotify.[27] Another single titled "Alone" was also released on 2 December of that same year, incoperating uncredited Swedish singer Noonie Bao.[28] The music video on YouTube has over 1 billion views,[29] the track also gained over 390 million plays on Spotify.[30] The song was described as "the final piece of a trilogy consisting of 'Faded', 'Sing Me To Sleep' and 'Alone'" by Gunnar Greeve, Walker's manager and co-writer for the single.[31]

On 21 and 22 December, Walker held the concert "Alan Walker is Heading Home" in his hometown Bergen at USF Verftet, where he performed 16 songs and tracks together with Angelina Jordan, Marius Samuelsen, Alexandra Rotan, Yosef Wolde-Mariam, and Tove Styrke as singers.[32][33] The concert was officially live-streamed on YouTube.[34] He premiered several unreleased tracks, including a restrung version of "Sing Me to Sleep", as well as "Heading Home", the latter of which was first performed during his debut at Winter X Games. The song "The Spectre", a remastered version of his earlier track "Spectre", was also performed during the concert.

On 23 December, Walker released the video for the single "Routine", which premiered on his concert in Bergen two days earlier and on some concerts on the "Walker Tour". The track was made in collaboration with David Whistle. Its music video on YouTube has over 58 million views,[35] and 47 million plays on Spotify.[36]

2017–present: Different World, World of Walkers and other projects[edit]

At the beginning of 2017, Walker's YouTube channel became the most subscribed channel registered in Norway, after passing about 4.5 million subscribers, and had the most views among Norwegian YouTubers at around 7.7 billion views as of 25 January 2020.[37][2] Between February and April, he toured around America including attending the Euphoria Festival in Texas.[38] In 2019, Alan's music video ''Diamond Heart'' received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the Berlin Music Video Awards.[39] His music video for ''Heading Home'' featuring Ruben appears on the festival's 2021 Silver Screenings selection list.[40]

Artistic image[edit]

Walker was originally known as "DJ Walkzz" or "Walkzz" when he started out. He ended up using his real name, Alan Walker, as his artist name after signing up with a record label. He designed his logo in 2013, a symbol consisting of intertwined letters "A" and "W" which are the initials of his name. He uses a hoodie and face mask when he performs on stage. When asked why he uses a mask during an interview by NRK, he stated that "It is to keep a low profile while maintaining the mental image they have given me. I think it's pretty cool. A little twist that makes people ask themselves questions about who really is the person behind Alan Walker."[41] On an episode of his Unmasked series, he stated that "The mask is more of a sign and a symbol of unity and being alike each other, rather than me being different."[42][43]

Discography[edit]

Tour[edit]

Headlining

  • Walker Tour (2016–2018)
  • World of Walker Tour (2018)
  • Different World Tour (2018–2019)[44]
  • Aviation Tour (2019)

Supporting

Accolades[edit]

Walker was nominated upon a wide variety of accolades. He won most of them including Årets Musikk Music of the Year from Gullsnutten; Best Norwegian Act at MTV Europe Music Awards, European Border Breakers Award and Public Choice Award from EBBA Awards '17; Best New Talent at WDM Radio Awards and Swiss Music Awards; Eksportprisen '16 , The Export Prize '16 at Spellemannprisen and Music Norway; Best Norwegian Act from MTV Europe Music Awards; Best Breakthrough Artist as awarded by International Dance Music Awards; Best Norwegian Act by MTV Europe Music Awards; as well as Årets Spellemann Spellemann of the Year from Spellemannprisen '18. His song, "Faded" was awarded The Cannes Lions Award at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Best International Hit from Eska Music Awards, and Spellemannprisen '16's Årets Låt Song of the Year, and the Best Western Artist of the Year. At the NRJ Music Awards Norge, the song "Sing Me to Sleep" won the Årets Norske Låt Norwegian Song of the Year.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Litleskare, Tord (8 December 2017). "Feirer bursdagen i hjembyen med massivt show". gaffa.no (in Norwegian). GAFFA. Archived from the original on 11 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c DJ Mag Staff (11 March 2018). "Alan Walker talks fame, gaming and music-making". DJ Mag. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  3. ^ Crainex (6 April 2020). "Alan Walker (Music Producer)". The Indipu Diary. Archived from the original on 1 September 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Spellemannprisen Norway's foremost artists compete for the Spellemann Prizes" [Spellemannprisen Norway's foremost artists compete for the Spellemann Prizes.]. NRK. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ Walker, Alan. "Alan Walker: Unmasked (Episode 3)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  6. ^ Rolfsnes, May-Helen; Johansen, Even Norheim (9 November 2016). "Alan Walker droppar maska". NRK. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Alan Walker Essentials". Apple Music. Archived from the original on 1 September 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  8. ^ Walker, Alan (12 August 2016). "Alan Walker – Q&A #1". YouTube. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  9. ^ Walker, Alan (10 February 2016). "Alan Walker – Interview No. 1 (Behind The Scenes)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  10. ^ Walker, Alan (17 August 2014). "Alan Walker – Fade". YouTube. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Alan Walker – Fade [NCS Release]". YouTube. NoCopyrightSounds. 19 November 2014. Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
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  48. ^ Muipte sources

External links[edit]