SINGAPORE – British-Norwegian DJ Alan Walker’s favourite memory of Singapore is a surprising one.
“I’ve been to the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix two or three times, and one of my best memories of Singapore is being up in one of the buildings and looking down on the race. I thought I was looking down at remote-controlled toy cars, it was so crazy,” he says with a laugh during a Zoom interview on Monday.
Unfortunately, he will be missing out on this year’s race, which takes place from Sept 30 to Oct 2, as he will be busy jet-setting around the world for his WalkerVerse tour.
It kicks off right here in Singapore this Friday, with the 25-year-old electronic dance music star – best known for his 2015 hit Faded – showcasing his record Walkerverse Pt. 1 at Marina Bay Sands Expo.
The extended play, which was released in June, was mostly produced during the pandemic – a circumstance which Walker says led to “different journeys” for each song, since he was not able to meet his various collaborators.
“But it also meant I had opportunities to explore different techniques and ways of mixing music. So it’s an experimental album, with some orchestral elements and more upbeat moments,” he says.
These upbeat moments come through loud and clear in tracks like The Drum, which Walker says is probably the one that has surprised people the most.
“It’s a little bit more uptempo than most of my other songs, but it’s one of my favourites – I wanted to make a hands-up techno song, but modernised, and I think it worked well.”
Though Faded remains one of the most-watched videos on YouTube of all time, currently holding the 22nd spot in the platform’s overall ranking with 3.3 billion views, Walker does not allow himself to think about its success when making new music.
“I can’t make that comparison, especially since it was an unintentional hit. My singular focus is to make melodies that are catchy and that imprint themselves in the listener’s mind. And I’d say that my music production has developed well in the years since I started, where I can now better convey what I want in a song,” says Walker, who kicked off his career in 2012 at the age of 15 as a bedroom producer.
He adds that his Singapore gig on Friday will deliver an immersive theatrical experience for revellers to enjoy these songs in the best way possible.
“We’ve used stage design, lighting and visuals to execute the music in a unique way; to hopefully give the audience the ultimate ‘Alan Walker experience’.”
He is otherwise tight-lipped about what else fans can expect, but the mystery is very much a part of Walker’s image. Indeed, he keeps his signature hoodie and mask firmly in place for our entire conversation.
Nevertheless, he is effusive about returning to Singapore, having last performed here in 2019 for a showcase at Marquee at Marina Bay Sands.
He says: “It’s one of my favourite places to travel to, just as a tourist. I love the architecture – it just feels so futuristic. And I’ve always felt warmly welcomed there, so I am excited to come back. The Singapore crowd always has a good energy.”