Alan Walker: From Bedroom Producer to Official Sia Remixer

Rikkard Häggbom
Alan Walker

The story of Alan Walker reads like a bedroom producer’s daydream. At just 19 years old, the Norwegian producer has already achieved considerable international success, almost entirely off the back of his breakout single, “Faded.” The song struck gold in international markets, receiving Platinum certification in over 10 different countries. If that’s not enough, the single even received an official remix from Tiesto, who liked the song so much he made two versions.

For an aspiring bedroom producer, it’s essentially as well as things can go. To top if off, “Faded” recently surpassed 700 million plays on YouTube -- an impressive feat for an artist of any stature. “It’s absolutely crazy,” Walker says. “I never imagined anything near that amount of plays.”

Much of Alan Walker’s success has been predicated on his ability to harness digital streaming. Before “Faded,” for instance, there was “Fade” -- the single’s instrumental predecessor which arrived two years earlier on YouTube channel NoCopyrightSounds (NCS). An avid gamer, Walker sought out the indie platform as a way to distribute his music in royalty-free format to the gaming community. It proved a wise decision, as through NCS, Walker’s music soon found its way into countless gaming videos on YouTube, eventually catching the attention of Sony who signed and re-released the track as “Faded.”

While “Faded” has come to define the rampant spread of Walker’s music, it’s hardly his only worthwhile contribution to the dance world. In fact, in the time since, Alan has followed up with the equally infectious “Sing Me to Sleep,” which is making its own climb on the streaming ladder with over 100 million plays on YouTube since its release in April.

Now, continuing this momentum, Walker has been tapped for what is likely the biggest remix of his career: an official spin on Sia’s “Move Your Body.” Walker’s remix will be included on the Australian singer’s upcoming deluxe album This Is Acting, which is out today (Oct. 21).

For Walker, it’s a special moment: “Two years ago, I heard her voice and thought ‘whoa,’” he says. “It’s still weird to think that now I’m going to have a remix with her. I’m very thankful for that opportunity.”

More than just a career accolade, the remix presents an opportunity for Walker to showcase the deeper remits of his sound: “The remix is pretty cool because I’m usually working at a slower BPM,” he says. “This is a good opportunity to show that I also work with other genres and tempos, not just slower stuff.”

The result is one of the most upbeat offerings we’ve heard from Walker yet. The infectious four-to-the-floor number makes brilliant use of Sia’s vocals, reinterpreting the song for festival dancefloors and outdoor arenas. Yet, at the same time, the remix is distinctly Alan Walker, bearing all the sentimentality and candor that fans have come to love about his work.

If that’s not enough, Walker is already preparing for the release of his next, yet-to-be-announced original: “Right now we’re going to record the music video for my next single,” he says. “So hopefully that’s gonna come out in the next two months."

As to whether we’ll be seeing a full-length project from the producer in the near future, he says he’d prefer to stick to his current approach. “For the time being, I don’t really see the point of making an album,” he says. “Maybe in the future. For now, I think I’ll stick to just releasing singles.”