Watch Alesso Talk Anitta, Poo Bear & The Latin Explosion
Alesso stopped by the Billboard Dance office to catch up with editor Matt Medved, and it turns out he had a lot to share.
He opened up about his recent performance of his hit single "Let Me Go" at the American Music Awards, alongside collaborators Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line and Watt. He also spoke on the exotic music video for his latest single "Is That For Me" featuring Brazilian superstar Anitta. The clip was filmed on location in the Amazon rainforest, which was all Anitta's idea, and Alesso saw it as an exercise in collaborative trust.
"I got really scared, because I'm from the city," he says. "I've never been into a forest. I thought it was going to be alligators everywhere - which it kind of was, alligators and mosquitos, but it turned out great. It's great to show that part of the world, what still exists, and it's also a big tribute to Brazil."
Of course, that led to a discussion about the current Latin explosion in pop music worldwide and the dancehall, reggae blend so popular in modern dance music. Alesso said it reminds him of the late '90s when Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin and J.Lo first hit their peak.
"I enjoy it as much as everyone else," he says. "I think the music we put out today is diverse, and I think the goal also is to try to do the unexpected ... I'll definitely explore more of that world, and as long as people are listening, it makes me happy."
He's currently experimenting with more urban sounds outside of his usual four-on-the-floor rhythms, but don't expect anything close to Post Malone's chart-topping "Rockstar" anytime soon. He is, however, very inspired to focus more on his lyrical content, thanks to a recent stream of studio sessions with Justin Bieber songwriter and Skrillex collaborator Poo Bear.
"He makes it look so easy," he laughs, "but its really amazing to work with him and how he just shows how you connect with people's emotions through lyrics."
Watch Alesso and Medved talk the magic of Michael Jackson, Grammy nominations and Alesso's own evolution from a big-room festival drop killer to the genre-blending pop powerhouse he's becoming today.