Alan Walker Breaks Down Debut Album 'Different World': Exclusive

Courtesy of Mer Recordings/RCA Records
Alan Walker

It's been three years since fans around the world fell in love with Alan Walker's breakout hit "Faded." The Norwegian producer spent that time deepening the roots of his creative universe, pushing his sound toward cinematic heights without losing the vocal-driven hooks that made him the star he has become. 

Today (Dec. 14), he celebrates his hard work by releasing his first full-length studio album. Different World turns bleating synth melodies into sing-alongs, melts warm Caribbean rhythms with hardstyle booms, and electrifies the dance floor as much as it aims for radio readiness. It's 15 tracks of previously-released singles and new goodies alike, defining Walker's world as it exists today.

We caught up with the 21-year-old DJ to get the full story on each track. Check out his breakdown below.

"Intro"

I wanted to begin the entire album with an instrumental piece that draws inspiration from film scores, as that has been an inspiration for me for a long time. I’m sure the listeners will hear that influence throughout the album, and especially in the interludes that follows later on the album. I think this intro sets the right mood for the album from the beginning, before heading to the first full song.

"Lost Control" Feat. Sorana

This is a track based on an idea that I [had] about a year ago. I think the theme of the song and its lyrics is something that a lot of people can relate to. As for the vocals, Sorana is a talented singer and songwriter who originally co-wrote the song as well. We decided to keep her on there, and I feel like there is something special about her vocals on this track that makes it stand out.

"I Don’t Wanna Go" Feat. Julie Bergan

Julie and I have known each other for quite some time, and we also collaborated on the first single of my good friend K-391, called “Ignite." Julie has also been on the road with me throughout the past year, and this collaboration was bound to happen. One of many talented singers and performers from Norway, and I’m very happy with how the result came out on this track.

"Lily" Feat. K-391, Emelie Hollow

This is my second collaboration with K-391, following “Ignite." Some fans may recognize the track from before, as it’s a demo K-391 had shared online before as well. The vocals on this tracks are by the amazing Emelie Hollow from Norway, and I’m really pleased with being able to showcase new talent on my album, that may not be familiar names for the audience.

"Lonely" Feat. Steve Aoki, ISÁK, Omar Noir

I hope to work more with [Steve Aoki] in the future as well. We’ve run into each other a bunch of times on the road, and he even took the time out to fly to Coachella to join me on stage. We premiered an early version of this track there as well. On the vocals, we have two amazing talents. The first one is Omar Noir, who is a rapper from my hometown of Bergen. The second one is Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen from the band ISÁK. Both [are] rising stars, and I also loved how they brought influences from West African music as well as traditional “joik” that is representative of the indigenous “Sami” people that partially live in Northern Norway.

"Do It All For You" Feat. Trevor Guthrie

This is a track that is based on a demo that I received quite some time ago, actually. It’s been with me for a while, but it was one of the last tracks to be finalized and added to the album. Great vocals from Canadian artist Trevor Guthrie.

"Different World" Feat. K-391, CORSAK, Sofia Carson

This is the title track from the album. I collaborated with K-391 and CORSAK, who is a Chinese artist and producer you should be on the lookout for. He is also worked with me in the studio on a couple more tracks on the album. This song is very special for me because of its important message, which is something I really wanted to shed some more light on through the release of this single and album, and through the video content to go along with it.

"Interlude" 

As people may have noticed, I wanted to divide my album into two sections, where the first part is mostly unreleased music, and the second part is primarily music that people have heard before. To bridge the gap between the two sections, I added this interlude. Some fans may also recognize this from an earlier version that I performed live at one of my shows.

"Sing Me To Sleep" Feat. Iselin Solheim

This is my second commercial single that was released about two and a half years ago. It features Iselin Solheim on vocals, who is also the voice on "Faded." Marshmello did a great remix to this track as well.

"All Falls Down" Feat. Digital Farm Animals, Noah Cyrus, Juliander

This is a collab with Digital Farm Animals, Noah Cyrus and Swedish singer Juliander. It was the first episode in the “World of Walker” trilogy that I started releasing about a year ago. Really happy to have worked with all of them on this track.

"Darkside" Feat. Au/Ra, Tomine Harket

The second installment of the “World Of Walker” trilogy, and one of the fan favorites on the album. The vocals are by Au/Ra and Tomine Harket, who really added another dimension to this track.

"Alone" Feat. Noonie Bao

This was the third commercial single, which recently passed its two-year anniversary. I love performing this track on my shows, and the reaction from the fans is always insane. Noonie Bao did a great job on the vocals and lyrics as well.

"Diamond Heart" Feat. Sophia Somajo

This track was the third and final episode of the “World Of Walker” trilogy, and it’s a track I premiered an early version of at Tomorrowland in 2017. Ever since, the fans have requested that I should release it, and I think it turned out great. The vocals and lyrics by Swedish singer Sophia Somajo are really something else.

"Faded" (Interlude)

Before rounding off the album, I wanted to add another interlude to lead into the final track, which is really special for me.

"Faded"

This is undoubtedly the track that most people associate me with, and it’s kind of crazy to think that it was released three years ago. I’m always asked what this track means to me, and the best way to describe is probably that it literally changed my life forever. These past three years have been absolutely incredible for me, and I never imagined the impact this single would have when I first released it when I was 18 years old. The best way to end the album, in my opinion.

Different World is out now on MER and RCA Records. Listen to it below.


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