Alok Petrillo, better known as Alok, achieved pop-artist fame with his Brazilian bass-infused hits “Hear Me Now” and “Never Let Me Go.” But the Brazilian EDM star is not ready to leave his dance club audience behind just yet.
Alok is releasing a new version of Pink Floyd’s iconic “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II).” The dancey remix, a collaboration with Los Angeles producer Sevenn and simply called “The Wall,” drops Friday. Listen to Billboard‘s exclusive premiere of the track below. The song coincides with the launch of Alok’s new imprint, CONTROVERSIA (“controversy”), which, the DJ told Billboard, is intended to maintain “a bridge to the electronic scene.”
“The Wall” is the latest version of the Pink Floyd classic, which spent 25 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 1 for three weeks in 1980. Other versions were previously released by Korn, Snatch and electronic producer Eric Prydz. The most recent, Prydz’s “Proper Education,” reached No. 1 for two weeks on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart in February 2007, and No. 29 on Dance Club Songs.
For his version, which is an official remake, Alok secured full release rights to use the original sample in his new composition and got official approval from Roger Waters himself on the publishing side, according to a spokesperson for the DJ.
“This song is timeless, it never gets old,” Alok said of Waters’ composition. “I love the hook. It makes people get nuts [on the dance floor].”
Alok added another personal flourish to the track by hiring a producer in the U.K. to record a group of British schoolkids singing the iconic line, “We don’t need no education…”
“The Wall” is Alok’s second collaboration with Sevenn, who previously worked with Alok on “BYOB,” the track that drew initial interest from Dutch indie label Spinnin’ Records, an arm of Warner Music Group.
On Saturday he plans to release a video of “The Wall” directed by Steve Cutts, a renowed U.K. video illustrator who created the 2016 video for Moby’s “Are You Lost in the World Like Me?,” which portends a lonely future for a smartphone-obsessed mankind.
Alok, 27, is the son of two Brazilian psy-trance DJs who founded the Universo Paralello festival in northern Brazil. He has been making international waves since linking with Spinnin’ on “Hear Me Now,” a 2016 collaboration with Bruno Martini and Zeeba that reached No. 20 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, with 44.2 million on-demand streams in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.
Spinnin’, the 20-year-old label that specializes in electronic music, also developed EDM superstar Martin Garrix, who began as a teenager. Warner acquired the label in 2017 for more than $100 million, according to Music Business Worldwide.
Alok tells Billboard that his own push into the pop world left him concerned that he would lose relevance in the club world.
“I am free to do what I think is cool to do, but I am also a DJ,” Alok says. “I wanted to create this label to keep a connection with the electronic scene. Once I become pop, even the label doesn’t want to release the club songs; they want the pop songs.”
He plans to follow “The Wall” with a track with Rehab on CONTROVERSIA and says he is also talking with The Chainsmokers, Tiësto and Steve Aoki about possible collaborations.
CONTROVERSIA will be licensed by Spinnin’ for global electronic tracks under a one-year deal, Alok says. The new label comes as Alok is gaining notice in the U.S. and overseas. He recently passed one billion streams on Spotify and has 8.6 million monthly Spotify listeners. He recently released a collaboration with Aoki, “Do It Again,” as an homage to The Chemical Brothers and their classic hit of the same name.
After a busy touring schedule in Brazil, in July Alok is headed to spin at TomorrowWorld in Belgium and then to Ibiza to do shows at Ushuaia Ibiza and, for the first time, at Amnesia.