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Export Award: – A magician with melodies

By Julie Vold Posted: 19. May, 2017

Alan Walker is one of the nominees for this year’s Norwegian Music Export Award

hat a year for Alan Walker – by the end of 2016, his music had gone platinum in ten countries and he had managed to get several top positions on the hit charts in Germany, France, Spain and a number of other countries. In addition, he got 800 millions plays on Spotify and over one billion views on Youtube.

Music Norway and Spellemann want to honor those who promote Norwegian music exports and through their international projects stimulate an entire industry to aim for international success. This is the second year the Export Award is awarded, and this year’s nominees consist of six artists and producers who all had an exceptional year in 2016.

Alan’s success story startet when his manager, Gunnar Greve, was out looking for new local talents. Greve describes the situation as «good and old-fashioned», since their first meeting was through a festival poster located at a small place called Sotra, not far from Bergen. It was his name that sparked Greve’s attention, and after some research, he found out that he had released a song called «Fade». The song had already received high attention through social media, so Greve decided to contact the festival – and ended up eating breakfast with Alan Walker the following day.

«Fade» was originally an instrumental, but Greve, who has been an artist and songwriter for many years himself, heard that the song was meant to be with lyrics. They started working with the well-known songwriters Jesper Borgen and Anders Frøen to create a new version. Iselin Solheim did the vocal on the demo, and after several recordings with different vocals – they basically ended up with the demo recording; it was simply unique.

The feedback on the final result was mixed in the industry, much due to the song’s pace. But in a short period of time, the song, which was now called “Faded”, went to the top of the Nordic charts. Then the rest of Europe followed, and the song was #1 on the German hit lists for ten weeks in a row. The success continued with the songs «Sing me to Sleep» and «Alone», both having reached more than 100 million streams.

“The journey from being a hobby musician to an international pop star involves a huge change. Everything changes”, says Greve. He admires how Alan has tackled the situation. Further, he talks about Alan being a dedicated, young man, and that his ability to adapt and cope with new challenges and changes is one of the things he admires most about him, together with his melodic talent. That is also why the ambitions for the future are high. Alan is going to be one of the top 10 artists in the world within five years. “People will hear a lot from Alan Walker in 2017,” the manager concludes.

About the nomination, Alan says:
«It is a great honor to be nominated for this award. When I produced music in my bedroom in Bergen, I never thought that my music would reach so many people all over the world. I have been touring quite a bit the last year and I feel a huge gratitude every time I see fans dancing and singing to my music all over the world. I feel lucky, and the nomination for the Export Awarde gives me a great boost of motivation and energy to keep doing what I’m doing.»

The jury says this about Alan Walker:
Alan Walker’s massive hit “Faded” put another Norwegian artist on the map globally. In 2016, the young artist, DJ and producer has become a household name globally. With only a few songs released, Alan Walker has gone on headline tours in Europe, Asia, North and South America, in addition to some of the biggest festivals in the world. The three songs Faded, Alone and Sing Me To Sleep have been streamed over 800.000.000 times on Spotify alone, and Faded has surpassed 1 billion streams on Youtube.

The other nominees for Music Norway and Spellemann’s export award are William Wiik Larsen, Lise Davidsen, Cashmere Cat, Mette Henriette and Seeb.

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