Barely Legal

Electric Daisy Carnival magnifies the spotlight on the young Swedish DJ Alesso

He’s not yet 21, but Alessandro “Alesso” Lindblad is fast becoming one of the biggest names in electronic dance music. This prodigal Swede definitely has his raw talent to thank, but having Swedish House Mafia frontman Sebastian Ingrosso recognize it and nurture his career certainly hasn’t hurt. Alesso played the main stage at the recent Electric Daisy Carnival. Vegas Seven caught up with him on the eve of that headlining gig to talk about his meteoric rise to fame, upcoming projects and coming of age at XS on July 9.

What’s it like to command a room, but not be able to join the party?

It sucks. I’m from Sweden and I’ve been allowed to drink and party since 18, so when I come here it sucks, but I’m still having a lot of fun. It’s not about the alcohol, it’s about the music, people and shows I’m doing.

So it’s different playing in the U.S. than Europe?

There’s a big difference, but at the same time there’s not. The crowd is different in Europe, [where house music] has been going for a while, and here in the States it’s still kind of new and exploding. Now I’m about to play the EDC main stage with 100,000 attending. It’s big [here, too].

EDC’s main stage right after Kaskade is prime time. What’s going through your head?

I am very nervous because three of the biggest DJs in the world are going on right before me—Sebastian Ingrosso, Afrojack and Kaskade, but it’s amazing! I’ve planned my set 30 times, going back and forth about which records to play. I am only playing for one hour, which is perfect because I can play my records and have a good time. When you are at festivals and there are great DJs, you want to play a lot of records. I want to play some of Sebastian’s records, but he will play his [own] records, of course, so I don’t want to play that. It’s going to be insane!

What’s been your favorite place to play?

It’s impossible to say. It’s different every time. I can play the same places two different nights, and it’s completely different. It’s not about the venue; it’s also about [the feeling you get] when you are there and the crowd. I had a great time at Surrender two days ago, it was crazy! It’s a smaller nightclub, but intense and a lot of fun.

You’re relatively new to the scene. How’d you get started?

I started producing when I was 16, 17. I was messing around with Logic [music-production software], and when I turned 18 I decided to make a record and release it. I met Sebastian Ingrosso 14-15 months ago, and he heard my music and loved it. He asked if I wanted to work together, and he has been helping me a lot this past year. That’s how it got started. A lot of things happened in just one year.

Tell me about the creative process with Ingrosso.

We do a lot of stuff together from talking about music and how to DJ to producing to shows. He has a lot of experience and has been doing this for a long time. I’ve learned a lot from him.

When did you realize you made it big?

That’s a good question. I don’t really know. It’s still getting bigger and bigger for me! A big moment for me was last year at EDC and [earlier this year at] Coachella. Coachella is one of the best, craziest festivals in the world and I had the honor to play there.

Where do you find inspiration?

From everything! Here in Vegas, Stockholm, Sweden, other musicians—Coldplay, Adele, the ’80s. Everything inspires me.

Any collabs in the works?

I’d love to work with [Coldplay and Adele], but don’t think that will happen. I am actually working with a good friend of mine who is a really big producer, Avicii. I love his music! I’ve also been working with Sebastian Ingrosso and Dirty South, as well.

So should we expect an album in the next year?

No albums, not yet, although I could [put one out] because I have so many unreleased records. I don’t think I am ready for that. But [I have] a lot of new productions, collaborations and singles. I am about to release “Years.” It’s a classic Alesso track, and you can really tell it’s me—great vocals.

Any trends in music you’re into or over?

I actually don’t really care. I let people listen to what they want, but would love to hear more groovy sounds, sexy beats. Right now it’s a lot of melodies, very hard-core sounds in the face. I would have more groovy beats, old-school sounds.

I have to ask, when you’re in Las Vegas, what do you do here besides spin?

There is nothing I can do. I am just in my hotel room. It’s pretty sad. I can’t gamble, drink or party.

Any good restaurants?

Mizumi—the food was great! Really good, loved it.

But not for long. Your 21st birthday is coming up—

—July 7. I’m doing a big show in New York at Government Island, and then I’m going to come to do a [July 9] show at XS and celebrate. A small 21 tour.

What else would you want us to know about Alessandro?

That I actually am 20. A lot of people think that I am older than that. And that they should check out my new release “Years.”

DTLV

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