BBQ RADIO SHOW 204 | ALOK - The most listened to Brazilian artist in the world
A newly stamped megastar globally, Brazilian artist Alok has become one of the most distinctive figures in the electronic music scene today. With over 4 billion streams on Spotify and 20 million monthly listeners, Alok is the Brazilian artist with the most listeners in the world. Across his social channels, his numbers are equally extraordinary. His videos on YouTube exceed 3 billion views, whilst his official channel has more than 6.2 million subscribers. On Instagram, he has 26.7 million followers, along with 9 million Facebook followers, 2.6 million Twitter followers and 11.5 million TikTok followers making him the second most followed DJ in the world. In 2021 he was named the 4th Best DJ in the world, according to the prestigious DJ Mag Top 100 DJ Poll. He is the only Brazilian to make the “Billboard Dance 100” list and was named the best DJ in Brazil by “House Mag”. Considered one of the most influential young artists in Brazil by Forbes magazine and IBOPE, Brazil’s top research institute, Alok currently performs some 320 yearly shows on five continents. He was the first Brazilian DJ to perform on the “World” stage of the Rock in Rio music festival in 2019. In 2020, Alok premiered at the São Paulo Carnival and performed for 1 million people at the Salvador Carnival with the “Liberte o seu melhor” themed float. Alok is currently the DJ with the highest exposure in the Asian territory and became a character in the “Free Fire” game with over 450 million players and was the most downloaded mobile game in the world in 2019. Three years ago, he created the Instituto Alok, that manages high impact philanthropy projects in Brazil and Africa. But how did Alok go from an unknown aspiring artist in the city of Goiânia to global megastar…
Raised in a family with strong musical roots his universe has always revolved around music. His parents (Swarup and Ekanta), early pioneers of psytrance in the country, and twin brother (Bhaskar) all perform on the electronic scene. His early start made him a proactive producer alongside his brother with their project 'Logica'. Combining that with his current solo productions, Alok has been creating music for well over a decade. Close to 20 years later, Alok is still relentlessly dedicated to his craft. He has become one of the most prominent icons on the Brazilian scene, winning honours and awards including: 'Best DJ in Brazil' two consecutive times. On Spotify he has achieved streaming success with hits 'Never Let Me Go', 'Big Jet Plane', ‘On & On’, ‘Ocean’, ‘All The Lies’, ‘Hear Me Tonight’, ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ and his remix of Meduza’s ‘Piece of Your Heart’. His single popular release ‘Hear Me Now’ recently hit over ½ a billion Spotify streams. On the same platform, Alok’s Spotify playlist “This Is Alok” is the world’s second largest playlist of all time.
In 2016, Alok toured several countries across all continents, playing the biggest festivals and stages, spreading his 'Brazilian Bass' style. That same year, he received recognition for his work and signed with Dutch label Spinnin' Records and William Morris (WME), which is considered one of the world's most prominent artist agencies.
In 2017, Alok's popularity expanded to China, making him one of the most well-known DJs in the territory. Alok also achieved great exposure in the US and Europe, averaging 4 tours in each continent and approximately 15 shows in each region. Other notable achievements include signing to Warner Music, one of the world's leading record companies, and his placement in Forbes Magazine's prestigious '30 Under 30 list'.
In the first half of 2018, he performed at major festivals, toured the US and Asia, performed in Mexico and for the first time led an independent electric trio at the Salvador Carnival, drawing a massive crowd at the Barra Ondina circuit.
At the end of April, Alok released the single 'Ocean', a song based on a true story and that featured an 8-minute video / short film starring Rodrigo Santoro, Marina Ruy Barbosa, Genésio de Barros and Maria Manoella. In the second half of 2018, Alok released 'United', alongside Armin van Buuren and Vini Vici, 'Favela' featuring Ina Wroldsen, and 'Innocent' with Belgian producer Yves V and Gavin James, which premiered in Tomorrowland's 2018 Aftermovie.
At the beginning of 2019, Alok released a heartfelt single 'Pray' featuring vocals from British Pop sensation, Conor Maynard, and a collaboration with Timmy Trumpet called 'Metaphor' on Spinnin' Records. He earned a new record spot at #11 on the DJ Mag Top 100 poll, solidifying his elite status amongst the world’s most talented DJs and producers. Wanting to create a new avenue to release music, Alok partnered with Spinnin’ to unveil his own label CONTROVERSIA. He introduced the label with its first single from Alok and Sevenn titled ‘The Wall’ in June, that has since gone on to receive over 33 million streams on Spotify and 20 million streams on YouTube. Alok spent the summer of 2019 touring across the globe where he performed at festivals including Tomorrowland, Burning Man, Villa Mix Lisboa among many others. Closing out the year, Alok released his single ‘On & On’ with Dynoro which became an instant hit, racking in over 93 million streams on Spotify.
In 2020, Alok achieved another milestone in his career, becoming the second most followed DJ globally on social media, further establishing himself as one of the world's most influential artists. Alok won his first award at the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA's) in Spring 2020 for his hit remix of Meduza's 'Piece of Your Heart', which has over 138 million Spotify streams. Following the IDMA's in April, Alok debuted his single 'Hear Me Tonight' with THRDL!FE that hit over 25 million streams just four months after its release. The following month, he worked with global pop sensation Dua Lipa officially remixing her single 'Physical'. Also, he crafted a noteworthy remix for the legendary The Rolling Stone's single 'Living In A Ghost Town'.
In June, Alok released his single ‘Te Boté’ featuring Stefy Di Cicco and Axel Cooper on Virgin/Universal Records. A rework of the Latin smash of the same name (a track that has amassed more than 2.2 billion YouTube views) ‘Te Boté’ became a hit in Latin America and has received over 8 million streams on Spotify. Shortly after that, Alok debuted his single ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ with Martin Jensen and Jason Derulo. Already climbing to the top of the charts, ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ hit #1 on over 43 New Music Friday global Spotify playlists and received over 1.5 million plays only 48 hours after release.
Alok achieved a major milestone as head of his label CONTROVERSIA. Since its inception in June 2019, CONTROVERSIA has accumulated over 750million Spotify streams thanks to its remarkable family of artists, including Yves V, Alan Walker, Bhaskar, Alle Farben, Vintage Culture and more. All of whom have helped CONTROVERSIA quickly established itself as one of the most successful independent labels in dance music today.
2020 also saw Alok make his first foray into the gaming world when Garena invited him to become a Free Fire character. One of the worlds the most downloaded games with over 80 million active users, Alok is the first Brazilian artist to have a life-like avatar in the game. The partnership also means Garena will convert part of the profit from the sale of Alok’s in-game character to socio-educational projects. Again, through the Free Fire and BOOYAH! platforms, Alok created a live stream channel, where he streams himself weekly playing games, engaging with fans, and provides behind-the-scenes content into his productions. He debuted an exclusive version of his track ‘Vale Vale’ at the opening of the Free Fire World Series 2019, which became the theme of the Free Fire World Championship.
In 2021, ALOK’s production output saw no bounds, constantly pushing the envelope of his sound with both high-octane collaborations and original solo workings, including linking up with Grammy-award pop sensation John Legend, dance music renegade vocalist John Martin, aswell as chart-climbing duo Sofi Tukker and lending his craft to remix multi-platinum, #1 artist Ed Sheeran. ALOK recently also was part of the revolutionary Global Citizen Live series of worldwide performances alongside names including Billie Eilish, BTS and Elton John, streaming live with glorious cinematics direct from the Amazon Rain Forest alongside the Guarani indigenous tribes people to support poverty and climate change. Now, for the next chapter in both his own releases and the latest in a string of impressive CONTROVERSIA omissions, he gets poised to bow out the year in impressive style.
In the end of 2021, Alok released “Squid Game (Let’s Play)” from Squid Game Netflix’s most-watched series. In the same year, he visited Korea for the first time ever to participate in the Global K-Oriental Project by incorporating the collaboration of Korean traditional music and electronic music.
Alok continues to be a positive influence in his community, where he supports a charity close to his heart called Fraternidade Sem Fronteiras (Fraternity Without Borders). In May, during a live stream show at his home in Brazil, he raised awareness about coronavirus and collected food and supplies for more than 20 thousand families in Brazil. The stream proved to be so popular that it became one of the most significant live streams of 2020. Trending No.1 globally on Twitter and saw Alok become the first DJ in Brazil to ever air on prime-time TV, further demonstrating the power that music can have in being a force for good.