WATCH: Alesso Shares His Musical Playlist For Surviving The Quarantine

AlessoPhoto Credit: Harrison Boyce

While many of us have been using the quarantine to discover new skills, Alesso has been using this time to hone those he already has. The Grammy nominated-Swedish DJ has been spending the COVID-19 lockdown in Los Angeles getting even more creative than normal, learning a new instrument, making loads of new music and even shooting a music video. He and former One Direction member Liam Payne shot the video for their hit single “Midnight” in their respective homes—Alesso in L.A., Liam in London—with some virtual help from their fans. We caught up with Alesso—whose other hit singles include platinum and gold certified records “If I Lose Myself” and “Under Control” as well as the breakup anthem “Let Me Go”—a collaboration with Hailee Steinfeld and Florida Georgia Line—via Zoom to discuss life in quarantine, his top tunes for getting us through our new reality and how he and Liam masterminded one of the coolest creative collaborations to come out of the coronavirus quarantine.

Let’s talk about life in quarantine. How are you holding up?

I mean, I’m freaking out. It’s definitely super strange times, but I’m doing alright. I’m just home and making music, a lot more music than I usually do, playing a lot of video games. I have a dog so I’m hanging out with him a lot. I exercise a little bit.

What disruption to your routine has been the most significant?

Mostly the traveling part. I’ve been touring so much that I’ve been kind of wanting to stay home more in a way so I’m getting that now, but I want to take it back because I miss being on the road. It’s definitely the lifestyle I miss. I miss traveling to new places, I miss playing to fans, and shows most of all. I love doing shows. If it was just a lockdown I probably would have gone home to Sweden to be with them, but I can’t leave my house in L.A. I’m just waiting, like everyone else.

The lockdown has given us all time to reflect. Is there anything in particular you’ve been reflecting on?

There’s a lot of time for your lonely thoughts. I’m here all by myself. I’m thinking a lot about how appreciative I am to be in this place. I can pretty much still carry on living my life. Some people are in so much worse conditions. Also it’s scary what’s going on. We don’t know how long it’s going to go on. A lot of people are losing their jobs. I’ve lost a lot of gigs this year, we’re not sure what’s going to happen. Everything is super confusing and scary. I’m just trying to not panic. All I’m thinking about is my health and my family of course.

Alesso + Liam Payne

Photo Credit: Capitol Music Group

You recently not only released a new single, but shot a video remotely, too. How challenging was that? How did you come up with the idea to do that?

We had the song. The song was pretty much already done. We were saying OK who’s going to sing this and somehow Liam got this from his label and I didn’t even know. So all of a sudden he was like, ‘Hey I did a version of it’ and I was like, ‘Holy shit, it’s great.’ We then had this whole plan and then the lockdown happened, so we were like, ‘What do we do now?’ We didn’t want to not deliver anything, so we were trying to come up with ideas. How do we make a video, how do we get fans involved? How do we do something creative and entertaining? I think people need it. I need it. so we came up with this idea, what if we had fans sing the song with us, maybe they’ll like the idea. And they really liked the idea. It was pretty casual when I posted looking for someone to sing this part. It was like an explosion. We didn’t think it was going to be that crazy, maybe four or five people. A lot of people sent in just for fun—even Seal sent something in. I would really love to work with him, so maybe that can happen now. we’re going to pick one very soon. We thought we can’t do this crazy production we’re isolated but we have cameras and a space. I shot my part in my studio, Liam shot his part in his absolutely crazy apartment in London—it’s the craziest apartment I’ve ever seen—it was organic. Me and my camera guy, he and his camera guy. The video comes in stripped down, simple, letting the focus be the song. I think Liam’s never sounded this good on a record. He does relate to the song. When we were in the studio, it was like we knew each other from before.

What’s in store for you for the rest of the year? What are your plans when the quarantine is over?

Family and tour. I’m probably going to first see my family because I miss them. But touring because I miss fans, doing shows, I miss the energy. I don’t want to complain but I do definitely miss that crazy energy, the rush, that you get. But I have been having my own live stream house parties. I’m making a lot of new music too and trying to be as creative as possible. I’m trying weird stuff now, new instruments. I’ve been playing around with drums a little bit. I played drums for the first time on James Corden the other night, which was exciting because it was something new for me. it’s small victories. Small things that you like that make you happy, that’s how we’re going to get through this.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

Good health. No money, no success, nothing will ever matter as much as your own health. When you have health, anything is possible.

Check out “Midnight” below

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