Brazilian house and psytrance DJ Alok is still pretty new to Las Vegas. His first Wynn Nightlife headlining gig took place in July—a nearly three-hour Nightswim set he’ll never forget. He’s back at Encore Beach Club for another round this weekend, armed with new single “Favela,” a potential pop-dance hit.
You quickly went from supporting sets to headlining at Wynn clubs How did you handle that transition?
At first I was quite afraid, to be honest, because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know the strength I would have to put people in the club. But it really worked out. There were like 800 Brazilians there [at the first headlining show], and the club sold out. That was pretty cool, to have that support, because there were so many other artists they could have gone to see in Las Vegas that night. And it was the first time doing Nightswim, a pool party during the night, so I really didn’t know what to expect. But it was so open. Nightswim is crazy.
You played with Kygo for one of your first shows at Wynn. Is he someone with whom you’d like to collaborate?
Actually, we’re working on a song already. He’s an artist I’ve been following since he started to blow up about four years ago. He’s just different, unique. He brought in a style of music a few years ago, and everything started to sound like him, then he came with this pop vibe. I’ve played with him in so many places—in China two weeks ago. He is what he is, and he just does his show. He believes in his stuff and has such personality.
You just dropped “Favela,” and it’s so catchy. How did that song come together?
That one is a collaboration with Ina [Wroldsen]; she wrote the lyrics. You have to realize when you speak about a favela [a Brazilian term for “slum”], as a white person living in Norway, you have to be careful, to understand what it really means. It’s something deep. The [lyrics] are not something tragic, but they really show the determination of a woman. I was really impressed.
Your parents were DJs and musicians. Were you always going to make a career in music for yourself?
When my parents did it, society didn’t understand what it was to be a DJ. It was something very out of the box. I was studying at university but still playing when I realized I was born for this and I needed to try for my dream. Living by art is not easy, but even without success I’d rather live doing art and be happy instead of working an ordinary job that doesn’t fit me. It’s never been about money; it’s about spreading music and love, and that’s what I believe.
You’ve dabbled in different dance genres, and “Favela” is pretty pop-oriented. What’s next?
I went to house music then to pop then back to psytrance again. The fact that I do not limit myself to one genre makes me feel so free, free to fly. It makes me feel lighter. At this moment I think psytrance is doing really well in the electronic scene, because it brings that same energy as bounce—that big room sound.
NIGHTSWIM WITH ALOK September 7, 10:30 p.m., $30-$45. Encore Beach Club, 702-770-7300.