Swedish DJ/producer Alesso travels the globe playing to thousands in party-ready cities, but he says New York is one of his favorite places in the whole world. The 24-year-old is headlining Electric Zoo this weekend and he says he’s more than ready.

“I was supposed to play Electric Zoo last year, but it got canceled because of the weather. I was so excited last year, so imagine how I feel now. I can’t wait. It’s going to be one hell of a show,” he says.

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The inner Swedish circle
Alesso’s current single “Heroes (We Could Be)” is currently number one on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs charts and features Tove Lo, a fellow Swede. “Today, yeah, we do kind of all know each other,” he says of popular Swedish DJs and musicians. “It’s a small country, so there’s always someone who is a friend of someone you know.”

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Countries like Sweden, France, Spain and Germany are notoriously ahead of the curve and Alesso says he thinks the reason is that dance music is just ingrained in their culture. “It’s something that’s always been in Swedish history, but also people here are really focused on getting their music out of Sweden so that it’s heard all over the world,” he says.

Musical identity
Alesso says he himself has always been extremely driven to succeed. “Even when I was only 13, I would have these thoughts like, ‘what should I do with my life? Who am I?’ I think everyone has thoughts like that, but I had them very early.” Music became the identity he was searching for. And he just so happens to have a knack for making hit tracks.

“If it’s a really good track, you can tell early on by the basic stuff like vocals and chord progression,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how much you produce it or change the beat a million times or how creative you get. You can always tell a big record at an early stage in the production.”

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When Alesso thinks he has the beginnings of a new track, he likes to test it out on his friends and younger sister, who just graduated high school. “She likes everything I do, but I kind of force her to find the one thing she doesn’t like. But she’s always supportive,” he says. 

If you go:

Electric Zoo: Transformed
Sep. 4 - 6
Randall's Island Park
$109 - $500

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence