Alison Wonderland Rocks Out Like a Boss on Her EDC Orlando 2018 Mix

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If the likes of Hardwell and Tiësto were at the forefront of the first wave of festival EDM that rose phenomenally through the US at the beginning of the decade, then Australia’s Alison Wonderland represents its future. Certainly, one of the more exciting new faces to storm the mainstages the past few years—whether it’s staples like EDC Las Vegas and next weekend’s EDC Orlando, or crossover access points like Coachella—she’s a welcome burst of excitement at a time when EDM needs a shot in the arm.

Sporting an energy that’s a lot more rock ‘n’ roll than straight-up basshead, she’s nonetheless the perfect match for Insomniac blowouts. When we catch up with Alison, she’s taking some much-needed R&R.

“Right now, I’m in L.A.,” she says. “I’ve been touring all around the world, and I finally had probably a week to chill. But I’m about to go to Hawaii, and then EDC Orlando, so I’m really, really stoked and excited because I feel super refreshed.”

Beyond her elevation to the festival A-league, which is showing zero signs of slowing down in 2019, her year was otherwise marked by the release of her sophomore 14-track album Awake. It featured a huge cast of studio and vocal collaborators (including Joel Little, Illangelo, Party Favor, BFF Lido, Buddy Channels, Trippie Red, and Chief Keef), but the most defining element about Awake is the degree to which it represented Alison Wonderland as an artist.

“I pushed myself so much on this album,” Alison says. “I wanted to give everybody all of me with this. I was super honest with it, and I feel like people heard it and they completely got it, and they completely understood me. And I feel like the people who do listen to my music really get me anyway, and so it was really amazing to see everyone with such open minds, understanding where I was heading as an artist.”

“It’s great, because I feel very comfortable with my fans, and I feel like I am always able to push myself and try new things, keep moving forward and be creative. So, to anyone who’s listened to my album this year, thank you so much for understanding me and getting my music and coming to my shows and dancing. I love you guys—I wouldn’t be here without you, and I will never forget that.”

Alison has risen through the Australian dance scene in recent years and is now performing at a truly global level. What stands out as the important touchpoints in her journey?

“There were some really memorable things… Definitely what helped introduce me into the international world was when I did a mix for Diplo & Friends; that was in 2014. Two weeks later, my single ‘I Want You’ was put up on SoundCloud, and I ended up being #1 on Hype Machine. And then, all these people started reaching out to me internationally. The next big thing for me was deciding in 2014 to record my debut album Run, which came out a year later. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Dance Charts, which was super crazy for me.”

A short two weeks after the release of Alison’s debut album in 2015 was when she played her first US show, no less than a rammed dancefloor at Coachella.