Here at JOVM, I was lucky enough to be among the first batch of bloggers and journalists to write about Alan Wilkis, best known under his musical moniker Big Data; in fact, his debut single “Dangerous” featuring Joywave caught the attention of blogosphere and radio airwaves on its way to landing at 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Charts, amassed several million Spotify plays, 3.25 million views on YouTube and an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. With such massive attention on him, Warner Brothers quickly signed Wilkis and will be releasing 2.0 on March 24.
2.0 has Wilkis collaborating with the likes of Twin Shadow, White Sea, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Dylan, Bear Hands’ Ted Feldman, Dylan Rau, Jamie Lidell and Kimbra and on “Snowed In,” the album’s latest single, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. As like much of Wilkis’ work as Big Data, underneath the slick production of dense layers of undulating synths and room rocking bass there’s a pertinent social message about technology’s awesome, life-changing powers and the inherent paranoia technology can create when everyone can see and follow what you do and how you do it. In fact, as Wilkis explains in the press notes, “Lyrically, ‘Snowed In’ is inspired by Edward Snowden, who famously and controversially leaked classified information about the NSA’s surveillance programs to the media. Rivers and I envisioned the character speaking from the perspective of the NSA, alternating between his own internal monologue and his public statements to the press. The character makes assurances that everything will be ok, as if sometimes speaking to himself and sometimes to everybody.” And just underneath the surface, you can tell that something isn’t right, that something doesn’t feel right.