Big Data brings electronica to Peoria

Adam Larck
mtn@timestoday.com

Peoria will get a bit “Dangerous” when Big Data brings his show to Peoria.

Big Data, which consists of Alan Wilkis, will be part of the Day of the Dead Concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Limelight Eventplex.

His hit single “Dangerous” is still playing on some rock stations.

Wilkis said that he has been a fan of electronic music for almost two decades, but it isn’t what he started out playing.

“I started really playing music on a guitar, but as I got older I started listening to more and more electronic stuff,” Wilkis said. “My music now is combining the guitar that I used to do more and a lot of the electronic music.”

In 2012, Wilkis started to record some instrumental tracks, but was still searching for a name for the band.

“It was that summer I went to a friend’s wedding, and he’s an actual big data scientist,” he said.

A big data scientist is someone who helps process large data sets that can’t be processed through traditional means.

He said he liked the sound of the term and named his band around it.

While he doesn’t have a full album out yet, he has released a few extended plays. Included on one of the extended plays was his No. 1 song, “Dangerous.”

“Dangerous” topped the charts in 2014 on the Billboard US Alternative Songs list.

“I wrote the song with Daniel Armbruster from a band called Joywave,” Wilkis said. “He’s the guy that sings on the song.

We wrote this song about this idea of watching while being watched on the Internet. It’s like voyeurism 2.0, the ability to spy on people on Facebook and Twitter and the Internet while at the same time being watched by those companies.”

The song eventually got a music video that focuses on a running sneaker commercial.

“The idea would be that this running shoe would make you do something evil (headbutting a person), but it’s not clear that it’s evil at the beginning,” Wilkis said. “That was all I had. I met these two directors. They’re called GHOST+CAL Films. We just traded ideas for a while and they developed it into an actual story line.”

Now, besides getting ready to go on tour as the opening act for Fitz and the Tantrums and the upcoming Peoria show, Wilkis is trying to put the finishing touches on his first album.

He said he already has quite a few songs recorded, and a new single should be out soon.

For the Peoria show, Wilkis said he didn’t want the show to just be him behind a computer.

“I wanted it to feel like a band,” he said.

So, the show will feature a drummer, bass player and female vocalist while Wilkis triggers sounds on his computer.

“It’s somewhere in between a rock band and an electronic performance,” he said.