Swedish electro-house producer Alessandro Lindblad (better known as Alesso) sure is making the most of his mere 21 years on the planet so far. Quickly climbing the ranks of the dance music scene in the last couple of years, he’s constantly in the #1 spot on the Beatport charts, with tracks like “Years,” “City of Dreams,” “Clash,” and his collaboration with Sebastian Ingrosso and Ryan Tedder, “Calling (Lose My Mind),” all making their way to the top. Last year was a particularly fruitful one for the youngster, with pair-ups with Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, and Usher all taking shape alongside a few supporting dates on Madonna’s MDNA tour and headlining slots at Coachella, Summerburst, Tomorrowland, and Electric Daisy Carnival.

With his star still in ascent, he took a moment to tell us about how he got started, his production environment, his plans for 2013, and his vision for the future of dance music.

You’ve had great success at a young age. How did you get started producing?

It all started when I received a CD from a friend of mine a couple of years ago, which only featured house music on it. I fell in love with it instantly and started searching for new tracks every day. Almost directly after that I bought a Mac and Logic and basically started trying to produce my own music. I spent almost every waking hour in front of that program. I felt like I had to learn everything about it.

You headlined almost every major festival last year. Tell us about some of your favorite moments.

Wow, that’s hard to say since I was lucky enough to play at so many fantastic festivals. If I had to mention only a few I would say, Coachella, Summerburst in Sweden, Tomorrowland, and EDC New York. But there are so many more!

What’s a typical day like when you’re on the road traveling from show to show?

Usually it’s kind of hectic… I sit down with my tour manager and we go over the schedule for the coming days so that way I have a clear picture of what’s coming up. Then I try to work on my music as much as I can. I might be on the plane or in my hotel room, basically whenever I have the time. I then spend time preparing my sets so I’m always prepared to give my best at every show.

What does your current studio setup look like?

I have my own studio back home, which is completely new, actually. It was finished at the end of last year. I have a workstation with my MIDI keyboard and speakers where I can plug in my computer. It’s a great setup for me when I want to be by myself and work on my productions, but it’s also a great place where I can hang out with my friends.

What advice would you give aspiring producers and DJs?

The best advice I can give is to always give it your best and remember that nothing comes easily. You have to push every moment to the fullest and of course always love what you’re doing.

Where do you see dance music heading in the future?

I don’t know if dance music can get any bigger than it already is in some countries. For example, in the United States it’s massive right now. I think it’s going to stick around for quite some time as long as great dance music is being released. I also believe that in the future it’s going to be a much tougher scene. Fans nowadays are becoming more and more picky and educated about this type of music, so I think you will have to fight harder to get through with your music.

What are some of your plans for 2013?

I’ve got a lot of new music coming out, and I’m focusing more on my original stuff at the moment. Show-wise, I have a hectic year coming up—a lot of traveling and a lot of shows at lots of fantastic places. I just announced that I’ll be back at Tomorrowland 2013! I will also be spending a lot of time in the US during the spring, which will be very fun. There’s a lot of stuff coming up and I’m very excited!