Alan's birth name is Alan Olav Walker, he was born in England 24/08/1994. His mother is Norwegian and his dad in from the UK, at the age of 2 him and his parents and siblings moved to Bergen in Norway. Walker grew up with two siblings, an older sister, Camilla, born in England, and a younger brother, Andreas, born in Norway.
Growing up in the digital era, Walker found an early interest in computers, which later turned into a fascination for programming and graphic design. He initially had no musical background; however, he later taught himself by watching tutorials on YouTube based on music production.
In 2012, Walker was listening to a song by Italian DJ David Whistle also known as DJ Ness and reached out to him to find out how he produced his music. He was inspired by EDM producers K-391 and Ahrix, and by film composers like Hans Zimmer and Steve Jablonsky. He started producing his music on his laptop using FL Studio. In July 2012, with the help and feedback from his fans online, he began pursuing his music production career and slowly began posting his music to YouTube and SoundCloud. Started as a bedroom producer, he was better known as DJ Walkzz before signing a record deal and releasing his debut single in 2014.
Walker was originally known as "DJ Walkzz" or "Walkzz" when he was starting out. He ended up using his real name, Alan Walker, as his artist name after signing up with a record label. He designed his logo in 2013, a symbol consisting of intertwined letters "A" and "W" which are the initials of his name. He uses a hoodie and face mask when he performs on stage. When asked why he uses a mask during an interview by NRK, he stated that "It is to keep a low profile while maintaining the mental image they have given me. I think it's pretty cool. A little twist that makes people ask themselves questions about who really is the person behind Alan Walker." On an episode of his Unmasked series, he stated that "The mask is more of a sign and a symbol of unity and being alike each other, rather than me being different.
At the beginning of 2017, Walker's YouTube channel became the most subscribed channel registered in Norway, after passing about 4.5 million subscribers, and had the most views among Norwegian YouTubers at around 7.7 billion views as of 25 January 2020.
On 11 May, Walker and Norwegian music producer K-391 (Kenneth Nilsen) released "Ignite" vocal version, which featured Norwegian singer Julie Bergan and South Korean singer Seungri. The music video was released on 12 May on K-391's YouTube channel because Nilsen was the lead artist of this single. Its YouTube music video has been viewed over 300 million times. On 27 July, he released "Darkside", featuring Au/Ra from Ibiza and Norwegian singer Tomine Harket, daughter of A-ha vocalist Morten Harket. On 21 August, he released a re-boot of his 'Unmasked' vlog series, in which he films behind the scenes of his concerts and personal life. On 30 August, he released a remix of "Sheep" by Exo member Lay. On 28 September, he released the single "Diamond Heart" featuring Sophia Somajo.