His work is already being called the sound of now. He’s been recognized by the EDM community as one of the game’s most inventive and forward thinking DJ’s. He’s already traveled across the globe several times over and is filling arenas and clubs to capacity everywhere he lands. His music is climbing international dance charts, and it’s only the beginning of his career. He was ranked DJMag Top 100’s number six DJ in 2011, moving up 33 paces from 2010. Oh, and did we mention he’s only 22?
Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii (or his alias Tim Berg), was born September 8, 1989 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was barely legal when he started his music career at the tender age of 18. After hearing about a Buddhist level of hell called Avicii from a friend, the strange name soon stuck without any specific reason. With his unusual name chosen, he started his quest of electronic greatness when he began producing music with a couple of friends in his home studio. It didn’t take long for those around him to realize the gift Avicii had for creating a unique and upbeat sound. While Avicii never focused himself on any certain genre of house, he is considered to be one of the leaders of progressive house. His first experiment in 2008 was with the theme song of the Commodore 64 game “Lazy Jones”.
The remix was soon thrown out, but had inspired him to release his own tune “Lazy Lace” with Strike Recordings. Immediately after, Avicii became addicted to the art of producing and mixing. He buried himselfin his work and soon began to spit out tracks that didn’t necessarily fit the typical house music mold. He was, however, inspired by various house giants such as Laidback Luke and Steve Angello. After entering and winning Pete Tong’s Fast Trax contest with an overwhelming 70% of votes, Avicii’s “Manman” was released on Tong’s label Bedroom Bedlam. Almost immediately, Avicii was contacted by various labels, promoters and booking agents who wanted a piece of the new wave of material he had to offer. In 2008, Avicii officially signed with At Night Management and was quickly recognized and contacted by international record labels such as Vicious Grooves from Australia. It had become a race to capture the new sensation that was Avicii.
In 2009, most of what Avicii cranked out were remixes of popular hits such as Tiesto’s “Escape Me” and David Guetta’s “One Love”. It’s also notable that he uses both his aliases Avicii and Tim Berg for his tracks. Avicii’s following quickly fell in love with his pounding beats and emphasis on vocals. His next big tune “Bromance” was an arena favorite in 2010 and proved to audiences that his own material was not to be underestimated. His lyricized version “Seek Bromance” was released shortly after and claimed just as much success. Never one to be stuck in one genre, Avicii also ventured out and remixed songs from various genres such as Dada Life’s “Cookies With a Smile” and the more main stream Enrique Iglesia’s “I Like It”.
It wasn’t long until Avicii’s music graced international dance music charts either. “Seek Bromance” reached number one on Belgium’s Ultratop dance chart in 2010 and landed in the top 20 in Sweden, Denmark, Netherland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It was his first big single to catch the attention of house music fanatics. While “My Feelings For You” wasn’t as successful, “Fade Into Darkness” found the number four spot on Swedish music charts in 2011.
Increasingly, Avicii built a following of listeners who grew to expect nothing but the best from this electronic music prodigy. Avicii did however, run into musical trouble with singer Leona Lewis in 2011 because of her single “Collide”. The song was said to sound incredibly similar to his “Fade into Darkness” and a case was filed. Lewis was quick to settle the argument in court and re-released the track crediting him. Interestingly enough, that same year “Collide” featuring Avicii reached the number one spot on the United States BillBoard100 dance chart. Avicii was even quoted on Twitter as saying he was glad the case was settled and was looking forward to working with her in the future. In 2011, Avicii’s epic track “Levels” was among the top 10 in the European dance charts of Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and the UK. There’s no question that this song alone skyrocketed Avicii’s fame to the level it is at today. The song itself inspired hundreds of videos on YouTube including fans as young as a year old belting out Etta James’ bonechilling lyrics “oh, sometimes I get a good feeling.” The song also inspired remixes from fellow DJ’s such as Skrillex, which Avicii himself doesn’t shy away from playing during his own sets. Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” featured Avicii’s “Levels” as well but wasn’t as popular with the EDM community. Nevertheless, being the very fan involved DJ that he is, Avicii compiled several of the YouTube fan videos into one video thanking them all. The video is available at his official website Avicii.com, along with other music and concert videos as well as fan favorites. From videos of people in Mexico dancing along, to footage of customers at a San Francisco Jack in the Box singing their hearts out, this song was undoubtedly the EDM anthem of 2011.
Besides amazing crowds set after set, Avicii has recently used his popularity to take on philanthropic efforts. His association with the House for Hunger organization has inspired him to raise 1 million dollars through a concert tour to help feed the nearly 1 in 6 Americans who struggle with hunger. According to the House for Hunger website, At Night Management’s Ash Pournouri decided to kick start the fundraising after realizing the harsh reality in the so-called “land of prosperity”. Almost 49 million Americans struggle with hunger and 16 of that 49 million are children. Pournouri had been approached with various charities and causes but eventually felt that creating their own organization would ensure their goals be met appropriately. With America as one of the places where Pournouri ironically received the most business, he decided that the US would be an ideal place to conduct the tour. After hearing about the idea from Pournouri, Avicii immediately joined in on the cause and worked on a tour schedule for January of 2012. Only because of serious stomach pains, Avicii was unable to finish the last two scheduled concerts. Still, the Rhode Island and Massachusetts shows are both rescheduled for April 2012. Aside from helping Americans with the painful reality of hunger, Pournouri and Avicii also hope that the House for Hunger will inspire a more positive outlook on the EDM community.
Unfortunately even today electronic dance music carries the stigma and crazy partying, drug use, and deaths. With a positive cause and a strong organization like this one, Avicii and Pournouri are working to raise awareness about the social benefits that the dance community can bring to the table. By uniting EDM lovers and a good cause, the organization hopes to eventually expand the tour to nations across the world.If you still can’t get enough of Avicii there’s no need to fret. On top of the amazing mixes and songs he’s already created for your enjoyment, each month on iTunes you can subscribe to Avicii’s free podcast Le7els. With 6 current installments, you can listen to various interviews and coverage of his travels as well as guest mixes and of course, his own work. His very first podcast, released in June of 2011 featured tracks from Deniz Koyu, Swedish House Mafia and David Tort to name a few. His second released that August featured a lively guest mix from Otto Knows. Avicii’s September installment introduced Norman Doray, while his fourth featured tracks from Tommy Trash to Tiesto. His fifth podcast had Cazette as a guest and left fans without question as to why Avicii featured him. His work, like Avicii’s, is extremely crowd-pleasing and Cazette is certainly someone to keep an eye on. Manufactured Superstars played for Avicii’s latest podcast and weren’t scared to push the envelope either. Their set included songs from Afrojack, Steve Aoki and Knifeparty among others. Considering the music is free, you’d have to be a fool not to take advantage of this podcast. It’s a reflection of Avicii’s ever-changing growth and progress with his music and it’s definitely not one to miss out on. Breaking barriers both behind the stage and on it, Avicii unquestionably knows how to put on a good show and leave crowds begging for more.
In just the past two years alone, he’s headlined at various music festivals including the U.S. Electric Daisy Carnival and ULTRA, France’s INOX, Holland’s FABULOUS and Sweden’s Summerburst to name just a few. One of his most buzzed about performances took place in October of 2011. New York’s legendary nightclub Studio 54 was one of the hottest spots for celebrities and the wealthy in the late 70’s and early 80’s. After problems with drug use and lewd sexual acts in public, the club closed its doors nearly three decades ago. For a one night only opening, the club hosted Avicii and reportedly followed old school club rules and let in only the best dressed and tippers. This historic event was an honor for Avicii, and like usual he rocked the house. If hearing about his shows doesn’t suffice, Avicii’s website also features footage from almost every large show he’s played. With hundreds of sets underneath his belt already, Avicii has some huge shows to come. This year Avicii is a headliner for Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival in July. He’ll also be gracing the stage at Miami’s ULTRA music festival as well as Indio, California’s Coachella festival. Avicii will also kick off spring break at Puerto Vallerta, Mexico’s Electro Beach. Driving crowds wild at every venue, his tunes are infectious and his more lyrical songs are sure to give you chills.
Avicii’s fans are not to be underestimated either. Their active involvement with every step of his career is obvious through various mediums. His music has some of his diehard fans jokingly claiming they’ve converted their religion to Aviciism and even the flannel shirts he wears during most of his shows have their own Twitter account. An equally humorous DJ, Avicii frequently responds to his Twitter followers with hilarious accounts of his trips around the world. He posts photos every so often from his journeys as well. On stage his relaxed demeanor and laidback attitude makes it hard to believe that this youngster has achieved so much in such a short amount of time. Regardless, his live sets are an experience you’ll never forget. He livens the crowd up and instantly gets them jumping and singing along. Ever since the very start of his career, Avicii was never afraid to press the EDM envelope. His beats themselves encompass the “sound of now” and are a driving force. His leadership in the house music community is astounding and the positivity he’s drawing from his work with House for Hunger is all the more reason to fall in love with this legend in the making.
Up close and personal with Avicii:
His work is definitely one for the EDM history books and we can’t wait to see what he’ll throw at us next.
Where did your musical interest begin, and did it initially start with electronic music? I’ve listened to everything from rock to hiphop throughout the years! I grew up listening to a lot of Ray Charles and 60s rock thanks to my father and then my brothers got me into Kiss and other contemporary rock bands so I guess that’s where I got my influences.
Who were some artists that inspired your music when you were first starting out, and who are some artists that inspire you now and why? I started listening to a lot of Daft Punk, way before I knew what House Music was, and then progressed in to a lot of Eric Prydz, Sebastian Ingrosso , Steve Angello, Axwell and Laidback Luke. They all influenced me a lot and listening to them taught me a lot! My manager Ash gives me lots of inspiration and feedback too.
What’s a typical day in the life of Avicii like? If I’m touring its mostly catching the plane to the next show, check in and if I have time try to explore the city I’m in. Then I do my whole pre-gig routines; deciding on what tracks I want to bring, make sure I have all my stuff in order and then maybe go out for some dinner before the show. If I’m home back in Sweden it’s mostly being in the studio producing or hanging out with my family and friends.
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before? I would describe it as big room melodic house music.
What is a song you think represents you the most right now? That’s such a tough question. My own music reflects me the most.
Where did you think of the name Avicii? A friend of mine told me a bunch of stuff on Buddhism and about Avici being the lowest level of Buddhist hell and it just sort of got stuck in my head. Later on when I went to setup a MySpace, and then I got really attached to it. I just thought it sounded like a cool name.
If you never became Avicii, where do you think you would/what would you be doing today? I would probably keep studying like many of my friends do or maybe work in telecom sales.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done for you? I don’t know – I think tattooing Avicii is kind of crazy and there are a few who have done that. Also a couple of months ago I was sleeping in the tour bus and forgot to lock the door. Suddenly I wake up from a fight in the bus…Apparently someone had sneaked into the bus and got caught by the bus driver.
What have been some of the most memorable points of your career so far? The last year has been amazing with lots of memories and memorable milestones, but the Grammy nomination for the track ‘Sunshine’ and the Ultra moment with Madonna are really in the top! Also, the ‘House For Hunger’ tour in January was an overwhelming experience. How do you feel about the American
Electronic Music Movement? The dance scene here is way younger. The people here are much hungrier. It’s been around for a long time in Europe and it’s good that it’s starting to catch on in the states. People go wild over here…always! Tell us about your upcoming endeavors. I’m kicking of my production tour in late April with over 30 stops in the US. My manager Ash has planned this for over 12 months and from what I’ve seen the production is going to be insane – something out of this world. I really don’t know what I can say and what I can’t but 2012 will be a really busy year with lots of releases and big shows – what else?! Oh, and my next single is a track called Silhouettes that’s been super appreciated in my sets!
If you were a food, what would you be? Hmm. A warm glass of milk!
What is your favorite item of clothing? Plain shirt.
Who is your favorite non-EDM artist? At the moment – Adele
If we opened your fridge right now, what would we find? Nothing! Im almost never home and when I am, I never cook myself!
Mac, or PC? Both! I use my Mac for producing and PC for all other stuff!
What is your favorite beer? San Miguel!