On Friday 20th April, the world lost Tim Bergling, otherwise known as Avicii. Perhaps one of the most famous DJs in the world, Avicii was undoubtedly one of the biggest figures in electronic music, changing the landscape of dance music, encouraging mainstream consumption from the American market, and faultlessly blurring the lines between pop and EDM. After long battles with fame, health complications and the demands of the industry, Avicii lost his life through what appears to be a combination of ongoing issues both mentally and physically. He was only 28 years old.
Avicii‘s breakthrough moment came back in 2011, with what will go down as one of the most influential pieces of EDM in history- the Etta James-sampling Levels. The track was the ultimate fusion of genres, crossing elements of house and EDM with huge pop hooks and soaring soul vocals. This perfected amalgamation of sounds would go on to become a blueprint for EDM anthems for years to come.
A number of years later, via international mega-hit I Could Be The One, and a revived look at 2010 hit Seek Bromance, Avicii released his long-awaited debut album, 2013’s True.
Powered by the unstoppable EDM anthems Wake Me Up and Hey Brother, coupled with an infamous headline performance at Ultra, True ruffled feathers, raised eyebrows, and ultimately changed electronic music. Again blurring the lines between a catalogue of genres ignored by EDM thus far, particularly country music, in doing so Avicii traded synths and pianos for banjos and acoustic guitars. A world away from the Levels-era Avicii, the dance music world stood still, confused yet enthralled by this dramatic departure of sound.
The album catapulted Avicii to undisputed super-stardom, resulting in continual rankings among the top DJs in the world, highest earning in the world, and best selling commercially.
Avicii continued to help shape and influence EDM since his debut album, following it up with collaborations with the likes of Madonna, Coldplay and Robbie Williams, as well as a strong sophomore effort- Stories. A project that proved that EDM, powered by the Avicii sound, was here to stay.
Avicii retired from touring and performing in 2016, citing health problems and exhaustion, as a result of the constant demands of the industry. But despite his best efforts to distance himself from a world that dictated his life, tragically it appears to have been too late.
Avicii’s contributions to music as an entity, least of all electronic music, cannot be ignored or downplayed. Wether you’re a staunch anti-EDM cynic, or a house-loving Ibiza fanatic, it’s simply impossible to escape the influence and legacy that Avicii leaves behind him. An undoubted pioneer, groundbreaking contributor, and unmistakable master of his craft, gone too young, and forever remembered- rest in peace Avicii.