Avicii: The Discovery

May 2, 2018 posted by admin

Swedish DJ Avicii (alias Tim Bergling) was an electronic dance music visionary. He was a prolific producer by the time he was just 20 years old. His sudden death at the age of 28 has shocked the music industry, as he was a legend at the peak of his success, playing around 250 live shows a year.

Born in Stockholm on 8th September 1989, he was discovered during his senior year at high school, when he was creating mixes in his bedroom. He had grown up listening to dance music by the likes of Daft Punk and Swedish House Mafia.

He had become interested in creating electronic dance music himself after discovering Dutch DJ and music producer Laidback Luke, alias Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen. At the age of 16, Avicii was recording his own remixes and posting them on Laidback Luke’s online forum.

 

Discovery

He was discovered while still at high school by his future manager, Ash Pournouri, who inadvertently found one of Bergling’s blogs, liked what he saw and invited him for a coffee. It wasn’t long before Avicii signed a management deal and later went on to describe Pournourni as being like a “second father” for giving him so much help.

By 2009, at just 20 years old, he was already a prolific producer. He began using the stage name Avicii – based on the term for the “lowest level of Buddhist hell.” People who have died after committing misdeeds may be reborn into Avīci, according to the religion.

 

Hit records

Avicii had released his first single, Sound of Now, in 2008, collaborating with Mic Newman and John Hanlon. Over the next two years, he released a further seven singles, some under different names, such as Tim Berg, or Tom Hangs. Although dance floor fillers, they didn’t do well commercially.

However, in 2010, when he released Seek Bromance, it catapulted him to international fame, making the top 20 in several countries including the UK, his native Sweden, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

This was the start of a massive global career, which saw him rocket to mega-success in 2011 with the release of Fade Into Darkness, which went platinum in Sweden. His follow-up single, Levels, was massive, making the singles charts in 10 countries, including the US.

It went platinum in seven countries and turned him into one of the biggest live acts in the world, commanding up to $250,000 for one live gig and amassing an estimated fortune of $19 million, according to Forbes.

 

Biggest commercial success

It would seem hard to top this, but one year later, in 2012, Avicii did just that when he released Wake Me Up. It made number one in nine countries, including the UK and across Europe, going multiple platinum and diamond for exceptional sales.

 

He went on to produce a string of hits and collaborated with some of the world’s top artists, including Robbie Williams, Rita Ora, Wyclef Jean, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Abba’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

He received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Dance Recording – one for Levels and a second in 2012 for Sunshine (a collaboration with DJ David Guetta). His studio albums, True in 2013 and Stories in 2015, charted worldwide, and on Spotify his songs have been streamed more than 11 billion times.

 

Avicii Hotel

Avicii became a brand in his own right, with the SLS Hotel in Miami renaming itself the Avicii Hotel in his honour for Miami Music Week 2014. Each room was named after an Avicii song and a giant new silver sign was erected outside saying simply, “Avici”, in capital letters.

Customised golf buggies equipped with giant speakers blasted out his hit songs and the drivers offered fans a ride around the luxury hotel grounds, accompanied by his music. There were even branded ice-cream desserts being sold from a mobile truck!

Avicii had been due to play a week’s residency at the hotel in 2014, but unfortunately, he was hospitalised. Needing urgent surgery to remove his gallbladder and appendix, his appearance was cancelled, although concerned fans turned up in their thousands and held something of a vigil there.

 

Health problems

Following Avicii’s untimely and sudden death on 20th April, while staying in a hotel near Muscat, Oman, it emerged he had battled ill health for years.  In 2016, he had taken a break from live touring at the age of 26. He had suffered pancreatitis as early as 2012, while in New York.

After announcing he was no longer touring, he returned to the relative comfort of the studio and continued with his recording career.

He and Pournouri had also launched a new charity, House for Hunger, aimed at fighting hunger on a global level. It had helped Laura Bush’s charity, The Feed Foundation, to provide more than two million school meals across Africa.

Avicii’s legacy will live on, not only in terms of the amazing music he produced, but also through his charity to help the poor.

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