Although the whole entire world is still in disbelief, there’s simply no denying that it feels like there’s now a giant empty space present in the dance music scene ever since globally renowned Swedish DJ and music producer Avicii suddenly left us last Friday, April 20th, at the oh, so young age of twenty-eight.
An electronic genius, EDM sensation and now music legend in his own right, the Billboard dance chart superstar first burst onto the scene in 2008 as a friend and “student,’ if you will, of fellow DJ and dance floor destroyer, Laidback Luke. It was from their budding friendship that Avicii would learn to hone his unique craft by serving up a buffet of remixes that would eventually lead to his first breakthrough banger–the 2011 global smash, “Levels.”
Born in Stockholm in 1989, Avicii (real name…Tim Bergling) began brainstorming beats and making music in his late-teens while up in the bedroom at his parent’s house (as all future DJs do), which also became a place where he would upload them on the web for headphones across the world to pay attention to…and that they certainly did.
With his unique blend of tribal vibes and divinely thunderous influences thanks to the likes of Steve Angello and Daft Punk, Avicii’s elegant ear worms not only caught the ears of, like, everyone, but DJs from all over, one in particular being Tiesto who brought Avicii on to slay a weekly residency at red-hot Ibiza hotspot, Privilege. Yes.
If you’ll also recall (really, how can we f@cking forget?), it was also right around this time that Avicii’s dance floor co-stars Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, Otto Knows, and what seemed liked millions of others, made their dance floor debuts right around this time, which made it all that much more shimmering and special.
So, Avicii‘s now legendary collection of now classic grooves–really, where the f@ck do we begin? “Seek Bromance,” “My Feeling’s For You,” “I Could Be the One” with Nicky Romero, “Siilhouttes.” “Collide” (Leona!), “Fade into Darkness,” “Superlove”(Lenny!) “You Make Me,” of course, “Levels,” and “Hey Brother,” all of which will now be embedded into our dance floor souls forever.
But if there’s one track that truly takes it to the next, um, level, it’s the country-meets-EDM-meets-life Billboard chart owning 2013 banger,”Wake Me Up,” Avicii’s collaboration with Aloe Blac. A bulldozer of a radio groove, the energetic anthem-for-the-ages not only nestled itself inside the top five of the Billboard Hot 100, but became a true shimmering piece of dance music history, and we’ll forever be most grateful for everything “Wake Me Up” has to offer.
But then of course….there’s the rewerks. Oh, brother, how Avicii’s many, many remixes for what’s certainly dozens of music artists from all walks of life will hold their own through the disco sands of time. Among his list of standout pairings during his decade long career are Wynter Gordon, Little Boots, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Felix Jaehn and Richard Searle, just to name a few. By the way, Avicii’s final studio offering, 2015’s excellent Life, will indeed give you the life you never thought you had. It’s that good.
Although Avicii decided to give up touring a couple of years back due to impending health concerns, his love for the craft and truly remarkable body of werk outshone anything else that was going on in personal life, which is something we should never forget. Avicii’s unique vision carved itself into time where EDM was actually EDM–perhaps the last great wave of a genre that stays just under the mainstream surface except for a standout few, with him always being a true player on top of his game.
Rest in Peace, Avicii and may you forever wake us up on the dance floor of this crazy little thing called life.
Avicii cover photo courtesy of Consequence of Sound