Swede as for Avicii
AVICII is the new face of dance music – young, marketable and Swedish. His rise to prominence has come after a hit single, Levels, a Grammy nomination and a relentless touring schedule.
The travel has paid off – Avicii, aka Tim Bergling, 23, was ranked No. 3 on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs List for 2012.
‘‘I’ve been touring for three years now, playing 300 and something shows a year. When you do that many shows, you get into a rhythm very, very quickly,’’ he says.
‘‘I love what I do. And I’ve worked for it for a long time. To be able to do what I do, I feel very fortunate. So I go for it.’’
Avicii was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, the superpop capital which also boasts such exports as Abba, Roxette, Eric Prydz and Swedish House Mafia.
‘‘Stockholm is an inspiring place to live and the people there inspire each other. We grow up singing great folk songs, so the sense of melody is good, and you grow up with that in you,’’ he says.
‘‘I think it moulds everybody. But I also grew up knowing people like Eric Prydz and Swedish House Mafia were in the same neighbourhood.
‘‘That’s very inspirational for anybody who’s up and coming. You see all these guys who live near you and touring the world. It helps you put in the hours. I spent every waking hour making and producing music. I knew I would make it.’’
Avicii’s career was already building when he released Levels, which samples Etta James’s Something’s Got A Hold On Me. ‘‘Everything has happened in steps,’’ he says. ‘‘Because I’ve been working so much, it feels like I’ve been doing this a lot longer. I’ve done the same amount of shows people do over 10 years, but I’ve done it in three years.’’
Avicii scored his first break collaborating with underground Swedish producer John Dahlback on the track Don’t Hold Back. ‘‘That was a huge honour,’’ Avicii says. ‘‘I was a big fan and I learned so many production tricks from him. It was interesting to work with somebody I’d looked up to.’’
It led to other high-profile hook ups with Tiesto, Sebastian Ingrosso and David Guetta. His track with Guetta, Sunshine, was nominated for a Grammy and Avicii says he is finalising a list of new collaborators for his debut album.
‘‘I know crossover collaborations are big right now, but the thing I’m looking for is songwriters as opposed to a singer. I want to work with someone who knows melodies, or can bring ideas to a track,’’ he says.
‘‘That’s when you get a good flow going, when you complement each other, and bounce ideas, as opposed to someone who is just a really good singer. That’s when you create songs as opposed to a product.’’
He is keeping his collaborator wish-list secret for now, adding ‘‘some of the names we are getting close to will bring real WTF moments – nobody will see it coming’’.
Avicii predicts house and techno to keep getting stronger in the US, where it’s called EDM (electronic dance music), but worries about commerce interfering with art.
‘‘I think its up to the artist to make sure EDM doesn’t become too corporate,’’ he says.
Avicii, Tiesto, Carl Cox, Calvin Harris and more, play Stereosonic, RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, on Sunday.
Swedish DJ and producer Avicii