No com­pro­mise for DJ star

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - WHAT’S ON -

SWEDISH su­per­star DJ Avicii ad­mits he’s ‘‘com­pletely su­per sick’’ of some of his big hits – but that won’t stop him from dust­ing them off for Jan­uary’s True tour.

The 24-year-old Stock­holm na­tive (real name Tim Bergling) has only been mas­sive for a cou­ple of years now but has al­ready amassed a grab bag of tracks he’s al­most con­trac­tu­ally obliged to play: think Lev­els, Fade Into Dark­ness and Sil­hou­ettes along­side re­cent ra­dio sta­ples Wake Me Up and Hey Brother.

‘‘I met so many artists that can look at that as some­thing neg­a­tive and that (hit) track be­comes some­thing that just fol­lows them for 10 years,’’ he says.

‘‘But to me it’s re­ally an hon­our so even if I am tired of hear­ing some of the songs that I made a long time ago – and I am ob­vi­ously com­pletely su­per sick of them – I never get tired of the re­ac­tion they get.’’

Ranked No. 3 in the world by DJ Mag­a­zine two years run­ning, Avicii’s rise has been noth­ing less than as­tound­ing, thanks to his club and dance fes­ti­val friendly tracks in­clud­ing the Grammy-nom­i­nated Lev­els, Bro­mance and My Feel­ings For You. Ear­lier this year he took a bit of a left turn on his de­but al­bum True, home to finely crafted songs – fea­tur­ing acous­tic gui­tars, folk and blue­grass – with col­lab­o­ra­tors in­clud­ing Aloe Blacc, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Mac Davis (who wrote Elvis’s In The Ghetto). His folk­in­flu­enced Wake Me Up went No.1 in 70 coun­tries in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, while his cur­rent ARIA No.4 sin­gle, Hey Brother has crossed over to coun­try ra­dio in the US – prompt­ing some to ac­cuse him of ‘‘sell­ing out’’. He hasn’t.

‘‘If I wanted to sell out it would be the eas­i­est thing in the world, like just go and recre­ate what I’ve done and choose a cou­ple of pop stars to work with,’’ he says.

‘‘What’s hard is find­ing some­thing cred­i­ble to your­self. I’ve never com­pro­mised with my mu­sic.’’

True sug­gests his pas­sion is as much about well-writ­ten pop songs with huge melodic hooks as it is dance mu­sic, so it comes as no sur­prise he says he wants to work more with fel­low coun­try­mates Benny and Bjorn from ABBA. Avicii says he got into dance and DJing as a re­sult of cre­at­ing mu­sic on his lap­top ‘‘not the other way around’’.

‘‘I pretty much lis­ten to ev­ery­thing that’s melodic and has th­ese, like you said, poppy hooks. I’ve al­ways been a sucker for that,’’ he says.

Avicii’s last visit to Aus­tralia in March saw his Bris­bane and Perth Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val ap­pear­ances can­celled af­ter he was hos­pi­talised with stom­ach pain. And in 2012 he went into hos­pi­tal with acute pan­cre­ati­tis and spent 11 days re­cov­er­ing.

With a pun­ish­ing 300 gig a year sched­ule, he ad­mits con­stant par­ty­ing took its toll.

‘‘I par­tied pretty much ev­ery night be­cause I had a show ev­ery night,’’ he says.

‘‘That was kind of how I lived my life for the first four years of tour­ing. But then I just couldn’t keep up with it, my body couldn’t keep up with it. I’m not drink­ing any more.’’

– AN­DREW FEN­TON

– Pic­ture: ALEX WES­SELY

Avicii plays The River­stage, in Bris­bane, on Jan­uary 24.

Swedish mu­sic star Avicii

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