Tim Bergling was a renowned Swedish DJ, record producer, and songwriter. He was born in September 8, 1989, in Stockholm, and he rose to fame as a remixer and musician. He was well known by his stage name Avicii and had a passion for music since childhood. At the age of 8, he started working on his musical projects; creating compositions in his bedroom. Bergling began posting his projects on different online music forums when he was 16 years old and secured his first record deal. Bergling’s ascent to fame started through his single “Levels” in 2011. In 2013, he debuted “True”, his studio album based on a blend of electronic music and elements of various genres. Reviewed positively in numerous countries, the album remained among the ten best. It not only outdid across Europe but also gained fame internationally. His second studio album “Stories” was released in 2015 and his electronic production, “Avici 01” was released in 2017 (McIver, 2018).
In 2012, Avicii was selected for a Grammy Award for his collaboration with David Guetta on “Sunshine” and “Levels”. Although he had a short musical journey, his contribution towards electronic music brought him much credit. Several music publications highlight his role in reviving electronic music in the early 2010s (Gottlieb, 2018). His career was cut short as a result of health issues, primarily stress and deteriorating mental health which ultimately resulted in suicide on April 20, 2018. In 2019, his album “Tim” was released.
Stage Name – Avicii
Tim Bergling used Avicii as his stage name. In Buddhism, the word “Avicii” means the lowermost tier of Buddhist hell and the ones condemned to Avici can transform through rebirth. Bergling used this name because his given name was used for his MySpace profile. He added an extra ‘i’ to be distinguished. Over years he grew quite fond of his stage name (Giddins, 2019).
Musical Influence and Style
Avicii’s electronic dance music was a result of a new level of experimentation that blended various genres with electronic compositions. His work was influenced by Eric Prydz, Daft Punk, and Swedish House Mafia. His initial interaction with electronic music was by listening to Daft Punk. His early work was based on the sub-genres of house music. He worked with the sub-genre progressive house and deep house which was grounded in the four-chord structure, a simple synth melody, and sub-bass. While working on his debut album “True”, he experimented with various genres such as folktronica – a blend of folk and electronic music. He revolutionized electronic dance music by mixing it with genres such as blues, funk, soul, country, and folk. He is acclaimed for the creation of distinct sounds through the use of “soaring synths and keening melodies” (Bucklow, 2018).
Tim Bergling was passionate about mixing music and started experimenting from an early age. He shared his work with the world through electronic platforms and gained his first record label in 2007 by signing with the Dejfitts Plays. He polished his skill at the Laidback Luke forum of which he was a member. The deep house style was a distinct element of his skill since his early years of practice. By 2010, Bergling’s productivity was at its peak and he released music at an incredible rate. “Seek Bromance” was released in 2010, and proved to be a great success. It remained among the top 20 songs across several countries.
Bergling entered the mainstream music industry with the release of Levels, in 2011. The album remained among the top ten in several countries while it topped the charts in Sweden, Hungary, and Norway. His collaboration with David Guetta for the track “Sunshine” resulted in his Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. He collaborated with Madonna for “Girls Gone Wild” and with Lenny Kravitz for “Super love”, both of which were premiered in 2012, at the “Ultra Music Festival” held in Miami.
The experimental nature of the tracks in “True” received a mixed review after the festival. In October 2013, Avicii was ranked at number 3 by the “DJ Mag 2013 Top 100 DJs List” and the same year in November he won “Best Electronic” – his first accolade at the “MTV Europe Music Awards”. He also won the “American Music Award” the same year for the category of “Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist”.
Avicii released “Stories” in October 2015. It was produced by Avicci along with Salem Al Fakir, Martin Garrix, Alex Ebert, and Carl Falk among others. It was the last studio album that was released during his life. Described as being more song-oriented, the album received a mixed to positive review and included collaborations with Billie Joe Armstrong, Chris Martin, and Jon Bon Jovi among others. He was working on his last album before his death however, he could not complete it. The album was released after his death (Davis, 2019).
Avicii X You
The “Avicii X You” project was in collaboration with Ericsson and it was launched in January 2013. It was the world’s first-ever crowdsourced project. The venture provided the fans with a chance to be a part of creating a song by sending effects, basslines, rhythms, and vocals to Bergling. He received these data online in form of sound files. The song was released on February 26, 2013. Bergling was the executive producer and created the finished version of this song. The music video was released on Avicii’s channel. The video also contains text which explains the project along with the number of people who contributed to it. It also features the winners and the countries that contributed (Ericsson, 2013).
In a relatively short period, Avicci revolutionized hardcore electronic dance music with intense beat drops to folk and pop mix. This rare gift helped him build a legacy that added to the dynamic landscape of the dance genre.
Bucklow, J., 2018. Remembering Avicii, the Pop Innovator Who Led EDM Into the Mainstream. [Online]
Available at: https://variety.com/2018/music/news/avicii-appreciation-tribute-death-edm-pop-music-1202776287/
Davis, C., 2019. Remembering Avicii’s Influence on EDM. [Online]
Available at: https://www.musicorigins.org/item/avicii-on-edm/
Ericsson, 2013. Avicii’s ‘X You’ track unleashes the power of networked, social entertainment. [Online]
Available at: https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2013/2/aviciis-x-you-track-unleashes-the-power-of-networked-social-entertainment
Giddins, K., 2019. The Sun. [Online]
Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/6120329/avicii-meaning-buddhism-real-name-suicide-death-latest/
Gottlieb, J., 2018. Avicii’s hits brought electronic dance music to mainstream. [Online]
Available at: https://www.bostonherald.com/2018/04/21/aviciis-hits-brought-electronic-dance-music-to-mainstream/
McIver, J., 2018. Avicci obituary. [Online]
Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/apr/22/avicii-obituary