Avicii at the American Airlines Arena June 8
Yes, Avicii is a huge name in house music. But what do you really know about Tim Bergling?
Sure, you've heard his song "Levels" a million times. You can see he resembles a young Leonardo DiCaprio. And you're probably aware that he's setting off on North America's first all-arena EDM tour.
But before this Swedish kid hits the American Airlines Arena (and before he blows your mind with his 3D-mapped stage setup), let's take a tour through the 11 levels of Avicii.
From Stockholm to Miami. Avicii is all about that big-room house, and so is our fair city. In 2011, he dedicated a two-disc mix to the fist-pumping sounds of this subtropical capital of sin, titled Strictly Miami. He likes us!
That Good Feeling. Yes, "Levels" was the megahit at Ultra 2012. But it wasn't just huge in our town. It's a worldwide anthem. The song, which features a prominent vocal sample from recently deceased soul singer Etta James's "Something's Got a Hold on Me," reached the top ten in a dozen countries. It climbed to number one in five nations and topped the Billboard Hot Dance chart. That's gotta be a good feeling.
Next-Level Hype. Of course, though, "Levels" was huge from conception. For nine months before its official release, Avicii regularly dropped it during club gigs and concerts. Meanwhile, a YouTube bootleg of the track snagged more than 15 million hits before it was even available for purchase October 31, 2011. That's next-level hype, bro.
Total Wunderkind. Bergling was born September 8, 1989, which means he's only 22 years old. For a world-famous house DJ, that's rather boyish. He's part of a whole new generation of young producers that's helping to make EDM the biggest youth culture movement since boy bands.
EDM Etymology. The term Avici is the name of the seventh and lowest level of Hell in Buddhism, reserved for those who committed great misdeeds in a past life. Of course, it doesn't really seem as though Bergling is a Buddhist who's intent on exploring this terrifying realm through music. For the most part, this DJ-producer seems pretty dedicated to the raver's PLUR lifestyle.
Endless Aliases. Yes, Tim Bergling has four pseudonyms, all of which have been used on singles, EPs, and other releases. Besides Avicii, he's also known as Tim Berg, Tom Hangs, and Ashwin. So keep your eyes peeled, trainspotters.
Dude's a DJ Hero. Recently, Avicii was named the sixth greatest selector as part of DJ Magazine's Top 100 list, all thanks to his incredible success story and tons of support from heavy hitters like Tiësto, David Guetta, and Laidback Luke. Undoubtedly, dude's a DJ hero.
Master of Bleep-Bloop. As already mentioned, he's young. But did you know that Avicii has been tinkering with production for only five years? He made his first foray into bleep-bloop beats in 2007. One day, he just sat down at the computer, opened FL Studio, and started remixing tracks like the theme song to an old Commodore 64 videogame, Lazy Jones, which eventually turned into his hit "Lazy Lace." Next stop, Ultra Music Festival.
Raving Ultralite. Can you believe that Avicii has graced the stages of Ultra Music Festival three times in the past two years? He played full sets on the first and second days of Ultra 2011 and headlined the main stage at the 2012 edition of the EDM fest. This year, he even received a special introduction from pop icon Madonna. The pair made tons of headlines when the Material Girl dropped a controversial drug reference, asking the thousands of teens in attendance if they'd "seen Molly." But hey, any press is good press, right?
Corporate Beast. Sure, Bergling is young and fresh to the scene. But he's already snagged two hefty endorsement deals. That ubiquitous megahit, "Levels," was used in a Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light Platinum. And more recently, he signed on as the poster boy for Ralph Lauren's new denim line. He's starring in a "video element" and everything.
This Music Will Feed You. Because Avicii has earned so much success in such a short amount of time, he knows it's important not to be greedy. And as a way of saying thanks to the country that's embraced him, he's promised a $1 million donation to Feed America, the leading domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States. The initiative is called House for Hunger, and the money will come from this tour's ticket sales. So drop the cash and drop beats with Avicii this Friday. You'll "get a good feeling that [you] never, never, never had before."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.