The 11 Levels of Avicii: A Brief Deconstruction of the Dance Music Megastar
Yes, Avicii is a huge name in house music right now. But what do you really know about Tim Bergling?
Sure, you've heard "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 Avicii hits the American Airlines Arena on Friday, June 8 (and before be blows your mind with his 3D-mapped, giant-head stage setup), let's take a tour through the 11 levels of Avicii.
11. From Stockholm to Miami
Avicii is about that big-room house, and so is our fair city. In 2011, Avicii dedicated a two-disc mix to the fist-pumping sounds of this capital of sin, titled Strictly Miami. He likes us.
10. That Good Feeling
It was the megahit at Ultra 2012. However, "Levels" 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 10 in a dozen countries. It climbed to number one in five nations, and topped the Billboard Hot Dance chart.
9. Next-Level Hype
Of course, "Levels" was huge at conception. For nine months before its official release, Avicii regularly dropped it at club gigs and concerts. Meanwhile, a YouTube video bootleg of the track snagged more than 15 milion hits before it even became available for purchase on October 31, 2011. That's next-level hype, bro.
8. Total Wunderkind
Tim Bergling was born on 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 helping make EDM the biggest youth culture movement since boy bands.
7. EDM Etymology
The term Avīci is actually the name of the seventh and lowest level of hell in Buddhism, reserved for those who committed great misdeeds in a past life. We're not sure if Bergling is a Buddhist. Or that he's even exploring this terrifying realm through his music. For the most part, this DJ-producers seems pretty dedicated to the PLUR lifestyle.
6. He'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.
5. Master of Bleep-Bloop
We already mentioned he's young. But did you know that Avicii's only been tinkering with production for 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 video game, Lazy Jones, which eventually turned into his hit "Lazy Lace."
4. Endless Aliases
Tim Bergling has four pseudonyms, all of which have resulted in singles, EPs, and other releases. Besides Avicii, he's also known as Tim Berg, Tom Hangs, and Ashwin. So keep your eyes peeled, trainspotters.
3. Raving Ultralite
Avicii has graced the stages of Ultra Music Festival three times in the last two years. He played full sets on the first and second day of Ultra 2011 while headlining the main stage at the 2012 edition of the EDM fest. This year, he was even received a special introduction from pop icon Madonna. The pair made headlines when she dropped a controversial drug reference, asking the thousands in attendance if they'd "seen Molly." But hey, no press is bad press.
2. Corporate Beast
Sure, Bergling may be 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.
1. This Music Will Feed You
Because Avicii's scored so much success in a short amount of time, he knows it's important not to be greedy. 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 don't be shy, drop the cash and drop beats with Avicii on Friday, June 8. You'll get "a good feeling. Like you never, never, never, never had before. You'll get a good feeling. Yeah.
Avicii. Friday, June 8. American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $16.50 to $72 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Ages 16 and up. Call 786-777-1000 or visit aaarena.com.
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