New York City (2011) — We first connected with Avicii this past summer, while the Swedish sensation was visiting Harlem’s Stadiumred Studios to work on a track with ultra-soulful vocalist Jeremy Carr. Our interview time was brief. Studio time, after all, is money.
Afterward, we caught his DJ gig at Manhattan’s Marquee club, which included an on-mic cameo from Carr, who tore the house down with “Can You Hear Me (In the Air),” an Avicii-remixed Austin Leeds production. In spite of the club’s often-distracted models-and-bottles atmosphere, the two enjoyed a genuinely uplifting musical moment. Of course, after Avicii rocked his biggest hits—“Bromance” and “My Feelings For You” (with Sebastien Drums)—we thought we could put a bow-tie on this Avicii story.
However, for the next several months, it seemed as if Avicii (aka 21-year-old Tim Bergling) was practically following us. He returned to NYC in September for Electric Zoo in Randall’s Island and dropped enough dancefloor bombs to see much of his tent overcome by clouds of dust kicked up by the wound-up crowd. Then it was the Grimaldi Forum during the Monaco International Clubbing show in Monte-Carlo, playground of the filthy rich. Back in NYC, he played Lavo, an upscale restaurant/lounge. Then it was out to Westbury, Long Island, for Glo Nightclub to entertain the suburban party set.
But no matter the venue’s size or atmosphere, Avicii’s melodic, energetic tracks always seem to connect. Based in house music, yet somewhat trancey and spiced with a dash of techno, his sets tend to be irresistible, unending hookfests. Not bad for a kid who, after being voted a winner on Pete Tong’s Fast Trax show, has only been producing for four years.
So, as “Seek Bromance”—a vocal edit of “Bromance” featuring Amanda Wilson from Samuele Sartini’s “Love U Seek” track—hit the stores and he closed down a massive 2010 campaign, we re-visited Avicii, one of EDM’s youngest rising stars.
DJ Times: Alright, let’s get it out of the way: What’s the story with your name?
Avicii: Avici is the lowest level of Buddhist hell. It came up when I was going to choose my MySpace page. I had 10 or 15 names, but everything was taken. Then a friend of mine used Avici in another concept, and I liked the name. So I added another “i,” so that I could get away from my music made under other names. I wanted a new identity so that when people searched for the name it would come up as my music with the new spelling.