Written by Sina Watson
Tim Bergling, better known by his stage name Avicii, would have celebrated his 30th birthday today. It is still hard to believe that it has been over a year and a half since the electronic music world lost one of its legendary pioneers.
Born September 8, 1989 to Klas Bergling and actress Anki Lidén, Tim began mixing in his bedroom at the young age of 8. He started Djing at 16 and 2 years later he signed to Dejfitts Plays label. Tim choose his stage name Avicii, which means “the lowest of Buddhist Hell,” after his own name was already taken on Myspace. He was very active in Laidback Luke Forums, where he crafted his unique house style by producing incredible remixes at an insane pace.
In 2011, Avicii released “Levels,” launching him into the mainstream EDM scene while topping charts across the world. Shortly after he began collaborating with one of EDM’s largest names David Guetta, in which their track “Sunshine,” was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the Grammys. Later that same year he released “I Could Be the One,” with Nicky Romero.
At Ultra Miami 2013, Avicii premiered multiple new tracks and announced the release of his album “True,” later that year. His tracks were experimental in nature and left critics with mixed reviews. Later that year in June, the iconic track “Wake Me Up”, was previewed by Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1. Featuring vocals from Aloe Blacc, this first album single went on to be the UK’s fastest selling single of 2013 and the number one hit on Billboard‘s Dance/Electronic Songs list for 14 weeks. The fourth album single “Addicted to You,” was released in November 2013, compares falling in love to a drug addiction. The following year, in true Avicii fashion, unable to commit and limit himself with just one version, remixed the album in its entirety.
Listen to True.
For his next album, Avicii confessed to Rolling Stone that he had over 70 songs prepared. “Stories,” was released on October 2, 2015. The lead single, “Waiting for Love,” was first premiered at Ultra Miami 2015, and was produced with Dutch producer Martin Garrix. The song’s lyrics compares the struggling journey of heartbreak and returning to the hope of love much like getting through the days of the week. At the beginning, symbolized here as Monday, we are broken as most of us are, but as the days pass we begin to hope and are that much closer to love. By the weekend and with time, we open ourselves back up to the vulnerability of love, as it sets us on fire. “Stories,” went on to become the fourth most streamed album over 2015.
Listen to Stories.
After his tragic passing in 2018, fans mourned the loss of this iconic artist. Tim the self titled album was released on June 6, 2019 with the help of his former collaborators. The first single release “SOS,” debuted on April 10, 2019, with lyrics “Can you hear me? SOS, help me put my mind to rest,” it sounds like a significant cry for help that we can all relate to. The moving chorus boasts “I can feel your love pullin’ me up from the underground, and I don’t need my drugs, we could be more than just part-time lovers,” hinting that perhaps love is the ultimate drug. The second single, ” Tough Love,” further plays on the importance and power of love. “Tough Love,” features vocals from Vincent Pontare and Salem Al Fakir of Vargas & Lagola, who had previously worked with Tim on “Silhouettes”, “Hey Brother” ,”Without You” and “Friend of Mine.” According to his producers, Tim had wanted the song to be a duet between a real couple.
Listen to Tim
Tim Bergling Foundation
The surprising passing of Tim shed a much needed and important light of the darkness of mental health in the music industry. His parents Klas and Anki Bergling, went on to create the Tim Bergling foundation to ensure his legacy is used to help in ways that can make a difference. The foundation advocates for recognizing suicide as a global health emergency, while promoting to remove the stigma attached to taking about mental health. Furthermore, the foundation will support non-profits for Tim’s passions such as global hunger, climate change, endangered species preservation and more.
The foundation will hold an Avicii tribute concert on December 5, at The Friends Arena in Stolkholm. Over 55,000 tickets sold out in the first 30 minutes. The event will feature Avicii’s artist friend such as David Guetta, Kygo , Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Laidback Luke, and Nicky Romero. All proceeds will go to the Tim Bergling Foundation to promote mental health awareness.
Avicii and I
I’d be lying if I said that I had some significant story about how his music impacted my life in some great way. Or how I heard “Wake Me Up,” and my life suddenly changed. To be honest, I had just discovered electronic music as his touring was coming to close and was still trying to navigate myself in this incredibly expansive music genre. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to see his final Ultra Miami performance in 2016, and for that I am truly grateful.
I guess where I can say Avicii impacted me, was through the lens of someone who means a lot to me; my best friend. Through him, I saw the power behind Avicii’s his music. I watched how his face would light up whenever he was listening to a song, listened to how his voice would change pitch and get super high whenever he talked about Avicii’s music, or one of the 50 million links to sets I now have saved to my SoundCloud thanks to him. Or perhaps my favorite moments, quick glimpses of him imitating Avicii’s signature spaghetti fingers while jamming to the same Avicii set for the 1000th time on his morning commute. I was truly fortunate enough to witness firsthand the Avicii Affect, and the many ways he brought happiness and strength to his fans.
As for myself, it took me a while to muster up enough courage to fully dive into Avicii‘s discography. Mostly I guess because I had failed to be an original “true fan,” but also I feared of what I would find in his lyrics- parts of myself I was not ready to face. But what I found was so magnificent, I only wish I had discovered it sooner. He truly managed to capture both the light and dark in our everyday lives. For every hard hitting emotional track, he counter balanced with an uplifting anthem. Almost 10 years late to “Seek Bromance,” which has now become one of my go to uplifting tracks, I have become a true believer in the power of his music and the electronic legacy he has left behind.
Happy 30th Birthday Avicii
Avicii fans took to his website today to share their thoughts and remember their inspiring artist.
“With most difficult moments in my life his music was with me and still is. He helped me to run away from this fake world, spend time in another, better, full of good energy. I can cry and laugh with his tracks. He created my memories and helped me discover myself when I was really lost. I will never forget one of my best friend. Thank you!”
from AINDRILA DEY
“Dear TIM, Happy Birthday ❤️ I hope you’re happy and at peace in Heaven. Thank You for being in my life and making this world a better place to live in. Thank You for wearing your heart on your sleeve in all those beautiful songs. I fall in love with you every time I listen to your beautiful words. I always get a good feeling when I think about you. Thank You for being the most precious part of my journey. I’ll always remember you and keep you in my heart. I hope I get to meet you in Heaven. RIP◢◤”
“Dear Tim, I hope you have found peace. As long as I live, your life and music will be my inspiration. We celebrate love and life today and we will remember you for the life you lived, just as you wanted. Miss you every day. I’m sending my love to your family, too. Happy birthday, you wonderful soul.”
“Dearest Tim, Happy birthday wherever you are. You are missed. You are loved. And I will be thinking of you today, on what would have been your 30th birthday.”
from DOROTA ,POLAND
“Happy Birthday Avicii. I remember.Always.”