Today would have been the 29th birthday of Avicii; a DJ and producer who brought his own unique insight to electronic music and inspired many throughout his short life.
Those who admired the endlessly innovative musician have today united in their appreciation of his talent, lyricism and far-reaching impact on modern music.
Music fans from all over the world have taken to Avicii’s memorial page, sharing their own varied and personal responses to his unmistakable melodies.
Originally from Stockholm in Sweden, Avicii – real name Tim Bergling – became renowned for being ahead of the curve; blending EDM with unexpected genres such as country, soul and folk.
His experimental style helped reinvigorate dance music for a new generation, with many young people suddenly aware of the imaginative possibilities of the genre.
‘Michael’ wrote the following message on Avicii’s memorial site:
Avicii was the first dance artist who truly got me into dance music as a whole and I bought both of his albums when they came out.
RIP Avicii, you may be gone but your music will live on forever…
Many fans who took to the site praised Avicii himself, fondly recalling his empathetic, modest nature which resonated with many others who struggled with the limelight.
Avicii self-identified as an introvert, and was open about how his hectic touring schedule and superstar status often sat uneasily with him.
Far from the stereotype of the confident, ‘centre of the party’ DJ, Avicii grappled with insecurities; once telling Rolling Stone how partying in Ibiza sometimes made him feel ‘lonely’.
Writing on the memorial site, Petra Susanna said:
The last 4 months have been emotionally difficult for me since Avicii was my favorite artist and Tim was such a great and humble person.
I never got to see him live, the tributes paid for him at Ultra Europe 2018 are the closest to an Avicii show that I’ve been. There’s no other artist with such strong impact on my life.
He left an empty space which can never be filled again. Never forgotten, forever missed. Rest easy, Tim.
— tara pitman (@tarapitman) August 27, 2018
Avicii was candid with fans about his personal difficulties, which included problems with both his physical and mental health.
UNILAD spoke with Matt Campion, who is the creative director of the award winning mental health campaign #IAMWHOLE.
#IAMWHOLE is currently preparing to raise awareness about mental health through the medium of live performance, with upcoming gig Music 4 Mental Health helping to ignite important conversations.
Campion told UNILAD:
So many people that are creative, who can build a love for doing what they’re doing in their bedroom [cannot] actually [cannot cope with] the pressure of fame.
[…] Especially with social media now and having to tour schedule – you can see why so many musicians get burnt out so early on because they’re put into a machine […]
When you think back to it, these guys are not superhuman. They are human and someone like him, I can understand, it’s the thing, unfortunately, his talent and his artistry that has made him so famous and pushed him into a world that ended up killing him.
The comments on the memorial site are written in a variety of languages, revealing the truly global impact Avicii had.
Many fans wrote of how listening to Avicii’s philosophical lyrics had given them comfort during difficult times; transcending the typical experience of merely enjoying dance music.
Club revellers may have danced joyously to Avicii until the early hours, but his music and messages of belonging were also there for them during quieter, more reflective moments.
2015 was a year that I found myself. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Stories. This is my favourite album ever still to this day.
It inspired my tattoo-lyrics from Trouble, and soon I will be adding to it. Listening to Avicii has brought me so much joy and happiness, and I miss him dearly.
Thank you so much Tim for helping me through tough times in my life, and I only wish I could have helped you through yours. You will never be forgotten.
One of the things about music, and the reason I think one of the things that Avicii’s fans can relate to, is that music is a language that communicates to everybody.
It’s a way of people expressing themselves through music, and people have been doing that for years. So artists that talk about their mental health struggles, about dark times, that can be documented back decades.
It’s a language that’s always been there, that allows people of all types of personalities and levels of mental health to be able to relate to something and have a connection to something.
And I think if you look at our symbol, a circle which is about being whole, it’s about finding something to belong to, about knowing that you’re not alone.
It’s about knowing that you’re part of something much bigger than you realise and that actually you shouldn’t feel isolated. That actually everybody has to look after their mental health. And I think music is an amazing way of bonding that together.
Speaking about the memorial site, Campion added:
That’s great as a legacy to him though, isn’t it? Because again, going back to the language of music, it transcends all languages.
And people can translate lyrics and stuff but actually it’s something that travels the world, it’s not about a TV presenter in the same country that can talk down the camera and communicate. It’s actually a form of artistry and a subject matter and genre that allows people to feel a part of that.
So what’s amazing about his legacy is the fact that actually, he won’t have even realised, through the struggles he’s had, and through unfortunately his death, he’s actually had such a powerful impact on a global scale of people being able to come together and talk and openly discuss and support each other.
Avicii died on April 20, 2018, from an apparent suicide at the age of just 28.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Tim Bergling at this difficult time.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.