Avicii was an avatar as much as he was a producer. Exploding on to the scene in 2011 with his unabashedly saccharine hit Levels, the Swedish musician born Tim Bergling represented, depending on where one stood, either the best or worst of dance music’s rise in the United States. Just 21 years old at the time of his breakthrough, Bergling was perhaps an unlikely star. All cheekbones and platinum hair, he never seemed entirely comfortable in the spotlight. Friends and colleagues described him as shy and quiet, a sweet kid with the heart of a technician. In interviews, his responses could come off as canned or reticent, as reporters probed for answers from an artist seemingly more comfortable at his computer assembling tracks. But his music was a different story. Avicii was one of the first EDM stars to arrive on the scene fully formed, and he hit just as dance music was for the first time gaining mainstream popularity in the US. Discovered on MySpace by veteran Dutch producer Laidback Luke, Bergling took his name from the Buddhist term for hell, avīci, and began pumping out an arsenal of hits that quickly defined a burgeoning genre. Tracks including Levels,… Read full this story
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