Day 268: Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii, the genre-redefining dance-pop songwriter and producer of global hits like “Levels” and “Wake Me Up” died in April 2018 at the age of 28 in Muscat, Oman. A statement from his family at the time stated, “He could not go on,” and while they declined to go into the details of his death, they are publicly acknowledging the death was a suicide.
I was, and still am a huge fan of Avicii. I have followed his career since he game onto the prominent world wide EDM scene in 2011 with the hit song “Levels”.
The documentary “Avicii: True Stories,” which was broadcast in the UK via BBC4 portrayed an artist who seemed to be having a slow-motion nervous breakdown brought on by the relentless pressures of success and a brutal touring schedule. “My life is all about stress,” he says at one point in the film. “It will kill me.”
It was a hard watch knowing how the story ends and watching a man I have been in awe of most of my adult life show so many obvious cracks. I could relate to things he said and how he felt, but obviously we lived completely different lives!
Reading about his final days, according to a Rolling Stone report, Avicii worked with songwriter/producer Joe Janiak for several weeks at his LA home studio before leaving for Oman to visit royal friends in the country.
Janiak says that Avicii “seemed pumped”, adding: “You could tell he had spent a long time figuring out the puzzle, and he was trying to take charge of his life… That’s the shocking thing. He didn’t seem like a guy at the end of his days.”
Per Sundin, head of Universal Music Sweden, said of the new music Avicii had been working on: “All his notes were in happy mode… He loved what he had created”.
Incubus guitarist and Avicii collaborator Mike Einziger said that the musician seemed better since retiring from touring. “He didn’t look skeletal,” Einziger said. “He looked healthy, like he’d been out in the sun.”
How many times do we hear this though? There is this stereotype attached to people taking their own lives that they are visibly distressed and not thinking straight but the actual reality portrays somebody who outwardly is at peace with themselves and seem as if the weight of the World has been lifted from their shoulders.
Nobody other than Avicii will know what his final thoughts, feelings and intentions were but all I do know is we have lost a wonderfully talented man who has always acknowledged he was an introvert working in an extrovert’s world – something he always struggled to deal with. His music lives on and I will continue to run to his music and raise a little smile to the man who helped me fall in love with electronic dance music.