Some have chased the American Dream relentlessly, others merely scoping its widespread charm. Surreal standings aside, Tim Bergling’s duty remains the balancing of two familiar themes amid the great club resurgence. Despite mustering a select storm of uproar from the more close-minded sects of the once underground culture, his journey from the ranks of invisible Swedish hopeful to the face of modern Dance music and its extension into designer fashion has been as all embracing as it has emotional. Taking a break from the wanderings of his North American Le7els tour, the Swedish icon retraced the far-fetched footsteps and dream-like endeavours that have seen him inaugurated into the hysteric world of universal floor fillers.

True to the top line of his latest single ‘Silhouettes’, Avicii has come a long way since his time on the beat as his nations best-kept secret. Assisted by the equally motivated mind of the At Night executive and prolific industry professional Ash Pournouri and the drive to excel the sterling reputation of his Swedish peers, Bergling became something of a new age ambassador to his craft at the blink of an eye. “It wasn’t until Electric Daisy Carnival last year that it suddenly hit me: There were 80,000 people in front of me going crazy for my tracks,” he explained. “That was an overwhelming moment for me, almost like a dream that I thought could never become a reality.”

Found posting his music on Swedish forums as early as 2006 only to receive a unanimous wave of silence, his drawing on the heartstrings of the club-savvy generation alongside such allies as Madonna and Ralph Lauren was no overnight maneuver. Between 300 live appearances and a breakthrough record that made 2011 a game changing year by any standards, the uprising of Avicii is found in that well-rounded consistency that translates through the speakers and the airwaves alike.

But in the age of overnight solutions and technological slobbery, this steady graft of globetrotting and studio work has been the root of every gain attributed to the Swede, fixing Avicii as one of the most proactive assets of the industry to date along the way. “Given the happiness this work ethic has brought me I cannot help but swear by it,” laughs Bergling. “Taking the time to put in the work allows you to produce better tracks and develop a unique working market. Once you get past the stress and tiredness that everyone has at some stage in their lives, the result is always going to be phenomenal. If you wake up every morning ready to work hard at something that makes your world spin round then to my mind you can only succeed.”

While our original intention had been to bypass the subject of this strong-serving mark on Bergling’s premature career, Tim dutifully accepts that in tracing the story so far, the union of infectious synth work and the late Etta James has been crucial to the bigger picture now associated with his Avicii moniker. But far from his peak, ‘Levels’ would be merely the awakening of a universal breakthrough for the unsuspecting Swede. More impressive than his global notoriety is the enthusiasm to which Bergling has awoken within the American market. Brandishing high-profile remixes for Madonna and Lenny Kravitz in a bid to echo the stadiumesque presence he now commands, the overall enthusiasm of his stateside peers at such headline slots as his New Years extravaganza at Pier 94 or the array of global festivals Bergling now frequents cannot be ignored when summing up the physical and spiritual ground the Swedish producer and this industry have taken side-by-side.

“America has always been a great starting place for something to grow and expand within,” explained Bergling. “You just have to look at the way the country has tuned in to Electronic music to see that it is moving towards something very special. Europe will always be the place where it started for me and I will never forget the loyal fan base that I have there, but the opportunity to take on such a vast country and receive so much enthusiasm is something that I didn’t think any DJ would ever experience.”

But with Avicii, there is a sense that every big push forward comes with a wilder undertone. From moving stage elements to groundbreaking visual elements, the North American leg of his ‘Le7els’ tour has gone down as one of the more riveting initiatives since the mouse head of Joel Zimmerman broke the mold on intense visual shows.

Bergling explained: “My hope was that this would be an experience no one has ever witnessed before in live Dance music, not even close to the scale of the production that we had before. We premiered the stage show at Coachella, but there were a lot of elements we could not use because of the festival setting. This will bring a new dimension to the energy that I feel Avicii represents.”

Between the high profile his arena-driven onslaught of musical evangelism lays a sense that Bergling is not afraid to challenge the boundaries between the club and its once opposing realms of popular music. Despite drawing the line with a legal battle between Simon Cowell’s Syco label after they inadvertently pinched the concept behind his ‘Fade Into Darkness’ single, Bergling remains positive that within the merging of these two allegedly contradictory elements in music lies a positive future for his craft and those as ambitious as himself to utilise.

“I feel like what people negatively dub to be ‘mainstream’ is actually a really healthy aspect of the scene as it shows that the industry is moving forward and becoming a strong industry again,” he explained. “The most important thing for me is to make music that I am proud of rather than putting all the emphasis on airplay and charts. I have always said that I would work with big artists and pop stars – but it has to be perfect. People may have their own ideas about my work, but to me selling out has never been on the agenda, so long as your soul and enthusiasm are still on the table then reaching out to such wide audiences can only be positive.”

Popular accolades aside, doubts surrounding the creative integrity behind his image-conscious live spectacle were countered with his latest single ‘Silhouettes’. Calling upon fellow countryman Salem al Fakir, Bergling’s underlying commitment to melodic and emotive music that both utilises and transcends his strong Progressive House background signal that against all odds, that flame for heartrending moments still burns in spite of industry’s rapidly shifting hallmarks. “This was the track I was born to make,” he admitted. “There has always been a focus on melodies and vocals, so to bring them together is like the epitome of the sound I am out to perfect. Salem’s angelic voice was exactly what ‘Silhouettes’ needed to make this track the epitome of what I want to stand for.”

Ditching the typical chauvinism more commonly associated with that of the superstar DJ, the trials, tribulations and pitfalls that come hand-in-hand with earning your stripes as one of the globes most devoutly followed contenders have not shifted that sense of courtesy from Bergling’s creative outlook. Instead, there lies a spiritual quest within the Swede’s dreams to enrich the industry and inspire the masses of likeminded aficionados that hold him in such high esteem. “So long as I am making a living and remaining happy then it is the dream job for me. The huge shows and intense support from across the globe are a huge deal for me, but being happy is at the heart of why I do what I do. Without a sense of enjoyment and pride in the music, none of it really matters.”

While a vast array of clichés follow the ranks of childhood dreamers who attain their wildest dreams, the billion dollar industry has proven a vital platform for Tim Bergling to execute the most universal amalgamation of his craft without hitting upon tedium. Still wired to the road ahead and driven to dictate the playbook of global success for aspiring producers and DJs across the globe, Avicii remains the product of raw ambition and a quest for happiness that has been balanced within every surge forward, however grand or miniscule. Bergling explained: “I am blessed for the opportunity to work this hard at something that genuinely gets me up in the morning.”

As the world remains volatile, modern Dance music emerges as one of the more tangible realities of modern culture on offer. At the helm of flagship rendition of the fruitful potential of the 21st century club paragon, Tim Bergling’s youthful exuberance may be the crucial weapon in this overshadowing legacy stretched across the studio, floor and festival alike. With his first residency on the White Isle of Ibiza at the prestigious Ushuaia beach club underway alongside a stack of exclusive festival appearances throughout the summer, this balance of scenery suggests that amid his game changing pastimes, it is a genuine sense of pride that has spoken to dancefloors across the globe.

A young leader among the likeminded dreamers of the electronic renaissance, his legacy is one of painstaking progression that makes the prospect of iconic succession all that more human and invariably attainable when armed with the right heart and the ability to light fires in the hearts of the most unsuspecting avenues.

Photo credit: Joe Gazzola, Pax Engström & Rukes

Words by Dan Carter

67 Comments to “Passion, fashion and ’selling out’: Avicii intimately unwraps the Dance explosion”

  • He’s been of major importance to the scene these past few years. I think people are taking this mainstream and selling out thing a bit too far. Sure, he may have overstepped that line a bit with the whole madonna thing, but to be honest, it’s more like the mainstream has followed Avicii than the other way around.

    You should do more of this.

  • Good job, a nice change from all of the question interviews these days …

  • Tbh the idea is great, but the structure is not easy to read.

  • I know that people will hate me for saying this but for me, Avicii made house music listenable. Thats how important I think he has been.

    I dont understand why people say his mainstream. There is still a fine line between Avicii and mainstream pop music if u look at how the music is arranged.
    The best example is, in Aviciis music, the lead never plays at the same time as the vocalist is singing while in mainstream music that is exactly what is going on at the same time(“the arrangment signatur stuff” for pop music).

    Also to Beat My Day, for us non born in Britain or USA. Are you going to make a shorter version of the text in easy english? I dont understand 50% of the words in there and it hurts my eyes to look at that wall.

  • I didnt get half of that, why the overuse of “big words”? Barely readable, to the majority. :/ Good intrerview, even though I barely read any personal opinions coming from Tim.

  • I agree with Qwantum. When he first debuted Levels in 2010 everybody was absolutely in love with it. It was only after it was remixed and played by everywhere and everyone that people started to hate on it for being too “mainstream”. As for his performance with Madonna I would probably do the exact same thing. Yes Madonna has lost what she once had and is simply begging for attention now but she is still The Queen of Pop. I doubt that Avicii was focused on the mainstream appeal that Madonna would bring as much as he really wanted to perform on stage with a living music legend and icon.

    Not that I’m all sun and rainbows over Avicii either. Yes he’s one of my absolute favorite producers but I can’t stand how he waits over 8 months to release all of his songs. I swear his list of unreleased songs is bigger than his list of released songs. I hope he at least puts them all out at once as an album. Also, his DJing skills aren’t quite on par with some of the other hungry newcomers (ie. Hardwell, Alesso, Arty, Porter, etc.). That’s just my two cents. Sorry for the rambling. Great article though

  • @Rodd, you do know quote marks mean that is Avicii’s words, right? :)

    Great and fair view on Avicii.

  • Haha. Almost made me chuckle a bit when you mentioned that thing about the forum. Saw that earlier this month and it made me lol. Hope avicii reads this article

  • whoever wrote this article is a douchebag, its beatmyday not the morning herald

  • “Some have chased the American Dream relentlessly, others merely scoping its widespread charm. Surreal standings aside, Tim Bergling’s duty remains the balancing of two familiar themes amid the great club resurgence. Despite mustering a select storm of uproar from the more close-minded sects”

    Jesus christ… get a tan.

  • Love your wordplay! By far one of the best I’ve seen I think

  • OK Mr. Dan Carter, while i appreciate the nice article about Avicii, i just wanted to say that this is a dance blog not a freaking English 202 for Harvard Literature, whats the need to use such a big word? to showcase ur vocabulary?? not necessary really!

    please re write this again in modern english

  • what kind of article is this?? sorry but im not trying to take out a goddamn dictionary for a dance blog article

  • Sort of agree. While no dictionary is necessary to read this unless your english is rubbish and we all know you’re a great writer, a bit easier wouldn’t word.

    Nonetheless, great article and I hope you guys continue doing this.

  • Thank you for every single piece of feedback you guys have given. Greatly appreciated!

    Will take it all into consideration for future features of this kind :)

  • I would appreciate if someone could just ask Tim when he’s planning to actually release some tracks, instead of giving me an English lesson with this 18th century novel on a music blog.

  • What differs this article from other articles in EDM is indeed well-written english. But as mentioned before, some splitting up of the text is needed. AND you need to change the very old deadmau5 advertisement! :)

    Well done!

  • He is mainstream, come on. What he calls house music is actually pop music. House music was born in chicago and detroit and in the late 80’s and the scene continues to flourish if you just open your eyes you might be able to see it:

    House classic from 1987, Mr Fingers – Can you feel it

  • +1000 why yo

  • good interview. would have been good though if there had been a bit more about up coming tracks, collaborations, or even news about adstedt. adstedt is definitely one for the future!

  • Can someone sum up the text.. I alwso find it hard to understand!

  • laughing so hard at all the comments

  • did someone just say avicii made house music listenable?

    so this scene wasn’t listenable before levels?

    :i don’t want to live on this planet anymore:

  • I actually liked Avicii a few years ago. Songs like “Record Breaker”, “Ryu”, “Dukkha”, “Mr. Equalizer” and “ManMan”. Songs like all these new “hardcore” fans never had heard of.

    So I thinks it’s a bit boring that he has gone from this songs to more mainstream ( or call lit whatever you cwant), but apperently he just get bigger and bigger, so people obviously appreciate his newer style, and it’s fun for them :)

  • everything in this article is overhyped to the max. Avicii is a great producer and a fairly average dj. He isnt the guiding light of dance music people make him out to be

  • This shit is seriously overwritten, I’d rather see short easy-to-read articles than this. I usually don’t complain but now I have to read the lines over and over again just to understand what the fuzz’s about!

    When I hit the posts about new songs I look at the title and image, then maybe hit play on the preview, but I guess I’ve never ever read a full post.

  • Okay, I skipped the whole thing after the first 5 lines. Relax a little with your wordplay. Even though I love your blog, this is not a literature blog.

  • Making Interviews Unreadable For Dummies

  • BeatMyDay,

    Fire Dan.



  • I don’t have two hours to read an article on avicii. Get to the point – you aren’t analyzing a new planet – it’s a house dj.

  • It’s kind of hilarious that people are criticizing Dan for his writing being too advanced…

  • wurl +1 was just about to say the same.. Pretty silly to be honest. Hopefully he’ll make it more reader friendly next time.

  • wurl said it. I mean sure it’s overwritten but chill out a little :-|

  • I don’t understand why anyone is saying this is difficult to read because the words are too big. If anything, some “big” words people are complaining about are used incorrectly. This is not difficult to read. It is high school level English, if that.

    Aside, good interview. I enjoyed it.

  • “I don’t understand why anyone is saying this is difficult to read because the words are too big. If anything, some ”big” words people are complaining about are used incorrectly. This is not difficult to read. It is high school level English, if that.

    Aside, good interview. I enjoyed it.”

    – stop trying to act like it wasn’t challenging to read. This is definitely not high school level English, and if it were, it doesn’t change the fact that this entire article could have been half as long and still maintain the same message… we all get it.. Avicii is cool… saying phrases like:

    …Tim Bergling to execute the most universal amalgamation of his craft without hitting upon tedium.

    or “deepsite mustering”

    or Tim Bergling’s duty remains the balancing of two familiar themes amid the great club resurgence.


  • I guess the age of readers here is 12 because it really isnt hard to understand the wording Mr. Carter used

  • Are people seriously this stupid where they can’t understand English? English isn’t even my first language and I understand everything perfectly. Great article.

  • “michael”: Use the same alias when commenting 10 times over please.


  • Beat My Day, please consider reading your own articles before you post them. We are not going to spend half an hour with a dictionary to translate some of these words into normal english when we are reading something about Avicii.

    It is an interesting article, but it could have been way more user friendly.

  • Great article, keep it up Dan.

    Apparently, most of BeatMyDay’s readers are fucking idiots who dropped out of High School to pursue being DJ’s and as a consequence of that………. can’t read.

    @Peter – If you needed a dictionary to read the article then you shouldn’t be commenting on this, beg your parents for some money to pay for English classes.

  • sket i att läsa efter ett tag, mindre ord! alla vill läsa!

  • Most of us aren’t complaining about the big words, were complaining about the content. It’s just nonsense!

    Ex. “With his first residency on the White Isle of Ibiza at the prestigious Ushuaia beach club underway alongside a stack of exclusive festival appearances throughout the summer, this balance of scenery suggests that amid his game changing pastimes, it is a genuine sense of pride that has spoken to dancefloors across the globe.”

    How in the fuck does the fact he has a residency at Ushuaia, and will appear at many festivals this summer, suggest a genuine sense of pride has spoken to dancefloors across the globe?

    Please, someone defend this.

  • PS. How is this a good article?? We learned nothing… There is no information in this article, let alone new information.

    In summary, Avicii posted tracks on a forum in 2006 and got no attention, now he is rich, famous, and feels blessed. Oh, and he won’t sell out he says! (What’s he going to say? “Yeah, I made that record purely for dumb american kids who will totally come to my show in a neon beater and soother, then tweet about it.”)

    The whole reason I check Beat My Day is for the exclusive music, that covers all genres with the suffix “house”. If I wanted to read pointless articles about ‘EDM’ and it’s artists, I’d read Dancing Astronaut!

    I hate people who throw around negative comments like mine, so feel free to rip on me.


  • Avicii just release your tracks FFS, it’s unbelieveable!

  • The reason for all the critisism is that Avicii makes kids music. You can play his tracks in an macdonalds and it wouldn’t even be misplaced. His target audience simply doesn’t have the language mastered to a degree that they can fully understand this text. I myself was interested in his words, because I hear this selling out thing everywhere there’s written Avicii. But after a few words I just had to stop reading this unbiased asskissing for such a self absorbed, generic Guetta 2. I was on the Laidback Luke forum when he posted there, and he was one of the most asocial egocentric posters I’ve ever seen there. Anyway, I realised that it couldn’t matter what Tim wiuld have said, an artist speaks through his/her art and Levels remains the anthem of idiots imo.

    And dan his finished journalism school is completely put of place here. His impressive painting with words needs a similar place of class. I adore beatmyday, but yiu mostly (need to) post big cheesy dance/pop music to support your biggest sponsors: the 10.000 + fanbass artist, which is completely understandable. But because of the low level music of artist everybody knows through and through, 90% of the visitors never reads any text. An interview should be as simple and objective as possible, but I don’t need to tell Dan that. His style is best used on writing columns. Maybe here aswell?

    Btw, before I’m labeled a hater (another kid term, that “”"EDM”"”" has brought forth, I do liked Ryu and his Vicious tracks at the time. I also enjoy beatmyday, but mostly due to the active community. I do like to keep udated on my ex heroes to see if they already left the EDM scene. The best site that informs you for this, is without a question BMD.

  • @Vincent – what was his nick at LBL forums? Would be really interesting to read his old posts!

  • I absolutely 100% agree with Chris. I was going to say something like it, but then saw he’d already said it. Props! If you have more than two brain cells his comment is the only one that matters.

  • Dan +1

    Great article I really enjoyed it. And to the people complaining about Dan’s writing being too advanced and difficult to comprehend, really? I for one like seeing someone who takes the time to formulate an article in an eloquent and sophisticated manner rather than in a fifth grade book report format. If I wanted a mediocre summation of the facts I would go to another news feed and blog. I come here for the good articles and the great selection of new music. I can’t stand seeing all the hate for the article because it is really fucking stupid if you take a look at the opposing sides. Maybe rather than complaining to Dan for being too well written and smart you should question yourself for being too simpleminded and illiterate.

    Good day, sirs

  • If you cannot understand the article, the only person to be upset with is yourself. It’s not Dan’s fault you cannot comprehend what he said. If the words he used are too big then you obviously do not read (which is no big deal). It just leaves me with one question, why would you want to read what he wrote anyway?

  • Beat My Day, know your audience. I would be willing to bet that most people who browse this blog don’t even read what you write.

    I stopped reading what you write on releases, previews and whatnot a long time ago. It’s not just because you use a retardedly advanced english that most of your readers don’t understand. It’s because it seriously lacks content. The mix of the english you use with wordplay and fancy words combined with the actual lack of substantial content makes your average reader cringe and worst of all – feel stupid.

    This article is nothing more than a showoff in great vocabulary and doesn’t tell us anything new at all. Frankly, this article doesn’t tell us anything of importance other than the quotes from Tim himself.

    I was actually excited when I read the title of this article. I was hoping that it would be somewhat controversial discussing Avicii going completely mainstream and selling out as a model for ugly clothes.

    Instead it’s a 20 scroll nudges long asslicking tribute to Avicii filled with fancy words that -as a reader looking for relevant information- makes me want to puke. I shouldn’t have to read a 50 word sentance that if you break it down says that Avicii has made a track together with Salem Al Fakir.

  • Dan + Beat My Day,

    I applaud your efforts in taking music blogging to new heights with your in depth coverage of releases, concerts, behind the scene info etc.

    With that being said, after reading this article I felt I needed to chime in on what I see happening with the evolution of this blog. And this is not to criticize but just to provide an opinion from a fellow blogger and music fan.

    To put it simply, this article (and many more) came across like an English Literature essay with the desperation and intensity of an eager graduate student. The use of wording, length of sentences and description that went into this completely tainted the whole article.

    For ex.

    “While a vast array of clichés follow the ranks of childhood dreamers who attain their wildest dreams, the billion dollar industry has proven a vital platform for Tim Bergling to execute the most universal amalgamation of his craft without hitting upon tedium”

    What are you trying to say? and to who? I myself have a masters degree and had a tough time wrapping my head around this statement. To be honest, it comes across as arrogant and elitist. You guys write about music, this isn’t rocket science 101. Please, for the sake of your readers- keep your writing real and down to earth. We aren’t all in grad school and we come here to listen and learn about music, not the english language.


  • Conductor summed up everything I wanted to say without being a douchebag like me.

  • Respect also due to lolmad and Conductor, who are speaking the plain truth. Dan, you now have the chance to prove to us readers that you are able to listen to our constructive criticism (basically that this “interview’ was completely style over content). Why not just give us the straight transcript from the interview? (i.e. Dan: [Question] then Avicii: [Answer]) Remember, that we’re here in the first place reading your words and want to help this site become better. Cheers.

  • Beat My Day Readers,

    The feedback you guys provide is essential to us here at BMD and I applaud those of you who provided upfront and constructive criticism about what didn’t work with this feature – this is what makes what we do so powerful – it is a community with real people and real voices.

    And the people have spoken! I tried something and it didn’t work and I take full responsibility for that mistake. You saw me at my worst, so prepare for my best from here onwards because I don’t make the same fuck up twice. I owe it to every reader to up the ante and will work tirelessly to do so. Don’t let one interview out the 145 and counting I have conducted set the tone just yet ;) .


    Dan Carter

  • Well said Dan. Damn… well said.

  • For those of you standing up for the vocabulary used in this article:

    Sure, yes, its great having a blog that differentiates itself from the other ones, but writing is just like djing; you’re doing it for the audience, not the critics. (or should be at least).

  • whoever wrote this article needs to redo English class from grades 1-12 / if english is your second language, then step up your grammar / vocabulary / english game before you start a blog

  • less ridiculous adjectives,………… shorter and more CONSICE sentances…more “to the point”……..also…i would be curious to see interviews with the blog writers of this site to get to know whos writing this stuff / it would be good to get to know the makers of this blog from a audio/ video perspective

  • @Chris & Conductor
    If you really want to be effective in critiquing other peoples work, do it well. “ex.” means excluding, “e.g.” means; for example. Illiterate monkey.

    Consider this, have you paid to read this? and if you struggled to read this article, is the loss of your time as as an uneducated imbecile really worth crying about.

    Dan, Great article. It’s a pleasure to read the words of a passionate and intelligent individual.

  • There is a mistake in the headline of this article, surrounding “selling out”

  • Can someone tell me what the name is of this track?

  • Mainstream Music Pfft

  • Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss
    and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send
    me an e-mail.

Post comment