Hey Brother! Avicii talks ahead of Live@Atlantis appearance on The Palm
The string of dance music titans bringing their beats to Dubai continues this month with Swedish superstar DJ Avicii, who will headline the second Live@Atlantis.
Tim Bergling, the 24-year-old behind Wake Me Up, Hey Brother, and the huge hit Levels, is returning for a second appearance at Atlantis after getting a rapturous reception from the crowd there in October 2012.
Avicii has previously lent his golden touch to tracks by the likes of Dizzee Rascal and fellow Swede Robyn, and counts Steve Angello and Daft Punk among his influences.
To whet your appetite further, hear from the man himself…
Where does the name Avicii come from? Avici is the lowest level of Buddhist hell. When I started out, I was Avici with one i. But on MySpace, that name was taken. And at that point, I had tried so many names and I was kind of fed up with it. So I added another i, and it worked. Then once I met my manager and we started talking, it made sense to put an extra i there, because it was kind of like a reincarnated version of the old me. It shows that I’ve moved on to another level.
Tell about your debut album True. Over the course of the last year, I’ve tried to remain true to myself and the music that I have made with all these different people – that’s why I called the album True. Whatever people like to say about it, with all the controversy surrounding it, I’ve been true to myself. It’s what I like. I mean, it’s very personal to me; this album was for me more than for anyone else.
What inspired the bluegrass sound to your album? I love finding out-of-the-box inspirations and blending them with what I’ve done in the past. And when I started to experiment with genres, that’s where I wound up, it wasn’t forced. Maybe that’s because it’s all music that I listened to growing up, and it’s all music that I love.
With all of the travelling – how do you find time to live a normal/healthy lifestyle? I’ve gotten better at it. I don’t drink anymore. I kind of turned my life around and for me just doing that one thing was huge. I feel so much better. It can be challenging but I’m sticking with it. Additionally, my personal trainer showed me a lot of workouts I can do on the road, so that helps too.
Are you still able to produce music while you’re touring/traveling? Sure. I’ll create a rough draft of a melody on my laptop and when I am back in the studio I complete what I started.
Why do you think so many musicians come from Sweden? It’s a small country, but it has so much culture, particularly in the arts. There are so many producers, songwriters and DJs that have come from Sweden. It gives you hope that you can actually make it. And it’s very cold and dark for eight months of the year, there’s not really that much to do, so that makes it easier to focus on a hobby like music.
What’s your process when writing songs, specifically when collaborating with someone? When writing songs, I already have the melodies in my head and I know exactly where to take everything, but I’m not able to sing. So when I’m with an amazing vocalist/artist and all these different acoustic instruments, I know exactly where to take everything.
You must be exhausted with your schedule, what drives you to continue? This has been my dream, being able to make a living in music and travel around like I do. I still feel lucky. I remind myself of that all the time and that’s what keeps me going.
Where do you think you’ll be 5 or 10 years from now? Hopefully the same thing, though I may not be playing live as much, maybe producing more music. In ten years, I hope I’ll still have a few years left in me to do gigs. I don’t have any specific goals, although in a way, I get new ones all the time. But all the goals that I had from the start have been achieved – such as headlining Ultra Music Festival in Miami. My debut album was also a milestone. I hope there are more surprises in store.
Atlantis Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, 6pm to 3am, Dhs250. Tel: (055) 2004321. Taxi: Atlantis Beach. platinumlist.net