Nothing shocked the dance music world more this year than the tragic passing of Avicii. The Swedish DJ/producer (real name: Tim Bergling) died in April in Muscat, Oman, after a long and widely-publicised battle with addiction and mental health issues. Shortly after his death, his parents released a heartbreaking statement implying the DJ had taken his own life. The tragic event brought into sharp focus the insane pressures put on young people in the music industry, particularly artists suddenly thrust into the spotlight with little support or stability. Avicii, who shot to fame as the posterboy of the late-noughties EDM boom, was reportedly playing up to 300 shows a year at his touring peak, developing acute pancreatitis as a result of his hectic life on the road. His exhaustion and anxiety were well documented in his fly-on-the-wall Netflix documentary, Avicii: True Stories, which was removed from the streaming service shortly after his death. Despite the tragic nature of his passing, the dance music community has rallied together to celebrate Avicii’s life and creativity — Bergling is reported to have been working on 10 new tracks with disco legend Nile Rodgers at the time of his death.
No word yet on if the tracks will see the light of day, though the diverse and impressive catalogue left behind by the Swede will be more than enough to cement his enduring legacy. Many fans voted for him in this year’s Top 100 DJs poll, and lots of Top 100 DJs have namechecked him to underline the point that he is sorely missed by everyone.
Words: CHARLOTTE LUCY CIJFFERS