'Levels' might have been the track that catapulted him to superstardom in 2011, but it's perhaps this year's 'Silhouettes' that best sums Avicii, and indeed the whole EDM 'explosion', up. For with its lyrics celebrating the fact that "We've taken a big step forward", 'Silhouettes' is the perfect anthem for an era which, in America at least, could be as much Year Zero for dance music as 1988 was in the UK. A time before the 22-year old DJ and producer was even born, lest we forget. And when 'Silhouettes' proclaims that "We will never get back to the old school", it's not with misty-eyed regret, but with a wide-eyed excitement that speaks to a generation for whom the cherished notion of 'authenticity' and adored collections of original Trax 12" pressings held up by many of dance music's 'old school' elders are about as impressive and relevant as a woodwork O-level, and for whom the fresh-faced Swede otherwise known as Tim Bergling has become the poster boy.
"'Silhouettes' is definitely a track with significance behind it," Avicii says. "The lyrics stand for my incredible journey in growing as a person and as an artist. However, I also feel it applies to the development of EDM. Americans are just crazy for EDM at the moment and I guess I've just been in the right place at the right time, thanks to my team. My sound seems to connect with people in the U.S. They really connect with the music and go crazy for it!"
The fact that Avicii is answering DJ Mag's questions just after playing New York's legendary Radio City Music Hall also shows how much things have changed. But whilst he might be the first 'dance' act to appear at a venue better-known for hosting the likes of Frank Sinatra, in some ways Avicii's live show - which he's toured to festivals such as Ultra and Tomorrowland and which features him performing atop a gigantic moving head - has much more in common with a Broadway spectacular than your average producer and his laptop.
"I wanted to create something that doesn't exist in EDM, where the demand fits the scale of it," he explains. "Why should rock concert goers be the only ones who get to enjoy huge productions? We took on a challenge to create an experience, but that's not at every gig. The 'live show' is a fresh break from the normal club gigs for both me and the fans."
Although Avicii promises plenty more club gigs to sate his apparently exponentially expanding audience next year, he's also itching to get back into the studio. "I started out as a producer and I have so many great ideas about how to develop my sound," he gushes. "This is hopefully just the beginning of my career, as I've only been doing it properly for little over three years. The future is an exciting place."
Making 'Silhouettes'' line about "coming a long way" the most apt of all.