The past year has been monumental for electronic dance music, and that’s thanks in no small part to Tim Bergling, who is better known as Avicii. His breakout hit “Le7els” helped mainstream the genre, and his latest banger “I Could Be The One” with Nicky Romero has reached No. 1 on the U.K. charts. On the heels of his main-stage performance at Ultra, we caught up with the busy Swede to hear firsthand about the dramatic event that could have derailed his next album and what’s to come. He’s set to play Marquee Nightclub on April 13, will help launch Encore Beach Club’s Daystar Sundays on April 14 and will subsequently spin at XS on April 19.
Your laptop was stolen while you were making an album—talk about a pivotal moment!
I had eight songs done on the album already. Luckily enough, I still had all the MP3s, so the ideas were still there, and just a week ago someone turned in the laptop to the Vegas police and I’m going to pick it up next time I’m in town.
With all the coverage you’ve received in the past year, do you feel pressure to ensure people remain enthusiastic about your music?
The way everything went this past year was really overwhelming, but in a good way! I’m just going to keep doing what I love, and I think my fans will appreciate that.
What was the mindset behind the mix for the “Diplo and Friends” show, and what kind of feedback have you received?
The mindset behind the mix was to create something that I could throw on anytime. I just had a good time with it, and it turned out to be a pretty solid mix. My fans seemed to enjoy it, and it gave you a look into what I am all about.
What was the thought process in the track “Avicii X You”?
This track was such a unique experience. I wanted my fans to be a part of the process that goes along with making a track and see what we could create together, and we did just that. We received about 13,000 submissions, and I put some final touches on it in the studio—incorporating the different sessions. I think the track turned out to be a great learning experience and success.
How about your banger with Nicky Romero, “I Could Be The One”?
This track was a compilation of Nicky and I just doing what we do. The final track turned out great, and working with him was a blast.
What are your thoughts on the popularity of “Le7els”?
I really liked “Le7els,” but I didn’t think it was anything special. As I started playing it, I got a good reaction almost instantly.
Certainly it’s one of the most-played EDM tracks of all time, and people want to hear it, but do you still like to play it?
Yeah, I still like to play “Le7els” during a set; I’m still amazed at the reaction it gets.
What’s it like to have all these brand partnerships, such as Ralph Lauren, and how do they partnerships affect EDM culture?
I’m not partnering up with a lot of brands to be honest. My manager Ash and I are really careful about the partners we choose, and we work very closely with the ones we decide to go with. Partnerships such as these can give an audience who might not be too familiar with EDM a glance into the EDM world and vice versa, so that’s a pretty cool aspect. We also released an exclusive remix of “Silhouettes” in collaboration with Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply, something that had never been done before.
I really didn’t think your Ultra set was remotely controversial, and was excited that you dropped Macklemore. Why did you feel the need to address the “controversy” on Twitter?
The response I received after trying out my new album on Ultra was split between people who didn’t expect the style of the tracks and where I’m taking my music and the people who really understood the way I experimented with my Ultra set. My new music still has my signature sound but involves artists I’ve been collaborating with over the last four months including Aloe Blacc, Mac Davis, Audra Mae, [Incubus’ co-writer and guitarist] Mike Einziger and more. I’m extremely happy about all these new collaborations and taking my music to the next level.
Can you tell us when the album is dropping, and what’s next?
We’re still figuring out the release date and I’m not sure what I can and can’t say, but the album will definitely be released this year.
It’s finally pool season in Las Vegas, and you’ve got major residencies at both Wynn and Marquee. What can we continue to expect from you?
You can expect the same level of energy coming your way all summer long. I’m so looking forward to the pool parties—the crowd is always amazing and energetic.