Swedish DJ-producer Avicii died unexpectedly last week at the early age of 28. Today it was revealed that Tim Bergling, his birth name, died of an apparent suicide.
Avicii released EDM hits nonstop since his breakout song “Levels” in 2011. His parents released a statement that reveals not only his mental state, but the toll that a rise to fame and constant touring took on the producer.
“He really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer,” they said. “He wanted to find peace. Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.”
Indeed Avicii traveled far and made waves in a short amount of time making hits with Aloe Blacc, Coldplay, Madonna, and Daft Punk to name a few. All the while making his own music and knocking out tour dates year after year. Following his 2013 hit “Wake Me Up” with Aloe Blacc, and other accomplishments, he made Forbes’ highest paid DJs list in 2014.
Not too shabby for a guy in his early twenties doing what he loved.
But like many artists, it’s reported that Avicii struggled with his craft and didn’t find the limelight comfortable. in 2016 he quit touring after telling his family that he wanted to “find a balance in life, to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.” At the same time he released a statement in his own words saying, “I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist.”
His parents spoke more in-depth on Avicii’s feelings towards the career path he wandered down saying, “Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in,” they said. “He was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.”
“We are so grateful for everyone who loved Tim’s music and have precious memories of his songs. Thank you for all the initiatives taken to honor Tim, with public gatherings, church bells ringing out his music, tributes at Coachella and moments of silence around the world.”
Unfortunately, Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman last week on April 20th.
He beat the infamous ’27 club’ that has taken so many legendary music artists over the years. But if you can learn anything from those people it’s that Avicii’s music and memory will never be forgotten, especially in his own EDM community. This unfortunate situation also speaks to the importance of treating and talking about mental health in a safe and open environment. Music artists are humans, too.