Last night watched a movie about Avicii. As you may’ve heard, a Swedish electronic music talent passed away on April 20, 2018 - two years after announcing his “retirement” from touring and playing his last show.
While not even 30 years old, Tim Bergling (real name) managed to deliver some significant hits, travel the world, work with some of the best musicians out there and become a part of what is defined as the transformation of electronic music genre. And end up falling off the cliff.
The movie is a summary of the DJ’s intensive career period between 2008-2016. After multiple failures in fighting anxiety, stress and 800+ shows later young man finally realized that he had been touring hospitals along the different hardcore party (read: performing) places. Needless to say, this seemed to be the most mindblowing fact for Tim which eventually leaded to cancelling more and more shows.
After all this time he admitted to himself that touring is something that he obviously was not made for. During the movie this becomes pretty logical.
Tim started putting together different sounds on FL Studio in his basement at the age of 16. Working basically at night and sleeping most of the day, he started spreading his music around. It gained attention and soon enough Bergling ended up in Miami playing his own songs in front of a couple of people who kept becoming a crowd with every next song. Then he received a Facebook message from some guy Ash who said he knew some people and could help the upcoming DJ with his career. One movement after another and Avicii is a worldwide sensation working together with Chris Martin, Nile Rodgers and playing over 100 shows a year around the globe. Just imagine: the kid is barely 22 years old...
His manager Ash Pournouri (the same guy from Facebook) did a tremendous work and definitely played a significant role in Avicii’s success. However, when it came to understanding what is really going on... The guy was a psycho with dollar signs in his eyes. Whatever he did - it had to be more than better, upper, higher no matter what. It would have been allright if he was managing a robot factory and taking care about all the programming by himself. But he was working with a human being -
shy, introvert and extremely sensitive person barely grasping himself together in the world he was suddenly thrown in.
In the film Ash says that Tim “was missing a growing up part” which usually happens when a human is learning life on daily basis. Well, Tim really did not learn much about life; all he did was his music. Staring into the computer screen all day and night; each day, every day... countless hours of work mixed with a perfectionism and almost obsessive passion to his craft. Many times he didn’t eat all day because he “had to finish the song”. In the evening he refused to eat because he was too tired and chose to go to bed instead. There was no one around him to tell the poor guy that 10 minutes spent on eating may save his consciousness (basically life) and make zero impact to his song. There was no one to say “hey, man, how are you feeling?”. There was no one who cared how Tim actually felt about whatever he was pushed to do any time, any place, on any circumstances. All his team was on their early or mid twenties when alcohol consumption is called fun (and actually needed to reduce stress) and no one wastes time on bothering about such a timeless thing as emotional and physical health.
In 2017, when the movie was made, Tim admits that he never thought about himself on any level. He always found himself stressed about his work, his music and most of all - touring. He never took a moment to sit back and understand what was the part he truly hated in his career.
“I see no reason why should I play a single show”,
he said in the episode when the team was discussing his will to quit touring at all. There were several times he took a couple months off, devoted time to himself, worked out, rested and basically took care of himself as much as he could. Each time after stepping into touring again he said he changed his daily routine. However, in the movie there constantly are Coke and alcohol bottles, chips and different kind of snacks in the background of almost any touring environment scene. These things do not help to believe that his mind was doing the right thing for his body at least on a food level. According to Avicii’s own words - he did not change his habits drastically enough.
Tim Bergling took his own life on April 20, 2018 while spending time on a little vacation trip to Oman. His family statement includes sentences: “He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.” In this case it is very unfortunate and sad, however, very true that music business is not for everyone and… no one knows it until appearing in this turbulent moshpit. And when the hell turns on - the ability to take care of yourself on any level and matter needs to be present. Avicii is not the first to reach the stardom at a very young age and not the first one to fail while dealing with consequences. But his story needs to become a screaming lesson on both: what to do and what certainly not to do while making your dreams come true.