The history of Avicii’s “Heaven” has been extensively documented from the moment it surfaced in his DJ performances throughout 2015. Briefly before his passing, the late producer made the ultimate decision after working on numerous versions of the single that he would use the Chris Martin-featured version for its official release. Just weeks preceding the late producer’s posthumous LP ‘TIM’, it was revealed that “Heaven” would be featured as part of the album, which was fully available on June 6.
In a behind the scenes video for “Heaven”, never-before-viewed footage depicted intimate studio sessions in 2014 between Avicii and Martin, where they worked on Coldplay material including “A Sky Full Of Stars“. Filmmaker Levan Tsikurishvili, who previously worked alongside Avicii on a handful of video productions since 2013, helped create an official honorary video for one of the album’s most notorious offerings within a few weeks of its release. The five minute video includes unreleased footage from Avicii’s 2017 documentary ‘True Stories’, that meticulously followed the producer’s struggles during touring life.
“Tim and Chris Martin wrote and recorded “Heaven” in 2014, with Tim producing the final version in 2016. About the tribute video: My name is Levan Tsikurishvili and I have been working with Tim since about 2013. During these years, we made 8 music videos, 3 concert movies and 2 documentaries together. In 2016, right after his last show, Tim, Tim’s childhood friend Awat, and I spent 19 beautiful days in Madagascar, ll Saint Marie. We spoke about everything, laughed, played monopoly, hung out with lemurs, and explored the entire island together. Now, two-and-a-half years later, I returned to the island to remember Tim, to honor his legacy, and to recreate the memories that will stay with us forever.
Note: This video is a collection of my smartphone videos plus some parts of unused material from the documentary Avicii: True Stories and newly shot footage. I also did some 3D animations in order to recreate the moments that I did not have any video material from.”
It’s been just over a year since Avicii, known by friends and family as Tim Bergling, passed away, but the Swedish producer continues to make his mark on fans worldwide as his third full-length album, TIM, reaches the summit of Billboard’s Top Electronic/Dance albums.
Following in the footsteps of 2013’s True and 2015’s Stories, TIM is Avicii’s third LP to hit #1 on the US dance music charts, and with good reason. The rave DJ turned Grammy-nominated producer always had a knack for writing arrestingly heartwarming melodies, but Bergling’s maturation as a musician also came with a great deal of respect and appreciation for his peers, particularly singer-songwriters. True to character, TIM is 12 tracks deep and presents just as many collaborations, incorporating talent from industry goliaths like Imagine Dragons and Aloe Blacc.
The success of TIM isn’t just a celebration of the life and music of Avicii, but a testament to his values as a creator. With all of the album’s proceeds going to the Tim Bergling Foundation, and further remixes from fellow legends like Tiësto, it’s clear that the beloved Swedish producer’s legacy won’t be fading into darkness anytime soon.
TIM was released on June 5 and can be purchased here.
Avicii’s posthumous LP TIM may still be on repeat for many, but it should come as no surprise that remixes from the who’s who of dance music are also joining the fray. Tiësto, who’s proven time and time again that he’s as much of a studio slugger as he is a festival trendsetter, just dropped his rendition of the Swede’s “Tough Love,” giving the Eastern-inspired single a club-ready flip.
One aspect of Tiësto’s skillset that’s allowed him to remain so synonymous with electronic music at large for so long is his ability to produce tracks which defy their own existing musical epoch. The Dutchman’s remix of “Tough Love” is no different, finding the delicate balance between fresh and familiar that his fans hold so near and dear. Such a memorable rendition is all the more possible because of the vision and talent behind Avicii’s original, allowing it the aural dexterity for a fierce remix such as this. Few-to-no electronic artists put as much focus into not just quality vocal recordings, but sophisticated and poignant songwriting as Avicii did. Tiësto recognizes this like the invariable veteran he is, creating audible space in the production for Agnes and, Vargas & Lagola‘s heartfelt vocals to carry the weight of the newly transformed club beat.
On June 1-2, fans listened to Avicii‘s posthumous album TIM for the first time in an experience that connected them from across the world. The Avicii CUBE concept placed six cube structures in six major cities — Stockholm, London, São Paulo, New York City, Sydney, and Tokyo — allowing fans who stepped inside to preview three randomly-selected TIM tracks. By placing a hand on the screen, the visitor could activate and play a song, but only if another Cube user in a different location had also placed their hand, thereby sharing the unique experience together.
Working together with Love is Louder, Avicii’s team passed out cards that wrote “Take a Minute to Connect” and spread the following message:
“Today’s experience was all about connection. How music connects us to our emotions and to each other.
Sometimes, we get so busy or overwhelmed that we forget to take those moments to connect with our feelings, and to make real connections with the people in our lives.
We hope that you’ll put this card somewhere visible so that it can be a reminder to press pause, take a deep breath and do something that makes you feel more connected — listening to music, reaching out to a friend, talking a walk or making a gratitude list.”
Avicii’s 12-track LP TIM is available to stream now. All proceeds from TIM will be donated to the Tim Bergling Foundation going towards mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Watch the heartfelt reactions of fans listening to TIM in the full video posted on YouTube.
Avicii will always be remembered for his infectious melodies and festival anthems such as “Levels,” “Fade Into Darkness,” “Silhouettes,” “Wake Me Up,” “Hey Brother,” “I Could Be The One” with Nicky Romero, “Without You,” “Waiting For Love,” and Coldplay‘s “A Sky Full of Stars,” among many more. His posthumous album, TIM, is an ode to his keen ear for note sequencing.
The release of “Levels” instantly made him a powerful force within the electronic community. Vocal anthems like “Fade Into Darkness” and “Silhouettes” further cemented Avicii’s status the glistening wunderkid of EDM, and eventually, his discography became so ubiquitous that even older generations began recognizing his sound. Over the years, however, his astronomical success became his worst enemy.
TIM evokes the the past artist’s verity in melody, style, and genre, containing carefully selected, unfinished harmonies from collaborators who where close with him. It’s nice to get one last piece of creation that came from his sessions, even though the album was reportedly just 80% done at his passing. Footprints of his greatness are audible within, and that counts for anyone whose lives were impacted by the impermeable cheer he brought to so many.
Avicii’s posthumous album begins with an acoustically led track, “Peace Of Mind” that features Vargas & Lagola—the collaborators behind the huge hits “Without You,” “Silhouettes,” and “Hey Brother.” The Swedish duo and friends of the deceased took feature roles in three tracks off the long play, including the already released “Tough Love” featuring Agnes that features a melody Avicii showed producers Pontare and Al Fakir after studying the music of northwest India, as he was reaching for melodies beyond his current repertoire.
As the lead single off TIM, “Peace Of Mind” invokes a message to the environment that eventually led Bergling to his unfortunate suicide: “Dear society // You are moving way too fast // Way too fast for me // I’m just trying to catch my breath.” The lyrics continue to imply a peace of mind from the chaos of social media in an intro that wistfully sheds light on the dark side of becoming a superstar DJ.
After reaching his peace of mind, TIM reaches the pearly gates. “Heaven” the antonym of his stage name and one of the more emotional tracks on the album. It showcases the central theme of Hell to Heaven throughout the project—Avicii wanted to create an album with the precise theme—eerily foreshadowing events to come. “Heaven” was co-written with Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and their session began back in 2014 with the song getting festival play in 2015. With Martin’s larger than life voice along with twinkling synths and cheery piano melody, “Heaven” sounds like a cheerful slice of where Bergling could be.
“SOS” featuring Aloe Blacc was the first singles released prior to the LP, highlighting the Grammy-nominated hitmaker’s ability to work with the industries strongest voices.
“Bad Reputation” features Joe Janiak who co-wrote four of the tracks off the project and sang on two of them. This track hits on a hybrid Arabic and blues melody inspired by Avicii’s love for world music and finished by fellow collaborator Carl Falk who co-wrote “Without You.” The track brings an overall island sound to the melodically eclectic project, utilizing mallets and Janiak’s carefree cadence.
“Ain’t A Thing” is another song finished by Carl Falk and features the sultry vocals of Bonn along with the similar mallet sound as “Bad Reputation” and “SOS” with more of a soulful bounce that drives the narrative from melancholy to uplifting.
Bonn also offers his vocals on “Freak,” with continues the theme of dark to light that dives into a carefree whistle known as the Sukiyaki melody, a Japanese song from the 1950s, continuing the listeners’ travels around the globe throughout the long play.
Avicii fell in love with the rhythmic vocals of A R I Z O N A with Co-producer Lucas von Bahder and “Hold The Line” began to sprout. The melody has a brass hook that gives a different weight to Avicii’s sad lyrics with happy song style.
“Excuse Me Mr Sir” is the third Vargas & Lagola feature with their signature acoustic element lead that we’ve fallen in love with through their collaborations with Avicii. Continuing the test the waters of variety, this track combines elements of rap and rock with a 12-string guitar playing a major role.
“Heart Upon My Sleeve” features the Grammy-award winning Imagine Dragons and is one of the more emotional songs on the album due to Dan Reynolds stadium vocals that scream alongside Avicii’s delicate piano parts. Orchestral violin build and drop that give off a an angry, haunting, and energetic atmosphere alongside the vibrant verses giving a cocktail of emotions. We’re even introduced to dubstep gargles towards the end of the track.
“Never Leave Me” is Joe Janiak’s second feature as a vocalists as he floats atop glistening piano and dives into retro synths that add a warm sensation next to the vox. The chord progression is so cheerful on this one again pairing with saddened lyrics for that signature Bergling blend of distressed hope.
“Fades Away” is an emotional finish because Avicii was inspired by the lyric “don’t you love it how it all just fades away” while the lyrics “I can’t go back” repeats and swans into orchestral, cinematic violins. The ending of the song highlights only Avicii’s piano below Noonie Bao’s vocals, while the melody fades away and the vocals are left without a harmony in a graceful fade into darkness.
TIM highlighted melodies from all over the world, and everything Avicii and his friends were working toward when creating music became inspirational again after his break from touring. Bringing Avicii’s final melodies to the public was a decision made by his parents, donating 100% of the proceeds to the Tim Bergling Foundation that aims to help people struggling with mental illness. Bergling was a bright light in a dark place, and from his darkness, his final project looks to bring everyone else out of the shadows with him.
On April 20 of last year, an irreparable tragedy struck the dance music community with the sudden loss of Tim Bergling. Nearly one year to the day following his passing, Avicii‘s family unexpectedly decided to quiet the endless speculation as to what would occur with his unreleased material and announce a posthumous project. The date has officially arrived; TIM is now available everywhere and serves as the producer’s first LP since his sophomore album Stories was released in October of 2015. As a way for fans across the globe to exclusively experience the posthumous LP a week early, Avicii’s team announced the ‘Avicii CUBE‘ concept, where fans in six cities entered a cube structure and received a preview of three select album tracks.
In preparation for its June 6 release date, the album was preceded with a pair of singles—both of which were completed with the assistance of Avicii’s longtime companions and collaborators, Vincent Pontaire and Salem Al Fakir. The respected producers, who had previously worked on notable Avicii releases such as “Hey Brother” and “Waiting For Love,” obtained Avicii’s direct MIDI information in order to finish the work that he was unable to in the time before his passing. “SOS” with Aloe Blacc served as TIM‘s lead single and the official follow up to Blacc’s 2013 #1 hit with Avicii, “Wake Me Up” and was followed one month later by “Tough Love.” Both singles were widely lauded for Avicii’s continual experimentation with refreshing production approaches and his willingness to take risks in unconventional ways.
A multitude of renowned artists are scattered across the LP’s remaining 12 tracks, including the likes of Chris Martin, Aloe Blacc, Vargas & Lagola, A R I Z O N A, Bonn, Imagine Dragons, and Noonie Bao among others. Although Chris Martin isn’t included in the track’s title, “Heaven” is without question one of the project’s most anticipated release alongside “Heart Upon My Sleeve,” which were staples in Avicii performances dating back to the mid 2010s.
All proceeds from TIM will be donated to the Tim Bergling Foundation, which his family arranged earlier this year to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
Tiësto is back with his next high-profile collaboration, linking with Rita Ora for a brand new single. News of the collaboration broke with Rita Ora’s recent announcement on Twitter that she will sing vocals on Tiësto’s next track, “Ritual,” which is produced alongside Jonas Blue. Rita Ora is not new to the electronic music world, having previously been a vocalist for Avicii and Kygo releases.
“Ritual” comes hot off the heels of Tiësto’s recent EP Together, which features a collection of big room and house-leaning releases, as opposed to commercial crossovers.
The “Jackie Chan” producer peaked at 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his Post Malone collaboration, so it will be interesting to see how Tiësto’s next major pop collaboration unfolds. “Ritual” is set to be released on Friday, May 31 on Universal Music.
Avicii‘s father, Klas Bergling, spoke at IMS Ibiza yesterday (May 23). Bergling was interviewed by BBC Radio 1‘s Pete Tong about the importance of recognizing the early signs of deteriorating mental health and depression for artists and creatives working in the music industry and about different means of treatment. The conversation largely focused on the initiatives and mission of the newly formed Tim Bergling Foundation, which was created by the late Swedish superstar’s family in the wake of his untimely passing in April of 2018.
In the interview, Bergling dives into what he believes the contributing factors were in the deterioration of his son’s mental health, citing Avicii’s famously relentless touring itinerary, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, and alcohol dependency. Bergling expressed concern for his son’s well being many times in the years leading up to his passing, though Bergling concedes that even with the full support of Avicii’s team, friends and family, and professional counsel, his attempts to intervene often fell short of making a real impact.
“It’s not many jobs that you can drink while you work, or you’re allowed to. If you start drinking at your job, your manager is supposed to take care of you quickly,” says Bergling. “Life as a DJ and travels where you don’t get any rest between, you travel a lot, you sleep less. The pressure is great depending on the individual, some people handle it perfectly, others don’t.”
The Tim Bergling Foundation was created earlier this year in memory of Avicii, intended to focus on causes near to the “Wake Me Up” star’s heart. Funded solely from the estate left by Avicii, the foundation seeks to educate people on the issues surrounding suicide and mental health, combating climate change, and protecting endangered species.
Avicii‘s posthumous LP is quickly approaching its June 6 release date, and activity surrounding the release has hit a peak. Hours after news of a brand new, immersive production concept called “The Cube” came out, the departed producer’s camp produced the full tracklisting for TIM.
Two of the album’s singles have already made waves among the dance music community: “SOS” with Aloe Bacc, and the more experimental, “Tough Love.” The remaining 10 tracks of the 12-piece album reveal even more star collaborations, including a tune with Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Imagine Dragons, and Bonn.
Most of TIM’s songs had been near-completed at the time of Avicii’s death, with those close to him saying the work was some of his best and most ambitious to date. The decision was made to honor him via completion of these tracks, which was handled by a team of trusted co-writers who used his original notes to ensure each single felt as authentic to his signature style as possible. Now, the wait begins to see just how close they’ve come.
Come June 1 – 2, a limited number of cities will have the opportunity to experience The Cube. A new live offering from Avicii‘s production team, The Cube will make its way to Stockholm, London, São Paulo, New York City, Sydney, and Tokyo. Avicii’s camp announced the forthcoming live concept via a brief 27-second trailer that invited viewers to “step inside The Cube.”
While the short teaser did not disclose further details about how the Cube functions and its direct tie to Avicii’s catalog, Avicii’s team can be expected to reveal such information about the Cube closer to the initiative’s eventual debut. The news of The Cube follows the recent release of the official music video for Avicii’s “Tough Love,” and arrives just days before the late superstar’s posthumous LP, TIM.