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Nightlife

Avicii discusses EDC, Sweden’s secret and superstar mentors

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Wired: Avicii hits XS nightclub this weekend.
Danny Mahoney, XS
Sam Glaser

You’ve had a meteoric rise. When did you realize you had taken hold with the public?

This year at Ultra Miami. That had been one of my biggest goals from the start. When I did that, it hit me: like, sh*t I’m really playing the main stage at Ultra. Then EDC was the moment I felt like, playing for this many people, I could die now and I’d be fine.

How did EDC compare to other electronic music festivals you’ve played?

Bigger—way bigger. The biggest show I’ve done so far for sure. And it was the first festival with that production in America. Just amazing production and logistics, everything went flawlessly. Other U.S. festivals haven’t been able to live up to the standard of European ones. EDC was like, it feels like I’m in New York, but with more people.

What’s unique about Las Vegas among the global electronic music hubs?

Calendar

Avicii
September 17, doors at 10 p.m., $50 men, $20 women.
XS, 770-0097

Vegas has grown tremendously this past year. I think this is one of the main places for EDM in the states, along with Miami and New York. People go crazy. Everyone is here for the weekend or just a couple days and go all out while they’re here.

Are electronic music fans different in the U.S. and Europe?

People are way hungrier at the shows here. In Europe, it’s been around for so long they’re not as excited to see a DJ. Here people buy tickets in advance, they build up expectations, they get so excited.

Sweden has been exporting a lot of great music recently. Why are Swedish musicians flourishing internationally?

Well, the weather’s really shit in Sweden. So you need something to do for a bunch of the year. Making music is a way for people to escape a little bit. For me, I saw Steve Angelo, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso and thought, maybe it could happen to me if I work hard enough. That helped spur me on.

What is the social network like between DJ’s?

You kind of know everyone a little bit. My closest friends are probably Chuckie, Norman Torres, Sebastian Drums. But everyone is really helpful and supportive. It’s a very good community in general. [Laidback] Luke and Tiësto both really helped me from the beginning. I used to send Luke tracks on his forum. He supported me; he helped me out. I released a track on his label and I’m about to release another now. I ran into Tiësto in Sweden on a regular night out. We sat down and talked for four hours. Since then, he’s been like a big brother almost.

From The Weekly’s Facebook page, Craig Theresa MacNeil asks: How has the expansion of electronic music towards the mainstream public impacted you?

It’s definitely had an impact. As bigger labels and artists get involved it changes who you work with and how you plan your releases. I have a couple collaborations coming up – I’m doing a track with Mike Posner. I’ve always been a big fan. Even though he’s kind of mainstream in some senses, he’s always been very credible and talented.

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