It’s not just Avicii’s specific story that remains in rotation in the news right now; stemming from his own story is an important discussion about touring vs. producing at home. While Tim Bergling’s decision was the most sudden, it’s the latest in a storm of decisions by other artists with the same issue. Laidback Luke encourages us to focus on this bigger picture in an op-Ed for Billboard, but not before humanizing the Swedish producer.
Sharing a lineup from his Super You & Me Miami show in 2009, Luke talks about the beginnings of Avicii as a producer and how touring came next as a means to make money. He focused intently on the point that though the latter is required and constantly asked of producers, it can take a serious toll on the person’s physical and mental health.
An August 2015 show the Mixmash head threw brought this to light for Luke even more, as he remarked they Avicii looked “terrible.” He drives home from there that Berglings decision was the best he could have made for himself.
“There are countless DJs who think they would kill for a career like Tim’s — and to a lot of them it’s unthinkable he would throw away so much opportunity. In recent months, several artists — Benga, Mat Zo — have discussed the toll that touring has taken on them, while others — Deorro, Feed Me — have given it up altogether. But Tim is the first of his stature to do it so abruptly and so publicly.”
This is only the tip of the iceberg: there are probably many other producer turned DJs who are experiencing the life conflict Luke describes. As time goes on, those in the industry who can will hopefully strive to find a happy medium between making the work they love and playing enough to be compensated for it.
“Tim and his team have been kind enough to book me at his Ushuaïa Hotel parties in Ibiza, most recently in August 2015. He looked terrible. He gave me a very sincere but oh-so-tired smile when he saw me. Soon after, he was onstage playing his amazing music — and that’s when it dawned on me. This wonderful and talented kid might not overcome his struggles.
Photo Credit: Billboard.com