NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) As Avicii’s posthumous album, TIM, drops today, collaborators have reflected on what it was like to finish the album in lieu of the DJ’s passing.
The Swedish DJ-producer, born Tim Bergling, died April 20, 2018, from suicide in Muscat, Oman, a popular vacation destination on the Arabian Sea. The 28-year-old DJ/producer had several hits including “Wake Me Up” with Aloe Blacc but suffered from addictions and stopped touring after he was sidelined with pancreatitis because of excessive drinking.
The album was completed with the help of production duo Vargas & Lagola.
“It was hard to just even open the computer and work on the songs,” Salem Al Fakir, who goes by Lagola, told the Associated Press. “We opened (the computer) like six months after everything happened.
“The family’s wish was to release the songs … and that helped us finish the songs,” he added.
“We knew how he wanted vocals,” added Vincent Pontare aka Vargas. “We’ve been working with him for so long. We know what he likes and what he don’t like.”
The album features collaborations with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Imagine Dragons. Blacc recorded the single “SOS” for the new album and told the AP it felt like an important job because of the song’s meaning.
“It was really heavy, these lyrics,” Blacc said. “After knowing what he’d been through, and really feeling extremely confident that he’d made it through the worst of his experiences in the music business, and everything was on the up and up, then getting the news that he’d passed, this song really felt like it was an important message to deliver to honor his legacy. And also to really create the language for people who are in distress situations, anxiety, mental health issues — words to say, ‘I need help.'”
He added that he did not know about “SOS” until January and could feel Avicii’s presence in the recording studio.
“Every time I did something that wasn’t exactly right, (the producer’s) critique or their coaching to fix it really felt like the spirit of Tim,” he said.
Joe Janiak, who co-wrote four of the songs on the album and sings on two of them, said he had a similar experience.
“The good thing was that I had Tim in my head. He was very clear about what he wanted,” said Janiak, who has also written for Ellie Goulding and Britney Spears. “He’d speak to you and you knew how Tim felt about the song. For any work that I needed to finish, I knew the shapes that he was searching for.”
— Aloe Blacc (@aloeblacc) June 6, 2019