The Swedish producer and DJ Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii, was found dead on Friday, April 20. Not much is known about the circumstances of his death at this point. He was part of a movement of DJs including Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Martin Garixx, Diplo, and others.
His song “Wake Me Up” was his most popular, with over 580 million plays on Spotify. The song went multi-platinum, and was #4 on the Billboard Top 100 at the height of its popularity.
When I heard about his death at 3:15 on Friday, I instantly remembered my time in middle school. I had just transferred to a new school to start my 7th grade year. In October 2013, as I was just getting to know the people in my class, it seemed like everyone was always singing “Wake Me Up.” I knew it was popular on the radio, but once my friends started singing it, Avicii’s genre of music took my grade by storm.
After that song, almost my entire grade of 50 kids started listening to music with that distinct electronic, dance sound that people love. Without “Wake Me Up,” my time in middle school would have been very different.
Before Friday, it had been years since I thought about Avicii. I hadn’t realized how important he was as an artist to me and many others around the world. He will be missed.