Ok you’ve done the dance to his GRAMMY nominated best dance recording “LEVELS” and now you can’t get “I COULD BE THE ONE” out of your head. It’s a pretty known fact that Avicii is one of the most popular DJ’s on the planet, but if you were to tell him that he would modestly answer back that he’s just too busy to really take it all in. Seena and I recently sat down with the laid-back 23 year old MEGA DJ in downtown Los Angeles. With a new home in L.A. you may end up seeing him driving down Sunset or eating at one of his favorite Korean BBQ restaurants, Genwa. In our Q & A with Avicii we talk GRAMMYs, new music, time off from the road, what goes into his massive stage set-ups and more.
McCabe: You’re constantly working and on tour. How does Avicii just hang out?
Avicii: Well, I mean, this year is very different ‘cause this year I’m kinda taking a lot of time off and doing a bunch of studio stuff. And I’ve been kind of just on a non-stop tour for the past three, four years. I live here (LA) now so I’ll be here for like six months just focusing on studio.
McCabe: Now, being in LA, are there artists that you’re looking to work with or people knocking at your door saying “Hey man, I want you to work on this track?”
Avicii: No, I mean there’s a bunch of course; there’s a lot more interest in the genre in general. Personally, I think that’s the most exciting thing for me; the kind of doors that open when electronic music has gotten so big. There’s this opportunity to work with so many talented people. And that wasn’t around before. And that’s kind of what I’ve been doing a lot these past months. Just working with a lot of people from different genres that wouldn’t necessarily do anything with dance music acts before.
Seena: Back in the day, DJ sets were just you and turntables and all your equipment. Now, you have these crazy massive set ups. Do you just think of the craziest thing you could possibly do and that just happens?
Avicii: Yeah, I guess. As you said, it’s just you and a couple of decks. So you have to kind of really think, what can you do to really like amplify the experience to make everything bigger in every other way you can, like visually.
McCabe: EDM has sort of niched its way into The GRAMMYs and it has the dance category. What is that like?
Avicii: I never thought of The GRAMMYs as part of like electronic music. I never thought a GRAMMY would be something an electronic artist would win or be nominated for. Other than maybe like a small remix category or something like that. That’s weird, I still don’t really think about The GRAMMYs as an electronic music award. We’ve always had our kind of own awards. When I was a veteran producer I had the awards that I was kind of thinking about, “oh that would be cool” you know.
McCabe: Do you like the fact that it’s so mainstream now? Are you excited for where music is going?
Avicii: Of course. Like I said, it’s super exciting. It just takes some getting used to for everyone.
McCabe: You have some upcoming projects. You’re doing the fan project where you’re collaborating with all your fans. Can you tell us about that?
Avicii: Well that’s basically… we tried to make the world’s biggest collaboration type deal. So what it basically is, everyone can send in their contribution. It’s kind of like a competition a little bit, but it’s not that traditional either. Everyone sends in their ideas. We start with a melody, then we go to a beat and a bass line and then I kinda act as a project leader and kinda try to put everything together, but then also change it. Like, if a melody wins, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that specific melody. But I can take that melody and change it to whatever it inspires me to do. So it’s like an actual collaboration type deal.
McCabe: And is this gonna be a collaboration where it’s individual songs? Is it gonna come together as an entire album?
Avicii: One song. It’s all gonna be for one song. We’re gonna try to get as many different elements from as many people as possible. We’re hoping maybe like a hundred people collaborating on it.
McCabe: And where do people find that?
McCabe: What can we expect for 2013? Big year?
Avicii: It is a big year. But it’s a way more studio oriented year for me. I’m gonna try to get an album out if the music’s there. I want every track of the album to be just, really good. Otherwise I wouldn’t even want to do an album.
McCabe: You want hit singles! Each one, hits.