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Seven Years Ago Today Avicii Debuted "Wake Me Up" With Aloe Blacc And Was Booed

Your EDM - One particular story has dominated the EDM headlines the past few days: Avicii’s controversial set at Ultra’s Weekend 2.  For those who didn’t view or listen to the set: approximately midway through Avicii’s standard lineup of house tracks, the set suddenly came to a planned halt.  The sound system stopped pumping out tunes, and instead thousands of festival-goers were treated to an unusual medley of acoustic performances (featuring bluegrass artist Mac Davis, members of alternative rock band Incubus, and rapper Aloe Blacc), all of which were apparently snippets from Avicii’s upcoming album due out this summer.

Needless to say, this caused quite a stir in the EDM community, and amongst festival-goers and video streamers who thought they would be getting something quite different from the Swedish house icon.  inthemix, the Australian dance music site, posted some of the best reactions from the DJ community (link), some of which accused Avicii of “jumping the EDM shark” and made fun of the “country music” that graced Ultra’s main stage.  Now, Avicii himself has issued a response to the controversy through his Facebook:

“Wow looks like I stirred up some controversy with my set friday night at UMF. Seeing alot of people who dont understand. My full set wasn’t being streamed, only the last 40ish minutes with all new material from my album. 

In a 75 minute set, I brought a 15 minute different breakdown with live musicians to a festival with nonstop dance music for 3 days straight 2 weeks in a row. I really wanted to switch things up and do something fun and different, as I always strive for, and this album is about experimentation and about showing the endless possibilities of house and electronic music. Its about how to incorporate acoustic instruments from different styles and influences you wouldnt expect and still stay true to your own sound and musicality which for me has always been about the melodies and positive energy. I will always produce music that I love and listen to. But my album is certainly not “country”, and people have gotten hung up on an instrument we used for the live cover of a song. Every song on the album is a fusion with house and electronic music.

We wanted to make a statement, and theres really no better place to make one than UMF mainstage. People will soon see what it’s all about. 

My music is open to anyone who wants to listen to it and I will always stay true to my sound. Love you all who listen with open hearts and open minds. These past few months Ive been so lucky to have had the chance to work with so many talented artists and to bring them there when I launch the album was amazing and they all did an amazing job.

This was my first time performing with a band and I couldnt have asked for more a professional team, I really want to thank @MichaelEinziger and his fiancee, @vatoben and @JoseAPasillasII from Incubus, @Aloeblacc, legend @Mac Davis, @audramae and @dantyminskii for joining me on stage.”

Where the hell is the time going?

Seven years?

I still remember hearing all the commotion over this and the "PLUR" assholes and deep house heads crying up a storm that Avicii was bastardizing "their music." 

When in actuality the kid was continuing to trailblaze a genre that hadn't really been respected by the mainstream until a year or two prior. He realized the way to continue that success was to strike while the iron was hot, and push the envelope. 

And push it he did. Incorporating real instruments like rhythmic acoustic guitars and collaborating with vocalists people had actually heard of before and from all kinds of genres. 

The fact that Aloe Blacc got painted with the "country" music brush showed how laugh out loud wrong the critics were. 

Nonetheless, the 24-year-old Swede didn't back down and told the haters to suck it.

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He told them he was zigging while everyone else zagged and wanted to be true to himself. 

Little did these people realize they were listening to a worldwide hit that would still be played 7 years later. (Song still gbangs don't care what you say)

If you haven't seen the Avicii documentary "True Stories" on Netflix I highly recommend it. Even if you detest electronic music. If you're an actual human, and you enjoy music, I'm willing to wager you will appreciate the gift the young man had and how hard we worked to hone his craft. He was a great person and touched millions of lives through his music in his brief time on this planet and even briefer time in the spotlight. It's a downright shame what those close to him put him through. His managers and inner-circle knew the personal struggles he was dealing with, as they were obvious to anybody close to him, but all they cared about were dollar signs. Multiple shows in multiple cities a day. Ground the kid to the bone. When he was wise enough to step away they lured him back. He even predicts on camera that that way of life will be his demise and kill him. Real shitty. Real sad.

The world was robbed of another musical genius. 

p.s. - Avicii kicked off the Blackout tour for us in Albany. nbd.

p.p.s. - Am I the only weirdo that wonders why it's always people with talent coming out of their ears that die too soon? Why isn't it ever the lowlifes wasting away years and years doing nothing? They always seem to make it well into the social security collecting years.