I enjoyed Avicii’s music for what it was – kind of feel-good but saccharine dance tunes. So I wasn’t especially impacted when I found out he had died, I just thought it was sad that someone so young had passed away.
Yet this evening, waiting for my train home, I had a dance music playlist on because it’s Electronic Tuesday, natch, and his song “Wake me up” came on. It was probably the first time I had ever listened to the lyrics properly and they’re actually quite beautiful.
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
Hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don’t have any plans
Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life’s a game made for everyone
And love is a prize
Fair enough, it’s cheesy, and I know he wasn’t the sole writer of the song, but the message is clearly one that prompts the listener to embrace the journey as their life unfolds.
I remember being on the train home one night a few years ago and a mixed crowd, in their late teens to early 20’s, piled onto the carriage. They were dressed in day-glow attire and had face paint and markings in a similar vein. They were sweaty, breathless and, in between gulps of bottled water, were sporting Cheshire cat smiles. From what I overheard I gleaned that they’d just been to the Avicii concert at the SEC Hydro and had enjoyed a night of music, love and happiness.
From that anecdotal evidence, I think his untimely death will ensure that his music and its message will resonate for years to come with the generation who had Avicii’s songs as part of the soundtrack of their youth. And that’s an incredible legacy for one so young whose art was released in a genre oft dismissed as disposable.