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September 20, 2014

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20-year-old prodigy DJ/producer Avicii headlines in Las Vegas

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DJ/producer Avicii

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Don't even think about buying shots for Avicii to toast his fast-rising success. The Swedish DJ/producer doesn't turn 21 until September and pretty much will be confined to the DJ booth. But the prodigy also known as Tim Bergling has embarked on his first world tour and spins at Wet Republic's Daylife Sundays August 15 (doors at 11 a.m., free for locals before 2 p.m., $20 and up).

At 18, you were releasing tracks and receiving support from Laidback Luke, Daft Punk, Steve Angello and more. Do you feel like Sweden is more nurturing for up-and-coming dance music artists than the US?

Because of the success of Swedish House Mafia or Eric Prydz ... John Dahlbäck and all of these DJs, I think people get more interested when they get tracks from a Swedish producer.

Do you feel like there's extra pressure to prove yourself since you're pretty much the youngest well-known producer in the industry right now?

Not really. From the start, people have been very supportive of me and they've treated me not really like a youngster, so I haven't really felt that young. I haven't felt that extra pressure.

Do you remember the first track you heard that really got you interested in electronic music?

I can't remember for electronic music in general, but for house it was definitely "Feel the Vibe" by Axwell and electronic music, probably something from Daft Punk.

What about the first event? Did you attend as a fan first and then get into production?

No, that was after. In the beginning I wasn't that much into the whole DJing thing. I got into it really quickly, but just from the start I was more into the production side. I think the first one was when Pete Tong played in Sweden. We have a thing called the Scandinavian Music Festival, so they did an event at a club in Sweden. I think that was the first real one I attended.

How long ago was that?

That was two and a half years ago.

So this is all still kind of new for you.

Yeah, I guess you could say that. I've been working so much, as well, [that] it feels like I've been doing it a lot longer.

What did you do for work, if anything, before becoming a DJ/producer?

I had a brief telemarketing job for a couple of weeks, but other than that I just spent time on my productions.

Where does the name Avicii come from?

[Avici] is kind of like Dante's Inferno ... it's the lowest level of hell in Buddhism. A friend of mine told me about it, and it stuck in my head. I was going to make up a name for my MySpace page for the first time, and I just kind of went for it. I tried a couple of other [names] before, but they were all taken (laughing). I kind of ended up with Avicii, and then I got really attached to it.

Anything else in the upcoming year?

I just released a collabo[ration] with John Dahlbäck called "Don't Hold Back" and then I have an upcoming collaboration with Tiësto and one with Tiësto and Sebastian Ingrosso coming up. I'm really looking forward to those ones, especially the one with both Tiësto and Sebastian because it's kind of cool. We're going to call it "Generations" because it's kind of three different generations. It's going to be a really cool track, I think.

— Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly. Listen to Avicii on the Weekly’s “Nocturnal Admissions” podcast here.

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