Feature Artist of the Issue: Avicii

In today’s music industry, the competition between artists striving to receive a record label is increasing. With a growing movement towards electronic music, DJ artists are in one of the most competitive branches of the music industry.

House music is one such form of electronic music. It combines aspects of a softer dubstep with original vocals, while also incorporating snippets from other songs. With talented and popular DJ’s such as Daft Punk and Steve Aoki, house music proved to be a hit genre in the early 2000’s. For many DJ’s during this period, achieving international acclaim was very difficult.

Avicii, named after the bottom-most hell in Buddhism, (with an extra “i” because “Avici” wasn’t available on MySpace), produces house music in which he incorporates singing and words from other songs, remixes them and adds consistency so that the songs sound natural when played along with his beats. Because of this, Avicii is able to awe audiences again and again with his catchy vocals and unbelievably awesome bass drops.

Despite being only 18 years old at the time, Avicii instantly became an international hit with songs like “Seek Bromance,” “My Feelings For You” and “Fade Into the Darkness,” which all incorporate catchy vocals and the signature steady rhythm of Avicii’s house music. These three songs kick-started his career, providing him with an EMI Publishing record label. Avicii officially became a major label artist by the time he was 20.

Avicii’s “melodic big house” type of house music is evident in his song “Levels,” where he synthesizes a cleverly distinct dubstep-like beat throughout the song. Around the midpoint of the song, he takes a vocal sample from the 1962 gospel-inspired “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James and mixes it in to create a change in tempo.

His hit song, “Wake Me Up” from his new album “TRUE,” which was released on September 17, marked a departure from his style of pump-up, bass-heavy melodies. In this song, Avicii masterfully combines vocals from Aloe Blacc, a soul artist, with house music, incorporating dance-worthy drops at perfect moments. This song has many highs and lows regarding tempo and volume.

Avicii’s masterful assimilation of seemingly contradictory instruments distinguishes him as a masterful manipulator of the ears; he’s certainly an artist you’ll want to watch out for, because he’ll be topping charts for years to come.