Avicii. Photo by Mark Runyon, ConcertTour.orgAvicii might be Sweden’s biggest music export after Abba and Robyn, but the DJ's real name is Tim. Before he became a superstar DJ, he used to live in Stockholm where I guess he led a pretty regular life. A quick google search will give you loads of information about Avicii's current situation but
little is known about him prior to 2010. Naturally, when a friend told me that our mutual friend Daniel (all of us are from Stockholm) taught Avicii/Tim how to DJ, I thought it was my responsibility to the internet to fill out the blanks on Avicii’s Wikipedia page. The decks that Avicii learned how to mix on Coincidentally, I also learned that the very same decks Avicii was taught how to mix tracks on are currently stored at the VICE Scandinavia office in Stockholm. I took a photo of them in case you want to get similar ones and learn how to DJ, too. I also called up Daniel to chat about Tim. VICE: Hi Daniel, is it true that you taught Avicii how to DJ?
Daniel: Yes. I did. How did that happen?
He was friends with a few of my friends. My friend Alex and I lived together in my small studio flat at the time. There were only a couple of mattresses on the floor and those decks in the corner. Tim had just started producing music at the time, and I didn’t have a job. So I taught people how to DJ for 100 kroners [£8] an hour to earn some extra cash. Tim wanted to learn how to DJ too, so he swung by a few times and played for an hour and I got 100 kroners every time. And when was this exactly?
Maybe six years ago. How was Tim as a student?
It took him pretty long time to learn, he is not a fast learner. He was pretty shy, you know. He was pretty timid and reserved, so he didn’t really dare to ask about stuff, or check if he was doing it right. He was mostly sitting on the floor playing, and when my flatmate Alex would come home, he'd chat a bit with him and then he'd give me the cash and leave. And then he would call a little later and the same thing would happen all over again. What kind of music were you guys playing at the time?
Damn, it must have been… I mean he didn’t bring his own music, so we were just playing my music. I think it was like, electro or something. I can’t remember exactly what tracks we played but it was my music for sure. Were you working as a DJ at the time?
Me and a few others ran a club called Konstig in Stockholm. I was also playing at Ace, Babasonic and other small electro-clubs in the city. OK. I’ve heard that Avicii now owes you some kind of favour in return.
Yeah, that’s right. I had heard the kind of music he was producing and was like, “This will turn out great.” So I told him: “You got to let me book you for free one time.” And he was like, “Yeah, yeah, for sure.” He probably considered it to be some kind of joke. This was when I had the Konstig club, so I wanted to book him to play there once he became big, but well, I haven’t heard from him since. Have you ever tried to get in touch with Tim regarding this free gig?
No, I haven’t and I won’t.
Daniel around the time when he had a DJ-school in his flat Why not?
Because we mentioned it one time and then both of us laughed a bit. So it’s more like a funny story. I would feel pretty weird if I contacted him. I mean it would probably turn out to be pretty complicated and… well, it’d be weird. What do you think he thinks about you claiming to have taught him how to DJ?
Maybe that I should contact his lawyer or something – I don’t know.I actually contacted Tim’s management. They told me that Tim doesn’t remember that this has ever happened. How do you feel about that?
He obviously remembers. I mean he’s been in my flat like five times, and it did happen. They also told me that it was Ash, Tim’s manager, who gave Tim DJ lessons about five years ago. So it’s Ash alone who’s responsible for Tim’s DJ-skills.
OK. Alright. But you know, it DID happen. I can promise you that. Are you offended by the fact that Tim says he doesn’t remember this?
Offended? No, I think he’s lying. Maybe his management hasn’t talked with him at all. I don’t know. You never developed a deeper connection with him through this DJ-school business of yours?
Nah… I’ve been to his house a few times and played Guitar Hero. There were a few other people there too at the time. We were never good friends, we’ve just been at the same parties. This was sometime after I finished high school, when he was still in high school. At the time, could you predict that he would become famous one day?
Yeah, I did actually. He was producing stuff on a pretty decent level and he was this nerd, you know. Whenever he dug deep into something he would become really good at it, which happened with his music too. So what’s your music career like now?
My music career… I’m not playing anymore. Right. Have you ever felt that you were better than Tim at some point?
At DJing? Of course! I mean he used to be really bad.@caisasozeMore stuff about DJs and dance music: The VICE Guide to RavingI Was a DJ in Communist Romania Ibiza Looked Just As Fun Before the Rave Generation Arrived