It's hard to believe that three years ago today, the dance music community lost one of its most influential visionaries.
Despite the passage of time, however, Avicii's legacy continues to be felt, both by the fans who continue to appreciate the discography he left behind and the music industry at large, which continues to feel his impact. Here's five ways we believe Avicii's legacy will continue to be felt into the future.
His Undying Influence On Dance Music
While many producers claim not to be influenced by the arbitrary "boundaries" that define our understanding of musical genres, Avicii's actions showed he wasn't going to be limited in his creative capacity by what others thought.
That became manifestly apparent when he debuted some material from True, including one of the biggest hits of his career, "Wake Me Up," to a bewildered audience at Ultra Music Festival in 2013. The fusion of bluegrass and house music had not been heard before, at least certainly not on that scale, and the backlash Avicii faced was enough for him to address it head on. Thankfully, he chose to stick to his intuition, and changed the course of dance music history.
"This album is about experimentation and about showing the endless possibilities of house and electronic music," Avicii said at the time. "It's about how to incorporate acoustic instruments from different styles and influences you wouldn't expect and still stay true to your own sound and musicality which for me has always been about the melodies and positive energy."
His Hits: Past, Present, and Future
Avicii certainly gave us a discography to singalong to well into the future, with enough quotable lyrics to get stuck in your head for a lifetime. Even today, he holds one of the most streamed songs on Spotify of all-time with "Wake Me Up" which currently sits at an astounding 1.25 billion streams. Tracks like "Waiting For Love" and "The Nights" also have the potential to join the billion-stream club in due time.
The subject of Avicii's remaining unreleased music stockpile is frequently a source of speculation, and his collaborators, namely Aloe Blacc, have remained interested in more of Avicii's works seeing the light of day, provided it aligns with his family's wishes. It's not out of the realm of possibility to think that one day we'll hear more of what Avicii was cooking up.
The Tim Bergling Foundation's Ventures
In lieu of Avicii's tragic death following ongoing mental health issues, his family was quick to act in terms of shaping the conversation as a means to help struggling artists. Many pointed to Avicii's rigorous, exhaustive touring schedule as a culprit for his decline in mental health, and a lack of resources on the road to appropriately address those issues.
The Tim Bergling Foundation, setup in Avicii's memory seeks to help others identify early signs of mental health decline among creatives and music industry professionals to prevent similar crises from occurring in the future.
His Forward Thinking
Avicii demonstrated a knack for staying on the cutting edge, especially when it came to identifying trends at the intersection of music and technology. He was steadily forging his path in the now lucrative gaming-meets-music avenue and now has multiple video game titles that bear his name, including Avicii Invector and Beat Legend: Avicii.
Even in his ventures outside of music, Avicii took a very hands-on approach. Moves like these underscore his knack for staying ahead of the trend, ensuring he'll continue to be remembered as an innovator inside and outside of music.
The City of Stockholm Memorial
Pretty soon, Sweden will have a lasting physical landmark to remember Avicii. A monument commemorating the hit-making producer has been green-lit for construction in Humlegården park.
The district of Östermalm—where Avicii resided—is working with the late artist's father, Klas Bergling, and the Tim Bergling Foundation to develop the memorial. The project was commissioned to remember those who have fallen victim to mental illness in Sweden and to pay homage to Avicii.