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Nicky Romero Remembers The Last Time He Saw Avicii: Exclusive Interview
Back in May of 2013, Nicky Romero had his first (and so far only) Mainstream Top 40 hit. "I Could Be The One" peaked at No. 34, due in part to collaborator Avicii's magic touch. It's the kind of feel-good romantic electro-house tune Avicii was best known for; one even the most casual Avicii fans can hear in their mind as soon as they read the title.
"He was not focused on anything else but just the vibe," Romero says. "He doesn't care about the latest plugins or the latest hypes. He could like switch off and only be focused on what’s important right now and just wanted to make music. That’s something that I really admired and really stuck with me since the beginning. If you were with him, it felt like nothing else mattered but that studio session, but that song, and that particular chord for example. He was really good at that. He was very focused only on music."
Avicii, 28, was found dead Friday, April 20, while on a resort vacation in the capital city of Oman, a country in the Middle East. Romero is about about the same age as his late friend was, and the two producers came up together at similar times and shared many of their first experiences on the international scale. To watch a brother in creative arms pass on so early, with so much yet to be accomplished, is perhaps the most difficult part for Romero.
"He was a really good person," Romero says. "Such a talented guy that was not ready to perform for so many people. You know, he was the one that wanted to make the music but not so much the one who wanted to be on stage all the time. I’m so sad that the price was that high that he’s not with us anymore."
The friends last spoke a month or so ago. Avicii sent Romero some new track ideas in a folder via WhatsApp and they'd planned to collaborate on a few songs. Before that, they'd hung out at the Soho House in Los Angeles about a year and a half ago. Romero says his friend looked healthy and happy, staying low-key in a corner with some of his Swedish friends. He'd even gained a little healthy weight.
"We spoke a lot, actually, I think for two hours about his manager, his old manager, the situation with the music industry," Romero remembers. "There were a lot of things going on at the time. It was very intense, but I was really happy to catch up with him, because I don’t see him that often. I think no one really did see him a lot in the last two years, because he was really focused on his music and not on touring anymore."
"I saw him like three times after his good-bye message to the touring life -- the letter that we all read, I think. It was a really long conversation. I had a feeling he was in a good place," Romero continues. "I felt on WhatsApp that he was going through ups and downs. He would be silent for another two weeks, then he'd reply like 'Hey, I’m sorry. I was away for a while. I needed to go see my family.' So I could tell it was a big contrast in his life about what things were going on. He could feel great one day and really bad the other day. Yeah, I’m really sad to see that he got to this place."
The cause of Avicii's death has yet to be confirmed, although all suspicion of foul play has been ruled out by an immediate autopsy. Avicii was remembered by fans and peers around the world. His hometown of Stockholm held a public moment of silence shared by thousands gathered in the city square.