Swedish DJ Avicii has accomplished musical milestones like selling out Radio City Music Hall and collaborating with Madonna, but this fall he will do something he has not done before: release a studio album.
“This is about me being true to my sound but also to my own influences and musical preferences,” Avicii (AKA Tim Bergling) exclusively told Billboard. “This album consists 100% of songs I personally love. It’s true to me, true to my brand, true to Avicii.”
On Sept. 17, the 21-year-old DJ-producer widely known for his mega-hit “Levels” will release the aptly-titled “#TRUE,” his hotly anticipated freshman album. Avicii debuted selections from the album at Ultra Music Festival this past March, performing live alongside several collaborators including Aloe Blacc, Joakim Berg, and Audra Mae. The list of other supporting acts includes Nile Rodgers, Mac Davis, and Incubus’ Mike Einziger — not typical ‘EDM’ artists.
“Disruption is good when a scene is half stuck,” Avicii said of the mixed reactions to the set, which presented unexpected live instruments to a fist-pumping-inclined Main Stage crowd. “We wanted to bring 15 minutes of something fresh to break [Ultra] up. We knew people would be provoked.”
The album’s release also marks the beginning of a new relationship between PRMD Music and Island Records, which will be co-releasing the set when it hits in the fall. Avicii’s manager Ash Pournouri is a founder of PRMD Music, which Bergling called the “most innovative artist-centered label out there.” Regarding Island’s involvement, Avicii said “the partnership… adds muscle and experience.”
No matter the initial reactions, Avicii says he has nothing to prove.
“For me it will be successful if it resonates with people — no matter how many,” he said. “It’s what I stand for, so whoever loves it loves what I love. That’s what fans are to me.”
The album’s first single, “Wake Me Up,” goes to radio and iTunes on June 25: