Rest In Peace, Avicii

Kyle Leonard

“Ohhhhhhhh, sometimes, I get a good feeling” means something special to most Malvern students.

Although the late Swedish DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was never directly connected to Malvern, his legacy has reached legendary status among the student body.  One of his most famous songs, “Levels”, has become Malvern’s anthem. It is also a staple at every dance and prom that Malvern students attend.

According to the New York Times, Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman at the age of 28.  He was there to visit friends. The New York Times published a second statement by his family on April 26, stating that “he wanted to find peace.”

Avicii’s fame skyrocketed when he wrote and released “Levels” in 2011.  He was a two-time Grammy winner for Best Dance Recording. Another one of his famous songs, “Wake Me Up”, reached fourth on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.  During his career, he released two full-scale studio albums; “True” (2013) and “Stories” (2015).  However, he stopped touring in 2016 due to lingering health issues, including pancreatitis. Avicii released a statement to the public about his decision:

“My choices and career have never been driven by material things, although I’m grateful for all the opportunities and comforts my success has availed me. I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist,” Avicii said.

Avicii was well-liked and respected in the world of music.  He collaborated with and produced music for the likes of Coldplay, Madonna, Zac Brown, Adam Lambert, and many others.  After learning of his tragic passing, many of these artists publicly sent their condolences via Twitter and other social media platforms.  Other DJs also sent their love to Avicii and his family through tweets, expressing the effect he had on their lives and careers.

On the day that he passed, I saw and experienced the effect that it had on us students.  Avicii’s music, especially “Levels”, has been a rallying cry at dances and before games since 2011.  If there is ever a lull on the dance floor, anyone who has DJ’d a Malvern dance knows to have “Levels” next on the soundtrack.  At that point, that lull turns into a full-blown mosh pit of high school guys (and whatever girls who decide to join in) having the time of their lives.  

This tradition is unique to Malvern, and is something I will always cherish.  Every time I hear that song, I think about the joy, laughter, and energy that comes out of it.

No matter what grade you are in, you understand.  That’s why so many kids have spoken highly of Avicii in the aftermath of his death, and how “Levels” has changed for them.

“I am really sad and still mourning. I can’t get over how someone could die so young with such amazing music,” junior Jacob McGraw said. “‘Levels’ can never be the same for me.”

“Avicii was pretty much the reason I started listening to electronic music. I can remember driving to school with my brother every morning in seventh grade and levels was always played on every car ride. There would be no Walkabout without Avicii,” senior Desmond Papariello said. “When I heard he passed I was shocked. The fact that I’d never hear another new song from  one of my single inspirations was scary and sad. He always was innovating, and that is rare for EDM producers.”

This year’s prom will be interesting.  You would imagine that “Levels” will be different for everybody.

In my opinion, “Levels” at Prom 2018 will be a whole new experience.  The dance floor will have more energy than it ever has before, and the mosh pit will be even wilder and more spirited.  

But it won’t stop there. It can’t stop there. The tradition must carry on. Since I will be a senior next year, my fellow classmates and I have to carry on the tradition to incoming Malvernians who don’t know the magnitude Avicii has on our experience, despite his tragic passing. They have to embrace the masterpiece that Avicii released back in 2011.

After his passing, the appreciation for “Levels” has become something more to us; it’s become a tribute to a music legend and a Malvern icon who left us far too soon.

Rest in peace, Avicii.  If you ever came to Malvern, you would see a tiny example of how your talents are appreciated.