“So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost”
— Wake Me Up, Tim Bergling (aka Avicii)
I became aware of this artist when, shockingly and sadly, he committed suicide at 28 years of age. While ‘house music’ was simply not on my radar, I discovered that his music and lyrics could be quite deep and poetic. Especially Avicii/Tim’s wise-way-beyond-his-years ‘Wake Me Up.’
“I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands …”
The song mesmerises me – and I listen to it on repeat often. The urgency, the poetry of it catches my breath. I hear an old soul inside a young body. I hear a talented yet tortured artist questioning his existence. And in reading about him it seems that he had a ferocious death wish of a drink problem. Alcohol destroyed his health – and it was on this path of destruction that a life was snuffed out at only 28 years of age.
The music business did its part in eating him up and spitting him out…. Life was too much for him, it would seem. The letter his family published is touching and heart-breaking.
“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.
When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be able to be happy and to do what he loved most – music.
He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.
He could now not go on any longer.
He wanted to find peace.
Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.
Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.
The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.
We love you,
I feel so grateful that my drinking did not put me on a collision course with the destruction of my very being. I do know that alcohol insidiously finds its way into artistry – for each person its different. Some artists I’ve worked with used drink to quiet the dark questioning voices inside.