Swedish Dj, Remixer, and producer, Avicii performed this Monday at the Austin Music Hall as part of a one million dollar House for Hunger January 2012 Tour. The tour which boasts 26 high-performance shows packed into 27 days, began on January 5th, just on the heels of a Best Dance Recording Grammy nomination for the co-produced David Guetta track “Sunshine.” Austinites were able to hear for the first time live Avicii’s newly released single “Levels” which has been declared the “Tune of 2011” by David Guetta in DJ Mag. Avicii and his manager and executive producer, Arash “ash” Pournouri have also announced a commitment to donate $1 million in gig fees personally received from this tour to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, comprised of more than 200 member food banks across the country.
The donation will help provide approximately 8 million meals to those in need through Feeding America. Additionally, during the House for Hunger Tour, Avicii, Ash and local promoters hope to raise awareness about the reality of hunger issues faced today by many working Americans and engage the next generation of leaders to join in the fight against hunger. We had the chance to interview Avicii for his first ever interview with The Austin Times.
TAT: Is this your first time visiting Austin? If so what are some of things you hope to see or do while you’re here? If not, what are some of your favorite things to do or places to see when you have been to Austin in the past?
AVICII: This is my second time in Austin. Don’t know really as I’m so busy not having any time off.
TAT: Initially, when you were working to create your single “Levels” did you ever think it would be such a big hit?
AVICII: Not at all. Took a while for it to reach that level. People had to get accustomed to the hook. Still amazed at the reaction I get from it.
TAT: You recently were named 6th best DJ in the world by DJ mag. How seriously do you look at this ranking and what does this honor mean to you and your music?
AVICII: It’s a great honor. Don’t know how much it actually helps.
TAT: Another Swedish act on the top 10 list in the DJ rankings is the super group Swedish House Mafia (Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso). How much of an influence have they played in your career and are you guys good friends?
AVICII: They’re a huge inspiration. They were the ones that got me into this music and have been great supporters. They are all great guys.
TAT: You travel to a lot of cities, sometimes in a short period of time. Do you ever forget what city or country you’re in?
AVICII: All the time, especially while we’re doing this bus tour.
TAT: Have you noticed any difference in the way fans react to your music depending on what part of the world you are in? If so, what are some of the differences?
AVICII: Hard to mention differences as each city / country is unique in its own individual way.
TAT: When you’re traveling, aside from your equipment, what are some things you absolutely can’t live without?
AVICII: Snus and my computer.
TT: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
AVICII: Adele, her voice is amazing.
TAT: What’s one city or festival you have not played in yet that you want to in the future or plan to this coming year?
AVICII: New Orleans
Interview by Katie Warner & Patrick Chapa