Avicii, Electronic Dance Music and Mental Health
Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Tim Bergling was the real person behind the electronic dance music (EDM) sensation known to millions of fans as AVICII. He died suddenly last year aged 28. Avicii created high-energy electronic music that he performed at huge events.Videos show him radiating musical charisma as he leads vast masses of young dancers at his events. Behind the persona of Avicii lived a very different person called Tim Bergling. In a film about his life, Bergling presented himself as introverted and quiet. Retiring at just 28, Bergling felt that his Avicii persona had used up all his energy and that there was nothing left for the real person behind the artist. He craved the peace and calm that would have been a better fit for him. Tragically, Avicii (his public self) and Tim Bergling (his private self) couldn't build bridges to each other - if he had lived longer he might have succeeded in that.
All of us have a public self and a private self, which is probably just as well. For many of us the gap between our public persona and our private self is fairly small. There are social butterflies who really are party animals deep down. And who doesn't know a grouch who is kind of irritable inside too, but has made their peace with that. No big gap between public and private there! But for some people the gap between their public persona and their private selves is painfully big and the effort to keep up the public image uses up a lot of oxygen and effort. Avicii's tragic story tells us that we need to let the inner-self be seen, at least by a few good people. Maybe those of us who inhabit other peoples' public world need to see beyond the performance and learn to spot that sometimes there is a very distressed the person underneath.
" I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist "
(Avicii, quoted in BBC News (online) 18th April 2019)