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Addictedtoedm / Alba Smith

In the year that it’s been since the unexpected death of Swedish DJ Avicii, condolences from fans, collaborators, and contemporaries haven’t really stopped. Today, longtime collaborator Aloe Blacc has announced the release of his new song ‘Things You Left Behind’ in dedication to what would have been Avicii’s 30th birthday.

Blacc posted the tribute via Instagram with a clip of the new tune. The heartfelt lyrics reflect the close relationship that the two artists shared. In addition, Blacc noted a few pieces of important advice learned from none other than Avicii himself. “Ignore outside opinions. Criticisms are everywhere,” he wrote. “Ultimately, the integrity in a work of art lies with the creator and no one else.”

Tim Bergling was found dead in Muscat, Oman on April 20th, 2018 at the tender age of 28. The loss of such a prominent figure in the electronic music world left the community shocked and devastated. Nonetheless, few had been a part of Avicii’s most notorious collaborators other than Blacc. He sang the vocals to ‘Wake Me Up,’ which was one of Avicii’s top chart successes in America.

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Today would have been Tim Bergling's 30th birthday. The news of his passing stunned me as it did all who were moved by his music and I am terribly sad that he is no longer with us. When I heard he was gone my heart immediately went out to his family and the words to this song came to me. I had only spent moments on stage and in the studio with him, but his family had spent years watching him grow. As a father of two young children myself I couldn't imagine the tragedy of living beyond them and having to gather the things they have left behind. I thought I would take today, Tim's birthday, to remember and to share what I learned about art from him. Take the risk. As an artist, if ever you feel nervous about something, it's better to take the risk than to regret it. When we created "Wake Me Up" there was no blueprint for the combination of sounds and no example of success to rely on. Lead rather than follow. Mavericks don't follow trends, they create them. Tim reminded me of what I learned so well in my experience during the golden era of Hip Hop, which is to create your own style. When others begin to use your style, just keep it fresh and switch it up. Be brave and bold. I know Tim was way more comfortable in the studio than in most other places that music took him. But he learned to step out and embrace millions of fans with his live performances. I imagine the most fearful performance would have been the debut of the music from TRUE at Ultra. He was nervous, but he did it anyway. While other performers had the usual lasers, pyro and girls in bikinis, Tim shared the stage with musicians and singers that helped him craft a groundbreaking album. Ignore outside opinions. Criticisms are everywhere and they are increasingly negative rather than constructive. It's important to listen to your inner voice and have confidence in the art you create. The few trusted voices in your inner circle can be helpful, but when it comes to art, always trust your gut over others. Ultimately, the integrity in a work of art lies with the creator and no one else. The most important thing I think I learned from working with Tim was to embrace collaboration. Rest in peace, Tim

A post shared by Aloe Blacc (@aloeblacc) on

Although he may be gone, the legacy of Avicii continues to live on through the essences of those who loved him. Continuous tributes, including his Avicii Tribute Tour Concert, are aimed at unifying the community and raising awareness for mental health.

We hope to see and support more tributes committed to a figure who changed the lives of so many in the music community. In the meantime, you can listen to ‘Things You Left Behind’ here.

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Words by Alba Smith
Music Editor