''I've been working with Coldplay's Chris Martin and Wyclef Jean'' – hmv.com talks to Avicii
There were plenty of people who could claim they'd had a great 2013, but probably none had quite the year that Swedish superstar DJ Avicii did.
He released his debut album TRUE, which has already sold over 300,000 copies, put out three smash hit singles, including 'Wake Me Up', which has sold over six million copies, and played some of the world's biggest arenas and festivals.
Avicii returns to the UK at the end of February to play shows in Manchester and London. We caught up with him to find out about the shows, his plans for the future and why he's been in the studio with Coldplay's Chris Martin and Nile Rodgers.
You've got your first UK arena shows at the end of next month, are you excited about the shows?
"Absolutely! I always get an amazing vibe from my fans out there. I was just there for Creamfields in August. That festival is so good, every time!!"
What kind of show will you be putting on? Will there be fireworks?
"I’m going to bring a lot of energy – so get ready to dance! I always like to have a lot of visuals to enhance the experience for my fans, so fireworks are definitely a possibility... but if I tell you it would spoil a surprise."
Can we expect to see you at many of the summer's festivals in the UK and Europe?
"I hope so! I love the setting and the energy of festivals. With the release of my debut album, True, this past September, I’ve already started to tour all over the place. I hope to continue to do so in order to share the tracks with my fans worldwide."
Although you've been recording and touring for over five years, your debut album 'TRUE' didn't come out until September 2013, was it a relief to finally put out an album?
"Once I had a break from touring, and actually had a chance to sit down and dedicate time to creating an album, that’s when the concept of True was born. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a relief, but excitement. I couldn’t wait to drop this album."
The album feels like it has a strong folk influence - where does that come from? Have you always liked folk music?
"I’d call it bluegrass, more than folk. There’s something cool and credible about bluegrass. I just fell in love with the sound of the instruments."
What was it like to work Aloe Blacc on the album? Is he somebody you'd wanted to record with for a long time?
"Working with Aloe is incredible; he’s an amazing artist, really quick with lyrics - Mike Einziger from Incubus was great to work with also. He and Aloe and I wrote 'Wake Me Up'."
How did you find working with Nile Rodgers? What did contribute to the record?
"I met Nile at my Radio City show a couple of years ago, I have always been a fan, and have always wanted to work with him. We just worked off of each other so well... we’ll start with nothing coming into the studio session and leave with an amazing track. Nile chose Adam Lambert’s voice on the “Lay Me Down” track. Adam’s voice in incredible, he killed the song on the first take. There’s no doubt I will work with Nile again soon."
Which vocalists would you most love to collaborate with? And why?
"I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most creative, cool musicians and voices out there. At this point, I am open to collaborate with any artist that I really like, mainstream or not, and regardless of the genre. But dream collaborations include: Stevie Wonder, Adele and more."
"Stevie Wonder is a legend and Adele’s vocals are truly incredible. And I’ve just been working with Chris Martin, so that’s was a definitely a dream come true."
Have you started working on the follow-up to 'TRUE' at all? Are you able to write music while you tour?
"I have been putting time in the studio with Nile, Chris Martin, Wyclef and others in Sweden. It’s been really great so far, so I’m really excited for it to come out."
Finally, what records are you most looking forward to hearing in 2014?
"I heard Pharrell and the Foo Fighters are planning to drop albums in 2014, so I’m really looking forward to that."