Last month, DJ Mag unveiled their annual top 100 rankings, and the 2012 list of DJs was full of surprises. The most notable being an apparent changing of the guard, with Avicii cracking the top 3 — slots that have been designated to the same dominating powers for the past several years. While Avicii — who has been held responsible for the commercialized trajectory of EDM — may not have been the unanimous vote among dance music fans, his influence among the genre, and the world in general, has been unavoidable.
Many people throw around Avicii’s name when cracking mainstream jokes, but — like it or not — the man has become one of the most popular and influential icons of the scene. Whether or not you agree with his #3 ranking, the people have spoken and the numbers show that he has earned that spot. Here are the 7 reasons why Avicii was ranked as an elite figure in 2012.
1. Newfound Headliner Status
Once upon a time, there were three DJs who occupied DJ Mag’s Top 3 slots… they were also considered the only DJs with enough appeal to headline major American festivals – most notably, Ultra – year after year. They go by the names of Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, and David Guetta. This year, Avicii broke into the headliner stratosphere when he took the spotlight of UMF’s day 2 – a foreshadowing that he would also move into the aforementioned elite’s DJ Mag territory.
2. Ash Pournouri
Even as a fan admiring from a distance, you can’t ignore Avicii’s team, At Night, or his manager, Ash Pournouri. These names are linked with his promo videos and productions, and Tim is normally quick to drop these names in his interviews. It’s a classic ‘chicken or the egg’ situation — Ash seems to be Tim’s secret weapon, yet Avicii seems to be Ash’s secret weapon. Either way, Ash Pournouri has proven to be one of the most prominent managers across the scene and Mr. Bergling has – on the record – attributed his explosive success to his manager.
3. The Booming American Market
Timing is everything. In 2009, Tim played for the first time in America at Miami’s Winter Music Conference — and using his Avicii moniker for the first time, no one could have predicted that the young Swede would help pioneer a new generation of music in the United States. He has since gone on to tour every inch of the country, including the college market, and an all-arena tour which featured his Coachella-debuted, larger-than-life head production. The man himself was seemingly at a loss for words when asked about the on-going American phenomenon, stating “Once the [EDM] explosion happened, things just got so much bigger. Bigger Shows, so many people, it’s just getting huge here.”
4. Radio City Music Hall
After Swedish House Mafia made history selling out the most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden, it was only a matter of time until Avicii would go after his piece of the record books – Radio City Music Hall. Tim, along with his Swedish brethren, made a statement by playing two nights at the historic venue. Taking the same stage where acts such as The Beatles have performed before him, he has connected the dots, proving leadership of a generation much like his predecessors did.
5. Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply Campaign
The most recent stop on the road to world domination – a fashion campaign. Avicii has become the face of Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply, putting his signature flannel shirts and beanie caps to good use. This fall, if you took a walk in New York City’s meatpacking district, you would see Tim’s face spanning the length of the Gansevoort Hotel. In coordination with the campaign, he released a special edit of “Silhouettes,” pushing his music along with his brand on a nationwide scale.
As if taking over one generation of music lovers wasn’t enough, Avicii found his way into Madonna’s broad fanbase, which has been decades in the making. It all started when the 54-year-old pop icon took the main stage of Ultra Music Festival to introduce Tim – controversial statements aside. The next month Madonna released Avicii’s remix of her album’s lead track “Girl Gone Wild.” After that, she called on Tim again to open up for her at her Yankee Stadium concert. Perhaps one of the most influential females in entertainment, if Avicii hadn’t already become a household name, his association with Madonna made it official.
7. Levels (Still)
The unanimous song of the year in 2011, “Levels” has become overplayed and has been the punchline for countless lame EDM jokes — but, despite its over-saturation, has yet to vanish off the radar. “Levels” is testament to Tim’s abilities as a producer – it’s an undeniable fact that a song does not explode the way that “Levels” did without it being incredible — talent always prefaces success. Just as it’s Etta James sample will never die, neither will Avicii’s production – especially after being transformed into Flo-Rida’s airwave-dominator “Good Feeling.” Worldwide, the track has been used in advertisements for Bud Light Platinum (which also featured Tim himself), Buick, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, and too many international campaigns to count. Not to mention – it still passes the “Mom Test”
You may not have personally voted Avicii into DJ Mag’s top 3 spot, but opinions aside, that’s where he resides. Let us know what you think about his 2012 ranking in the comments section.