You may not have heard of the name Tim Bergling, but you might be aware of his music.
Swedish born Bergling - aka Avicii - is the man behind one of this summer's big hits, his chart-topping masterstroke 'Wake Me Up' (which features Aloe Blacc).
And his star looks set to continue to rise with the release of his debut album 'True' on Monday September 17.
The DJ and record producer, who is still only 24 years old, caught up with us ahead of his iTunes Festival show this week to discuss working with guitar legend Nile Rodgers, how his charity is helping millions worldwide and why he'll never “cheat” his fans...
Congratulations on the massive success of 'Wake Me Up'. It seems to have connected with so many people. At what stage did you think it might be special?
To be honest, I never did. 'Wake Me Up' is one of those songs that is a bit of a risk. I felt cautious when I created it. Up until that point, I had only recorded classic club or dance tracks. 'Wake Me Up' was a huge step forward for me musically. It is a mixture of genres that you wouldn't necessarily expect to be put together. I was massively worried that people wouldn't react but, thankfully, everything that has happened this summer with the song has been amazing.
Tell us about the first time you debuted the track.
Oh, man, the fans didn't get it! It was at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami back in March. Aloe Blacc was there playing with me. It was good for us because we had a banjo and fiddle on stage and we were doing a bluegrass version of the song. I looked out at the crowd and people looked shocked. I knew they would be.
You knew they'd be shocked?
I expected it. I knew people wouldn't be able to listen to the song without prejudice. Once the dust had settled, I had to ask myself whether it was a good enough to song to work. I wondered 'will people take to this or will they still hate it in a few months time?'. It was a big question.
So you weren't confident in the song, then?
I was so confident in my ability but I was second guessing myself. The management and my team worked so hard on it and you never know what will happen. This summer has been amazing, though – everything has gone so well. I have realised I can let my guard down and relax a bit!
Interestingly, you've worked with a whole range of artists on your forthcoming debut album True. Most notably Nile Rodgers and Mac Davis (who wrote 'In the Ghetto' and 'A Little Less Conversation' for Elvis Presley). What was it like collaborating with legends like those?
It was absolutely amazing. I learned so much through those guys. We worked on a whole bunch of songs together and I'm meeting Nile soon after iTunes Festival. Right from the start, we got along musically. Nile Rodgers really inspired me and what we've done on the tracks has been amazing.
He's been responsible for one of the songs of the summer with Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'. What makes him so special?
Well, you can't buy the experience he has. He is such a unique talent and is a musician who continues to inspire not just me but a whole bunch of artists. I read somewhere recently that his guitar has been a part of over $2 billion worth of music.
I know! We'd be in the studio and I'd tell him a song I loved growing up and he'd say 'Oh, really? I played guitar on that track'. It was amazing!
You've also worked with upcoming artists such as Imagine Dragons. Are there any new artists you'd love to see break through this year?
One of the negatives about my job is that I feel I'm out of the game. Whereas before I'd constantly be listening to new stuff and getting inspired, these past few months I've been so engrossed in my album that I haven't had time. I can't wait for True to be released and then I can get back to what I know and feel comfortable with: getting inspired and discovering brilliant new music.
You've been touring since 2007.
Yeah, I've been living and breathing music for seven years. I've been constantly on tour in that time.
Does it feel strange releasing an album so far into your career?
It's definitely a late time to release a debut album, isn't it? The truth is, I never thought I would release one. It was only when I noticed my body of work was growing uncontrollably. I was in Los Angeles during some studio time and I was continuously collaborating. It got to the point where I knew I had to release these songs. I'd never intended to do an album. I was happy to go on releasing singles forever! But I realised I wanted to record a complete album. I didn't want these songs to go to waste or not be current. I felt so attached to them all. They are like my children.
Was there a specific moment when you realised “I have to do an album!”, then?
Not a specific moment exactly. The success of electronic music and dance music over the last few years definitely contributed to the decision.
Talking of the electronic music scene, you've been criticised by some for incorporating live instruments into your sets. How important is the use of live instruments for you as a performer?
I think music is about melody. I would never cheat my fans. Music is a universal language – it doesn't matter if its a synth or a banjo. I could play a guitar synth these days and people wouldn't be able to tell the difference but the vibe you get with live instruments is difficult to re-create. Live instruments gives music a different quality.
Why do you think people have a problem with you using instruments?
I don't know. I don't understand that pretentious attitude of not listening to something because it has a banjo or something. Not everybody can perform with live instruments but it's so fun to play around with and have access to. I'm not an amazing instrumentalist by any means but I work with all these talented guys who come together to make my experience what it is. They help me out and give me the chance to learn off their brilliant talents. I still find myself learning new things each and every day.
Your career isn't purely music-orientated, though. In 2011, you set up House for Hunger, a charity dedicated to alleviating global hunger.
It's something I'm passionate about. House for Hunger was started two years ago by me and my manager.
How did it come about?
We'd been asked to do loads of stuff for charity in the period before that. We'd been touring and playing shows for a few years and we felt we could help. But, we wanted something we were fully committed to and could own. We didn't want to half-ass it.
How successful has the project been?
It's been great. We did a 27 day tour of America which raised over $1million. We didn't make a penny off touring – everything went to House for Hunger. The main thing which inspired it was that we wanted it done properly and done well.
What does the future hold for House for Hunger?
The aim is to get it to continue to grow. We'd love to get our friends involved and other musicians to raise awareness. We are dedicated to it and we want to take it as far as we can.