It’s been about two years since legendary EDM artist Avicii tragically left us. During his illustrious career, the Swedish DJ and producer fused EDM with other genres to create memorable records. Fans who got to see him perform live will remember his magical tours and entertaining live sets. One of Avicii's goals was to bring unique entertainment to his audience, whether onstage, offstage, or through his timeless music. Another way he touched his millions of fans around the world was through his music videos.
Avicii intentionally created mesmerizing visuals for his songs. "All the songs have a story I wanted to tell," he said after the release of Stories, his celebrated sophomore album.
Like his songs, his videos make viewers think about life while urging them to dance. The most striking element about his narrative videos is the execution, as they are presented with strong conflicts and end with tearjerking resolutions. Avicii made music videos that prompted viewers to take action—chase dreams, fight for causes, dance, embrace relationships, and stay motivated.
Here are 5 times the EDM mastermind told brilliant stories through his music videos.
"For A Better Day"
Avicii made his directorial debut with the video for "For A Better Day." It was one of the times when he thought outside the box to tell a story with the intention of grabbing the attention of viewers. Through unsettling imagery, he illuminates the horrors of child trafficking by using two victims as main characters. Although a tragic tale, it’s also one of sweet revenge that ends with the subjects handing out much-deserved punishment to their traffickers and abusers.
"Broken Arrows" is inspired by a true story—that of of American athlete Dick Fosbury. The music video highlights the life of a self-loathing father who goes from being a struggling athlete to a world champion through his daughter’s help. Early scenes show him being a disappointment to his trainer and trying to find happiness through alcohol and wild nights.
His daughter, his biggest fan, becomes an inspiration that motivates him to develop a new technique and become an accomplished athlete. The brilliant execution and portrayal of Fosbury’s story is designed to fuel motivation and personal growth. Watching the video's iconic scenes while hearing Zac Brown sing "It’s not too late, it’s not too late, I see the hope in your heart" sends chills to the brain.
The visuals present in "The Nights" probably tempt viewers to quit their jobs to go on a vacation. It features Rory Kramer (an adventurer who quit his job to explore the world) and a documentation of his exciting life through the lens of a GoPro camera. Some of the highlights include clips of Kramer surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, balloon-flying, and transforming a Toyota car to a convertible. A deeper side of the story is rooted in the inspiration from his father and their relationship. This story represents one example of how all the elements in Avicii’s music are intertwined.
"Waiting For Love"
The Sebastian Ringler-directed video of "Waiting For Love" tells a magnificent story of true love between an elderly couple. Most of the scenes feature the husband, who sets out on his mobility scooter to find his caring wife in a simple story with quirky and endearing imagery. In the end, there are many unanswered questions about the protagonist and the plot that are left for viewers to interpret in their own way. When matched with the lyrics of the song, the interpretation becomes easier and the symbolism in some of the elements becomes more clear. Fair warning—the final scene could induce tears.
"Hey Brother," one of Avicii's early music videos, depicts two brothers growing up during a time of war in the US. It’s an intense tale of brotherhood with bright moments, like when the siblings spend quality time together, and heart-wrenching moments, like when the older brother dies. The story is driven by one brother's memory of the other through brilliant visual execution, which renders a song with a deep meaning even more emotional. Avicii also appears in a short cameo at the end, where he walks through the grass among fireflies.