In today’s musical landscape, Electronic Dance Music artists are the new rock stars, but that doesn’t come without its own consequences.
If alcohol is the social lubrication at clubs, bars and festivals, then music is the sticky glue holding the intricate operation together.
Sleep deprivation, a culture that overtly glorifies excess drug and alcohol consumption, and a high-pressured competitive career – music publication Thump called it a lifestyle “held together by fast food, lack of exercise and too much drinking and drug-taking.
“You’ve got all the ingredients for despair,” they concluded.
And yet it’s something that’s all too easily swept under the rug with a seven-word hook and a catchy beat.
But behind the lifestyle is the gruelling regime, packed touring schedule and inevitable burnout – something that multiple DJs have publicly expressed, from Moby, 52, Above & Beyond’s Tony McGuinness, 48, and Avicii, who passed away, age 28.
While we don’t know the cause of death, we do know that in 2016, almost two years ago to the day, he quit performing live music. Previously, he had been hospitalised for acute pancreatitis and had his gallbladder removed, due to excessive alcohol consumption.
We also know that in 2017, seven months before his death, Avicii – whose real name is Tim Bergling, told Rolling Stone he “needed to figure out [his] life.”
“The whole thing was about success for the sake of success. I wasn’t getting any happiness anymore,” he said.
“Parties can be amazing, but it’s very easy to become too attached to partying in places like Ibiza. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.”
But the thing is that when you compare his words to other world-famous EDM artists and DJs, there’s a very worrying pattern.