“He Was Such a Genius”: Armin van Buuren Opens Up About Avicii’s Death, Mental Health In Music Industry
"I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist."
After he took the stage at Ultra Abu Dhabi last weekend, the Dutch trance music legend sat down with The National to discuss the pitfalls of a touring lifestyle and its enduring impact on artists. van Buuren attributed the pandemic and Avicii's tragic death by suicide in 2018 as factors that made him realize he needed to change his life.
"He really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness," van Buuren said of his late friend. "He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace. Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight."
"I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist," he added.
van Buuren says he's since given up alcohol, incorporated mindfulness habits into his routines and has scheduled more time to spend with his family in order to help with his mental health struggles. He then acknowledged that this is an even bigger problem for young artists and says these important conversations wouldn't have been possible without Avicii.
"Sooner or later, every artist will run into that wall and then you need a good team of people around you to support you so you can stay in contact with your own soul," van Buuren said. "I'm blessed because I have a great team and great management. And they're super honest with me and they look after me. But if you're a young and upcoming artist, that maybe not the case. But I have a manager who says, 'Yeah, is this what you really want?' and checks in. I think that's all thanks to Avicii."