Four years ago, he was just some Swedish kid named Tim who liked messing around on his laptop at home. One iTunes-dominating dance hit (“Levels”) later, he’s Avicii, world’s hottest DJ, making $250,000 a night to keep the Ecstasy-dosed, champagne-soaked masses moving. Jessica Pressler spends a wild week jetting around with Avicii and his Oontz-a-Loompas, and nobody stops partying until they’re rolled out in a wheelchair:
“Security!” the promoter shouts, and hulking figures fall into step beside us.
“Dog!” An assistant sweeps in to take the Pomeranian from the girlfriend’s arms.
“Okay, go!” and this unwieldy centipede begins its shuffle through the Encore resort, into a restaurant, where bejeweled women and heavyset men look up curiously from their Dover sole, out the back door, past a pool, up some stairs, and behind a velvet rope where Tim alone steps onto a raised platform facing out into the gaping maw of XS nightclub.
He pauses a minute, taking in the expectant faces, flushed and a little drunk, chanting, “A-vi-cii! A-vi-cii! A-vi-cii!”
Then the light falls on him, and he lifts a skinny arm and flicks a switch, flooding the room with a melody that washes over the crowd like a balm before turning into a beat that has them going, his words, “completely apeshit,” and then, and only then, does he relax.