The track is soft and sentimental, but also raw, relying on Aloe’s heavy words to tell the story. The main message is made clear that he wished the departed DJ/producer would’ve opened up more to allow those around him to show how much they cared.
The California native included a statement along with the song’s release: “The news of his passing stunned me as it did all who were moved by his music and I am terribly sad that he is no longer with us. When I heard he was gone my heart immediately went out to his family and the words to this song came to me.” He elaborated even further in the post containing the new recording below.
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Today would have been Tim Bergling's 30th birthday. The news of his passing stunned me as it did all who were moved by his music and I am terribly sad that he is no longer with us. When I heard he was gone my heart immediately went out to his family and the words to this song came to me. I had only spent moments on stage and in the studio with him, but his family had spent years watching him grow. As a father of two young children myself I couldn't imagine the tragedy of living beyond them and having to gather the things they have left behind. I thought I would take today, Tim's birthday, to remember and to share what I learned about art from him. Take the risk. As an artist, if ever you feel nervous about something, it's better to take the risk than to regret it. When we created "Wake Me Up" there was no blueprint for the combination of sounds and no example of success to rely on. Lead rather than follow. Mavericks don't follow trends, they create them. Tim reminded me of what I learned so well in my experience during the golden era of Hip Hop, which is to create your own style. When others begin to use your style, just keep it fresh and switch it up. Be brave and bold. I know Tim was way more comfortable in the studio than in most other places that music took him. But he learned to step out and embrace millions of fans with his live performances. I imagine the most fearful performance would have been the debut of the music from TRUE at Ultra. He was nervous, but he did it anyway. While other performers had the usual lasers, pyro and girls in bikinis, Tim shared the stage with musicians and singers that helped him craft a groundbreaking album. Ignore outside opinions. Criticisms are everywhere and they are increasingly negative rather than constructive. It's important to listen to your inner voice and have confidence in the art you create. The few trusted voices in your inner circle can be helpful, but when it comes to art, always trust your gut over others. Ultimately, the integrity in a work of art lies with the creator and no one else. The most important thing I think I learned from working with Tim was to embrace collaboration. Rest in peace, Tim
Avicii’s first posthumous release was none other than “SOS” featuring Aloe Blacc. The two also collaborated on “Wake Me Up,” one of the producer’s most cherished works of art. Speaking on the crossover hit, the singer/songwriter offered up some precious words of wisdom: “Take the risk. As an artist, if ever you feel nervous about something, it’s better to take the risk than to regret it. When we created ‘Wake Me Up’ there was no blueprint for the combination of sounds and no example of success to rely on.”