Swedish DJ/production superstar Avicii is one of the princes of the contemporary EDM renaissance. He’s a significant contributor in resurrecting Stateside interest in electronic music, especially for a young digital generation. And his strong Nordic looks also make him stand out on a stage or on a magazine page, thus inviting interest from the fashion set. After many fashion labels made their co-branding bids, Avicii finally settled on an ideal first endeavor: modeling for Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply’s Fall 2012 campaign, the fruits of which have recently been revealed. Bringing the internationally popular music scion into the pages of the mainstream American press is a smart look for both the heritage brand and the musician: T he former appears progressively modern, and the latter freshly approachable.
Premiering a special remix of the “Silhouettes” video in conjuction with the Denim & Supply campaign, Avicii spoke with Rolling Stone about the partnership, his mounting status as a musical force in America and what he’s plotting next.
Watch the premiere of Avicii’s “Silhouettes (Denim & Supply Remix)”:
How did this collaboration between you, a Swedish EDM guru, and Ralph Lauren, a classic American brand, come about?
A lot of fashion brands have asked me to collaborate, but my manager and I always said if we did something like that, it had to be really special. I like the look of Denim & Supply – it looks how I already dress. So when they offered to let me do this campaign and video, it was a good fit.
Did you have any say over how the clothes look?
Not really, not yet. There’s been talk of that for the future, though. As for now, my role is to present the collections.
How was the experience of shooting the fashion ads?
It was a lot of fun. We did the whole thing in a cool warehouse in New York, and we invited some of my real-life friends from the venue Pacha NYC to join us, so we created a really great vibe. It felt almost like a gig more than a shoot, really fun.
Do you have plans to work with Ralph Lauren in the future?
I hope so. I really had a lot of fun and they’re open-minded to new ideas. They really embraced me and didn’t make me compromise my own sense of style or identity. They made sure I was comfortable, and I appreciate that. Plus, I already wore their clothes, so, it feels natural to work with them.
Do you see a connection between how you dress and the music you create?
Not for me, personally. I just wear what makes me comfortable.
However, a lot of the kids who attend your shows certainly have a wild sense of style!
Yes, I think it’s great! Really cool. I like the modern raver style, and I also enjoy that it’s pretty much something you only see in the U.S., actually.
So you wouldn’t see kids in glow-in-the-dark clothing at a Swedish festival?
[Laughs] No, no chance.
What do you think of America’s re-interest in dance music? Do you feel partially responsible?
I would say I hope so. A lot of people are part of why that is. In the past ten years, people like David Guetta really opened up electronica’s doors to new audiences, and I’d say I’m actually part of the younger generation following in those footsteps.
Who are your personal electronic heroes?
There’s a bunch. Tiësto is a huge one. He’s a master of the game and been doing it for so long, it’s hard not to be inspired. Swedish House Mafia is also a huge influence on me and many others in EDM. They elevated the game globally.
What are you working on next?
I just wrapped up one tour and I’m about to head into the next. I’ve finished some new tracks in the past two months. I feel fortunate to be at a point where I have a lot of unreleased material waiting to be heard. It’s something I stress over, as I worry about always being productive. To know I have lots of good material I can release lets me calm down a bit. [laughs]
Have you been working with any major pop musicians?
I don’t know what I can and can’t say, but yes, there’s been some collaborating going on! Stay tuned.