Avicii: True Stories traces the unvarnished truth behind the success of Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and artist Avicii (A.K.A. Tim Bergling)– one of the world’s highest grossing live music artists whose seemingly sudden decision last year to quit doing live shows came as a complete chock to his fans and the industry. The film reveals the choices he faced and his thoughts at the time.
The film traces the artist/DJ’s life from his beginnings, all the way to the joy of his success, from his chart-topping global radio hits and subsequent struggles with his physical and mental health. Tsikurishvili followed Bergling for over four years, and captured fly-on-the-wall footage of his experiences and thinking.
Featuring appearances by colleagues such as Chris Martin, Nile Rodgers, David Guetta and Wyclef Jean, Avicii: True Stories is a cautionary tale that explores the taxing nature and intensity of fame from the artist’s point of view as much as it is a film for Avicii’s die-hard fans.
“I wanted to do a brutally honest film about Tim as a person and not only about Avicii. Everybody knows Avicii but very few people know Tim. I think this documentary really shows Tim’s struggle and strength of character. Being a worldwide superstar artist is not as easy as it looks on Instagram”, Tsikurishvili says.
The Avicii story begins when he won a production competition held by Pete Tong in 2008. In 2011, he transformed into a titan seemingly overnight with progressive house instant classic “LE7ELS.” The year that followed saw him become the first EDM DJ to pull off a worldwide arena tour. Avicii shattered expectations of what dance music could be when he unveiled the dance-country swing of “Wake Me Up” at Ultra Music Festival Miami in 2013. The year of 2015 should have been a peak for the producer, but behind the scenes, it was too much. Stress, anxiety and illness were eating him away. He had played more than 800 shows. After an eight month break from touring, in March of 2016, Avicii played Ultra Miami again. Ten days later he announced his retirement, and on the night of August 28, 2016 in Ibiza, Tim Bergling, aka Avicii, played his last show.
Avicii: True Stories (2017) is Tsikurishvili’s 4th documentary feature. He has been following Tim Bergling since 2013, and on a near-daily basis over the last three years.
In 2016, Bergling’s health deteriorated, and he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis due to excessive alcohol use. He stopped performing live. He died on 20 April 2018 in Muscat, Oman, at the age of 28; no cause of death was immediately given.