Avicii – The Story Behind “Freak” ft. Bonn
The songs we wrote were naturally about
being in a dark place, but then also about coming up from that dark place. You know,
rising again, kind of, like we felt he had done, because we all knew what kind of place he was in
earlier with all of the touring stuff and everything that was going on. It was kind of like a release for
him, I think, and writing music about it was such a mending process. It was a way of looking
back at something that was in the past. It felt like he was in a really good place,
like he was genuinely happy. Denial was originally an idea that we started back
in Stockholm, and I think it was the first song that we worked on with Tim when we got to LA to his
house and he was like, “Yeah, I really like that. Can we work on that? But maybe we should
change this and change the chords here”. And then he started playing the sukiyaki melody.
The sukiyaki song is a song from the 50s, I think. It’s a Japanese song which has a very distinct
melody, but then there is one part in the middle where I think the singer is actually whistling it. And
that’s the part we ended up using, so we sampled that. This is the original sukiyaki sample
that’s underneath the track. It’s obviously pitched and changed in tempo.
Tim also dubbed the melody with another synth and if you listen you can hear it. When we got
that part, the whole song was basically complete. We had the verses, we had the chorus recorded,
everything. That was the missing part, and then we found it and
it was just like “Wow”. This I happened to catch, the moment
when Tim found that sukiyaki melody, so I have it on my phone as a voice memo.
This is him playing the melody in the background. “That’s a damn good melody”.