“It was like a beam came out of heaven and dropped this beautiful song”: Vocalist Dan Tyminski reflects on Avicii’s Hey Brother as it hits 1 billion streams

The track is now Avicii’s fifth to surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify.

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Avicii on stage in 2016. He is wearing a t-shirt and cap and has one hand hovering above the deck. White lighting shines down on him.

Image: Rich Polk / Getty

Avicii’s Hey Brother has become his fifth track to hit one billion streams on Spotify, prompting Dan Tyminski, the bluegrass musician whose vocals appear on the track, to weigh in on the Swedish DJ’s legacy.

Hey Brother is the third track on Avicii’s debut album True, which also features the likes of Wake Me Up and Addicted to You. Wake Me Up hit two billion streams on Spotify in August last year.

Tyminski recalls the wholesome moment between him and his then-19-year-old daughter when she found out he’d received the offer to sing on the now-classic EDM song.

“I remember it so well. I grew up in kind of a bluegrass bubble. I listened to one style of music and that was pretty much it,” he says. “And I remember one day my assistant called me and said we had an offer to sing a song on someone’s record.”

He continues: “At the time my daughter was 19, and she listened to every type of music. I knew that she would know who it was. So I texted her and said, ‘Have you heard of Avicii?’ And she responded immediately, she said: ‘Swedish DJ. He’s a genius. He’s my favourite artist. Why?’

“So I said, ‘Well, I think he wants me to sing a song on his next record.’ And I see the bubbles come up, she’s texting, and one word: ‘Bullshit’. She doesn’t believe me.

“Anyway, she freaked out so hard, she said – and I’ll never forget this – she literally said, ‘If you don’t do this, I’m out.’”

Tyminski goes on to say that he quickly “fell in love” with the song and its subject matter, adding: “[It’s] by far the most listened to piece of music that I will ever have. I don’t think I will ever have the opportunity to record something that’s reached farther into the corners of the Earth than Hey Brother.

“It was like a beam came out of heaven and dropped this beautiful, amazing song.”

Six years on from his tragic death in 2018, a new documentary exploring the life of Avicii – titled I’m Timis set to premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.


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