How Avicii Influenced A Little City In The Southern Panhandle Of Texas

Lubbock, TX is not the kind place you would expect to be connected to the legendary producer Avicii. The small city is known for two things – Texas Tech University and Buddy Holly. The rock’n’roll pioneer whose death inspired the iconic song by Don McLean, ‘American Pie’, was born in Lubbock. As soon as you set foot within city limits you are reminded this fact on seemingly every street corner.

Texas Tech University is the driving economic force the once sleepy, dusty town. The University has helped Lubbock expand from a regional hub to one the fastest growing economies in America. The school is what brought me down to West Texas from Philadelphia about three years ago. Immediately upon arriving there was a sense culture shock, I went from having electronic music events in my backyard every weekend to being forced to travel 5 hours+ to experience any sort high prile touring act.

Connection In Unlikely Places

During my time finishing up my degree at Texas Tech I had the opportunity to intern with a local event production company called Caldwell Entertainment. While the company produces events ranging from weddings to tribute shows to original plays, it is best known for the wide array high prile country touring acts it brings to Lubbock. Starting my internship I was a so-called “fish out water”. The electronic music fan in the heart and soul West Texas country music.

How Avicii Influenced A Little City In The Southern Panhandle Of Texas
Caldwell Entertainment Post Concert

The company’s CEO and founder, Don Caldwell would spend hours talking with me, teaching me about country music, and in turn him learning about dance music. Don is a man who exudes kindness and always made me feel welcome in what could have been considered foreign territory. In one our long-winded conversations that left the other employees in the fice rolling their eyes, he mentioned that Mac Davis – another Lubbock legend had an unlikely connection with dance music.

Avicii’s Relationship With Lubbock, TX

Mac Davis is a celebrated singer/songwriter from Lubbock. Not only has he nabbed a few Grammy Awards in his storied career, but he also penned singles for some the biggest acts in the world. He is so renowned in Lubbock one the main drags in the city bears his name. Don attempted to explain to me who he once worked with, “Some big European DJ, Ada-something or other?”. I laughed, but then it clicked. There was only one artist who ever attempted to bridge the gap between dance music and country – Avicii.

How Avicii Influenced A Little City In The Southern Panhandle Of Texas

I will never forget watching Avicii’s 2013 Ultra performance. He debuted his new single, ‘Wake Me Up’ and it bombed like a lead balloon. Little did the crowd know, they were hearing one the biggest hits in dance music history for the first time ever. In the months following his Ultra set, Avicii would demonstrate an adept hand in mixing two entirely different worlds music. Many don’t know that one the biggest hits f his ground-breaking album True started as a folk song many years ago.

After realizing it was Avicii, Don pointed me to the back wall his fice, which is adorned with various newspaper articles cataloging his various achievements over the years. In one framed article, yellowed from the passage time the local newspaper, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, spoke at length how one Mac Davis’ songs penned years ago was transformed into an international dance hit by “Avicci” called ‘Addicted To You’. I had to laugh at the misspelling Avicii’s name, but in a moment two my worlds collided.


A short piece about the music video for ‘Addicted To You’ was one the first articles I wrote for EDM Sauce. It is unbelievable to think that was 5 years ago. Upon Avicii’s passing yesterday I have been reflecting on how much the young artist influenced my own life. How his music helped me get through the toughest times my life, and how his courage to introduce new sounds into the world changed electronic music forever.

At the time the coincidence seeing his connection to a small West Texas city I ended up calling home was nothing more than a novelty. Now with his untimely death, I have found a new appreciation for this unlikely series events. It really does show that Avicii’s influence was much more far-reaching than anyone could ever imagine. Whether you love his earlier work or his later cross-over country inspired anthems, we lost a legend yesterday. Avicii will live on as one the most influential artists all time – both in Lubbock, TX and all over the world.