Avicii told the story of the song to Artist Direct
's Rick Florino: "Well I had this vocal sample from Etta James, which I really wanted to use. After I came up with the 'Levels' hook, I tried using the vocal over it, and it worked really well. Then my manager landed an incredible deal with our label and did an amazing job getting publicity for the track. To me, it's one of the career changing tracks that I fell brought the whole AVICII brand to another level—pun intended (Laughs)."