The Blessed Rise of Kygo: NPR
Courtesy of the artist
Kygo is a 24 year old music producer from Norway. Her debut album hasn’t even been released yet, but her singles, like “Stone of fire“, made him a pop music phenomenon. Last December, he set a record on Spotify, surpassing a billion streams faster than any artist before him.
Kyrre Gorvell-Dahll grew up playing the piano and started composing at the age of 15. But he didn’t start producing until a few years later, while doing his compulsory military service in Norway.
âI ended up as a firefighter at a naval base in my hometown, but I had a lot of free time,â he explains. “I had, like, nine days of 24-hour service a month and 21 days off. That’s when I started making music.”
Kygo says he started with simple tools – a MacBook Pro and Logic recording software – and learned how to use them, often relying on YouTube tutorials. As he became more comfortable with producing, he started making remixes and posting them online: songs by James Blake, Dolly Parton and Marvin Gaye, filtered by his own musical sensibility. bathed in sunlight.
People started to listen to these reworked songs – a lot of people. He gained so much attention for his remixes that when he signed with his label two years ago, they still hadn’t heard his original music. Since then he has grown into one of the biggest names associated with a sound dubbed “tropical house”: Caribbean-sounding instrumentation with an easy-going rhythm, much slower than you’d hear on an average dance floor.
“I ended up using steel drums a lot, and maybe pan flute,” he says, taking care to note that most of these instruments are digital creations, virtual synth sounds tweaked to. perfection. “I was just experimenting with different sounds and like, trying to find the perfect sound.”
Kygo’s first album, Cloud, releases May 13, and while there are tracks that match his signature sound, there are also plenty that sound different.
“I tried to keep my music a little bit upbeat because I know my fans love this happy, upbeat vibe, [but] a lot of the music on the album is a little different than what I’ve produced so far, “he says.” It’s just me having fun in the studio. “