EDM powerhouse Avicii may only be 25 years old, but he’s already inspired a new wave of producers with the potential to follow in his globe-conquering footsteps. Just one year his junior, Norwegian Kyrre Gorvell-Dahll, aka Kygo, is perhaps the one whose burgeoning career is the most indebted to the baby-faced Swede.
A classically trained pianist who first picked up his instrument of choice at age six, Kygo’s journey into the dance world began when he heard Avicii’s breakthrough hit “Seek Bromance” back in 2010, and decided to buy a MIDI keyboard to create some floorfillers of his own.
His affiliation with the “Wake Me Up” star continued in 2014 when he was invited to support him at Oslo’s Findings Festival, serve as his replacement at TomorrowWorld when the ubiquitous DJ was forced to cancel his headline set due to ill health, and then remix the #TRUE album track, “Dear Boy.”
Of course, by then, Kygo had already gained a reputation as one of Scandinavia’s most promising production talents. Pioneering a sun-kissed sound that would later be coined ‘tropical house,’ he first caught attention with remixes of tracks as eclectic as Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and The xx’s “Angels,” with his blissful reworking of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” becoming a European hit in its own right in 2013.
A bidding war then ensued, resulting in a deal with Sony International and Ultra Recordings, before he lent his magic touch to records by Seinabo Sey (“Younger”), Kyla La Grange (“Cut Your Teeth”) and Coldplay (“Midnight”), was asked by Diplo to provide a guest mix for his BBC 1Xtra show and recorded the official theme to the 2015 Ultra Music Festival.
However, it was Kygo’s own material that elevated him into the big league. Debut single “Firestone,” a collaboration with Aussie singer-songwriter Conrad Sewell, first introduced his signature blend of dramatic vocal melodies, lolloping synths and slow-motion beats to a much wider audience, hitting the Top 10 in over a dozen countries. That success was followed up by the similarly classy Parson James-fronted “Stole The Show” just a few months later.
Following well-received sets at both Coachella weekends, Kygo is now in talks with both promoter Adam Gill (to stage his own version of a Mad Decent Block Party) and with legendary DJ Pete Tong (to host his own BBC radio show). And with a debut album also set to arrive this summer, Kygo may well soon displace his musical idol Avicii as Scandinavia’s best and biggest commercial dance export.
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