Norway’s Kygo and the new EDM niche of trop-house
If you’ve noticed a surge in chilled-out pseudo-house in today’s commercial electronic scene, it’s not just you. In an almost unpredictable turn after adopting high-energy trap and twerk (and moombahton before that) the commercial EDM community has opened its ears to a new, laid-back subgenre known as “tropical house.” Trop-house is possibly one of the most structurally-flexible subgenres of electronica to make it to the forefront of the scene. Drums are typically (but not always) four-on-the-floor, tempo ranges anywhere from 100-128 BPM, and instrumental synthesis tendencies are really up to whomever’s making it. It’s truly a creative-minded producer’s fantasy.
Tropical house didn’t just fall out of the sky. Behind every new movement, there are pioneers behind the scenes slaving away at the tracks that will eventually become the style’s core canon. One of these pioneers stands out above the rest: his name is Kyrre Gorvell-Dahll, but you may just know him as Kygo.
Kygo’s musical career began when he was 15 and was exposed to Avicii for the first time. He decided that he “wanted to have a go at remixes and creating electronic music” and began teaching himself how to compose music electronically. Fast-forward to 2013, and the early-20’s Norwegian releases his remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire.” Within weeks his Youtube and SoundCloud collectively scored over 80 million hits, and he is approached by both Chris Martin of Coldplay and Avicii separately to sanction remixes. Almost overnight Kygo became an international sensation, to the extent that he took over Avicii’s Main Stage headlining slot at Tomorrow World after the Swedish DJ stepped down for health-related reasons.
Now, pending the release of an official Diplo remix, Kygo is preparing to embark on his 21-date tour of the US and Europe, during which he’ll be playing Union Transfer on October 17th supported by co-pioneer in trop-house Thomas Jack. Unfortunately, tickets to the show sold out after its announcement in September, truly speaking to how unique and appealing his work is. You can find a full stream of all of his remixes on SoundCloud, but listen to his reworking of “Midnight” by Coldplay below.