KYGO
A legend among us

by Dan Prince, photographs Mads Malme Maurstad July 2016 MUSIC Read in PDF format N10/2016
KYGO Quite simply the most exciting new producer on the planet

Kyrre, you are lucky to have been raised from a real musical family. Your father loved to play the blues and your mother pushed you into piano lessons when you were only six years old. Now be honest: did you hate learning this instrument when you were so young?

“I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t enjoy it too much either. It was something I did because my mum wanted me to do it, but after I got better and started to learn songs that I wanted to learn I really started enjoying it.”

Is your piano teacher aware of your worldwide success?

“Yes she is! I met her a couple of months ago and she is very happy for me.”

You were halfway through a degree in Business & Finance at Edinburgh University in Scotland when you quit for music after your online music simply blew up. Business and finance? What was the plan with that?

“I always wanted to do something with music but heard things from people that it was really difficult to break through. So I moved myself away from home and got into studying economics. I think deep down I never thought I would end up in a job related to the subject, but thought it was a good starting point in my career. Things have obviously turned out a little differently.”

Time and time again in interviews you reinforce the importance of learning an instrument to help with music production. What instrument would you LOVE to master?

“It would still be the piano. Even though I’ve been playing it for nearly 20 years, I can’t claim to even be close to mastering it. I’m in genuine awe of people such as Elton John and Billy Joel and the complete control they have over their instrument.”

Who are some of the new people you have found recently that you cannot wait to work with?

“I’ve been listening to Jack Garrett, Stephen, Ben Khan and a girl from the UK called NAO. I would love to work with them someday.”

Your new album ‘Cloud 9’ is produced and written by yourself and features some of the most talented artists in the music industry. How difficult is it for a dance artist to put together an album in 2016?

“I think it’s incredibly difficult for any artist from any genre to put an album together. We live in a very single-friendly era where putting out tracks one by one is the thing to do so trying to put out 10 or 12 tracks with an overriding theme is hard. I have a great manager, A&R team and more people though who helped everything work the way I wanted it to.”

The whole mood changes from track to track. Most artists draw from personal heartache / euphoria / life experiences with their writing – where does yours come from?

“There is definitely a touch of my own personal experiences that come into play when I’m making my music but I generally start with an overriding theme of what I want to achieve. Whether that’s love, heartache, loss or something else, I’ll start with that idea in my mind and go onto try and create a melody around it.”

What song are you most proud of ?

“‘Firestone’. It was my first original track and for that reason, it will stay with me forever. A lot of people considered me just a ‘remixer’ type of guy and that release got them to sit up and take notice.”

You have a residency at Ushuaïa this summer. What makes this such a special venue for an artist to play and what can we expect from your shows?

“I think it’s the atmosphere at the venue. Ushuaïa has always lead the way for me when it comes to hosting the best acts on the island from all genres. Whether it was with Avicii or Loco Dice to guys today like Solomun and Martin Garrix, you always look at the residencies at Ushuaïa and want to be at every date. I have some really fun acts who I’m bringing along to play the shows and I think the music will strike the perfect balance at the venue.”

Your videos are a thing of beauty. How much input do you have with the look of them?

“Thank you! That’s honestly a total team effort. From myself to the label to my manager and more, we try and work our videos around the track theme and go from there. We have an amazing creative team that seem to always get what we want into all the moving parts you see in the videos.”

One of your biggest inspirations in your life is Avicii – who, after battling his demons, has decided to hang up his DJing and producing boots for a while. Your schedule is relentless, temptations to party are everywhere – how do you keep focused?

“Sure, the temptations are always there but if I end up partying every night, everything gets affected, from my moods to making music etc. I try and keep fit on the road as much as possible. I go to the gym, I eat healthily as well.”

“Kygo is the future of electronic music”. How do comments like that make you feel?

“Well, it’s obviously humbling to hear statements like that but I never let them define who I am. I take each day as it comes. I don’t know if my music will be popular three years from now so I have to enjoy it while it lasts.”

Apart from studio equipment, what is the most extravagant thing you have bought with your music earnings?

“I just bought my first house back home in Bergen so that’s definitely going to be my most extravagant purchase for a while.”

How nervous were you when you put the Marvin Gaye rework out on line?

“Crazy nervous. That was the one remix where I thought to myself, are you sure you want to do this? You could be ruining one of the greatest songs of all time! But the reaction to it has been incredible. Marvin Gaye’s estate even loved the song enough to sign off on it becoming an official remix.”

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“Be yourself and do your own thing. Don’t follow the trend.”

True or false? Ed Sheeran said your remix of his tune was better than the original?

“True. He actually said that he liked my remix better than the original in an interview he did with a Norwegian newspaper!”

‘Music is always evolving and things will never remain the same’ – a famous quote from you. What is your next sound?

“You’ll have to wait and see but I stand by that quote. I’m always evolving and learning things when it comes to making music. When you have studio sessions with the likes of John Legend, you can’t help but evolve and become better at what you do.”

You are a huge football fan and follow Manchester United. Two questions. What was it like having Mata showing you around Old Trafford and how do you think Jose Mourinho will do next season in charge?

“I don’t really follow football as much now as I did before, but it was definitely a pretty cool experience to see one of the most iconic stadiums in the world with one of the greatest players in the world. He’s a cool guy and he likes my music as well which was crazy to find out. We’ll see how it goes with Mourinho – it’s always hard to predict how it will go!”

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