From his first SoundCloud upload on April 14, 2013, fans were glued to Norwegian producer Kygo‘s catchy tropical house renditions of avant-garde releases and pop classics. There was something fresh and unique about his toned-down, breezy sound and the way in which he tackled each of his works, intriguing listeners and racking up millions of plays at a time. It wouldn’t be long until he pulled off a virtually unimaginable feat: transforming his knack for remixes into a full-on pop crossover, and becoming a superstar in the process.
In honor of #tbt, we took a scroll down memory lane, digging through the archives and compiling some of our favorite Kygo remixes during these golden years — from his famous takes on Ed Sheeran to his remix of The XX.
By Christina Hernandez and Robyn Dexter
1. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream (April 2013)
The young prodigy, then 21, captured hearts from his very first upload. Inspired by James Blake, his lush, smooth take on the original “Wilhelm Scream” bred a new appreciation for mellower shades of house.
2. Dolly Parton – Jolene (June 2013)
Re-working a classic as huge as “Jolene” is a bold move, but Kygo managed to do it with finesse. Per usual, he added minimal, yet choice touches of beachy accents to create an revitalized new composition.
3. The XX – Angels (June 2013)
“Angels” minimal nature and hauntingly beautiful vocals made it a perfect candidate for remixing, and Kygo added just the right amount of guitar, bass, and island percussion to add a whole other layer of beauty onto the original.
4. Ed Sheeran & Passenger – No Diggity vs. Thrift Shop (August 2013)
Now sitting at a pretty 33 million streams on SoundCloud, Kygo’s clever take on this Ed Sheeran/Passenger collaboration remains one of his most recognizable remixes.
5. Ellie Goulding – High For This (November 2013)
Kygo took on famed songstress Ellie Goulding for a delicate seven-minute remix of “High For This” that accentuated her vocals and gave a gentle backbone to the powerful tune.
6. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (November 2013)
Having taken on megastars Dolly Parton and Ellie Goulding by this point, an emboldened Kygo fashioned a remix of “Sexual Healing” that set Marvin Gaye’s infectious vocals in a blissful soundscape that only accentuated the euphoria.
7. Ed Sheeran – I See Fire (December 2013)
Kygo brought the sounds of the season in his December remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire,” which rocketed him to notoriety and has been climbing steadily to 100 million streams on SoundCloud since its release.
8. Kyla La Grange – Cut Your Teeth (January 2014)
This edit can easily be defined as “quintessential tropical house.” After Kygo was done with “Cut Your Teeth,” it became difficult to imagine Kyla La Grange’s voice in any other setting.
9. Syn Cole – Miami 82 (February 2014)
Kygo knocked Syn Cole‘s upbeat “Miami 82” down a few pegs in his early 2014 remix, slowing the beat and channeling a dreamy, tropical haven.
10. M83 – Wait (March 2014)
M83‘s pensive “Wait” got a paradisiacal rework from Kygo in spring 2014, making the wistful track more accessible to dance music fans.
Featured photo: Johannes Lovund