Kygo turned the dance-music world on its ear in the simplest way possible: by slowing down. The Norwegian producer (born Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll in 1991) cut his teeth crafting bootleg remixes of songs like Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” and James Blake’s “The Wilhelm Scream,” fleshing out the originals with contrasting touches: EDM drops inspired by his fondness for Avicii and ruminative melodies reflective of his childhood piano studies. In 2013, layering an a cappella of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” over dancing marimbas and a teasingly measured 4/4 beat, he hit upon his slow-motion signature. The following year, he was called up to replace an ailing Avicii on Tomorrowland’s main stage, and his relaxed, sunny vibe stopped EDM’s harder-faster-louder ethos in its tracks. Kygo’s dreamy, pioneering tropical house—encapsulated in singles like the lilting “Firestone” and his even-more-weightless remix of a-ha’s “Take On Me”—cast its influence across the pop music landscape, reaching as far as Skrillex, Diplo, and Justin Bieber’s smash, “Where Are Ü Now,” and securing Kygo collabs with Selena Gomez, Ellie Goulding, Miguel, and Imagine Dragons.
BORNSeptember 11, 1991