Kygo Is Just A Kid In Love
After releasing singles earlier this year with Selena Gomez and Ellie Goulding, Norwegian DJ Kygo is back with his sophomore album, Kids In Love. Featuring artists like OneRepublic, The Night Game, and Billy Raffoul, the album is serving some major nostalgic vibes with some 80s and old-school influences mixed in with Kygo’s electronic beats.
According to the DJ, the album tells a chronological story, hence why he decided to release a song a day leading up to the album drop, letting each individual track have its moment. Two weeks after the album came out, Kygo stopped by Milk for an epic shoot and to talk about the new goods. Cop a look at the video, photos and our exclusive interview with the DJ below.
Congrats on your new album, how do you feel?
I feel great, it’s always great to get the music out there. I’ve been working on it for a year and a half. I hate holding music back, I like getting it out and sharing with the fans. The response was great.
You have a ton of great collabs on the album, tell me about some of them. Which ones were your favorites?
I loved working with talented people in general. It was definitely Ryan Tedder, from OneRepublic—one of my favorite people to work with. I worked with him a couple of times after we made that song for the new album, and he’s just so good with melodies. He’s one of the best songwriters in the world, so to work with him was very cool. I was in the studio working on the title track with The Night Game, so I’ve been getting a lot of cool demos. For example, Billy Raffoul, that was a cool voice, that was a demo I was sent over. I never met him face to face yet, it’s just an online collaboration. There was a couple of them, one called “With You”. I just love getting demos sent over, and work around the vocal.
Does that happen a lot when you don’t meet the talent before?
I guess it does. When I’m touring, especially since I’m based in Norway, it can be tough to always get in the studio with people. But I try to go out to LA as much as possible because that’s where most are based. But yes, when I’m in Norway, it’s perfect to get demos and ideas sent over. You can always Skype and talk, but it’s a nice way to do it, an efficient way, to work online.
Do you prefer that?
I do prefer going in the studio. I can actually sit down and have a talk, “what are we going to do?”. We can make something together from scratch. It’s worked well for me to work around a vocal because I started out remixing songs, and when I have a vocal, it’s almost the same process. We have something to work from and produce around. And it’s turned out pretty good so far.
So tell me about the title, the title track, why is it the name of the album?
Well the title track, it’s called “Kids in Love”, it was a song I wrote with Martin (Johnson), and I just love that it has this 80s vibe, an old school, retro vibe. I’m super inspired by those old school tracks, like “Don’t Stop Believing”. So when we made this track, I just loved it, it was one of my favorite tracks. I just felt like the title “Kids in Love” was a powerful title, and it felt like whenever I’m making a song in the studio that I’m super, super happy about, it makes me feel like a kid in love. It’s just a feeling of happiness, and I just felt like “Kids in Love” was a perfect title for the whole album, and I guess it was good that “Kids in Love” was one of my favorite tracks I’ve ever done.
So you released an EP earlier this year, and some of those tracks are on the deluxe version of this album. Why did you decide to do the EP?
I guess I released the first single of the EP, “It Ain’t Me”, in February, and then I did the Ellie Goulding song, then I wanted to close out that chapter with getting those songs in a package. I had Stargazing, and I felt those tracks really worked together, they were the same style, so I just felt that it was perfect to just do an EP, then go into the album afterwards. I guess the reason was to keep it clean, to separate the EP and the album campaign.
You had a really interesting release of the album with tracks, why did you decide to release it that way?
I just feel like these days, people just want music. If you release a whole album at once, some of the tracks can be forgotten, because of the way that people listen to music these days. They don’t listen to a whole album, they just listen to the track they want to. It was a cool way to roll it out, to release one song every day. Every song had it’s time to shine a little bit, and I think my fans really liked it as well. I had a week, releasing one song everyday, and people were happy about that. I was pretty happy about the way we did it, every song got more attention, and have one day to listen to one song, and the next day, listen to the next one.
Which one do you think got the best reaction, or which ones were you most excited to release?
I would say out of them, “Kids in Love” was one of my favorite tracks. That was the first single I released, three weeks before the rest. It’s hard to pick a song because obviously, I like all the songs, but I guess “Kids in Love” if I had to say one. But it’s always nice to see the reactions of the songs. The One Republic is doing well, the John Newman one people like as well.
“It’s about looking back, and good times that you’ve had. I don’t know, it might be a sad feeling, it might be a good feeling. But I feel this album tells more of a story.”
So you also announced your tour, what are most excited about about that?
It is always special to play in my home country, so I am very excited to perform that show. It’s tough too, it’s usually good crowds everywhere, so I’m just excited to go around and play my new album and see the reactions.
Is anyone going to be going on tour with you? Do you have any special guests planned?
I’m still planning stuff, so we haven’t nailed anything down, but I’m definitely bringing some of the vocalists for every show. But that’s about it. Who can, who’s busy, who can’t, I’ll figure that out once I get closer to tour, but I always want to bring vocalists.
What do you think people will get out of the album?
I hope they feel kind of happy, but there’s a nostalgic vibe to the album. It’s called “Kids in Love”, the title song is about someone in love, but then they grew up, and grew apart. It has that kind of feeling flood the album, kind of nostalgic, looking back on good times for a person in a relationship. Maybe things are not good at the moment, for me, it brings up memories—good memories. It’s about happiness, maybe better times, but also just looking back on good times you’ve shared with your loved ones.
How is it different from your other music?
It’s more nostalgic. My music so far has been, I’ve tried to keep it happy. It’s still happy, the album, it’s still a happy album. But it’s kind of more, especially at the end, it’s more nostalgic. It’s about looking back, and good times that you’ve had. I don’t know, it might be a sad feeling, it might be a good feeling. But I feel this album tells more of a story.
Do you think people should listen to it chronologically? Or is each song a one-off?
There’s a point, it should be listened to start to end, but that’s where I try to create something where you can listen to by listening from start to end and having it make sense. You can also listen to it separately, or listen to something else, or just pick the songs you like. I feel like that’s a tough challenge, to create songs that sound good on their own, and that also sound good in the context. But with this album, you can do both.
Talk about what kind of headspace you get into before you perform. What do you do?
Usually 10 to 15 before the show, I try to clear the room and sit there by myself and just concentrate and get in the zone. Before shows, there’s a lot of people, and I bring friends and family, and there’s always people from my label, and meet and greets, and even though it’s fun, it can be distracting from the show. Because I’m there to perform. That’s why I have this rule for myself that I try to take 10 or 15 minutes before the show to kind of relax and concentrate. A lot of people who get very hyped up before a show, running around and jumping around, but I’m the opposite. I need time to concentrate, and I get the energy when I get on stage and see the crowd.
What is tour like?
It’s fun, but it’s always busy. It’s very chaotic, it depends on how many tour dates you’re doing, but some of the tours have been intense, in and out. It is fun, I do really enjoy the tours, but with a couple days between shows so you can do a show, and maybe see the city and go sightseeing, and go to the next place. I guess that’s the only negative part, but I get the opportunity to go to a lot of places, but I don’t get the opportunity to spend time there and see the place. I’ve been to a lot of places, but I haven’t seen them. But I guess now, touring schedule is not too bad, so I have some time to look around.
What is a city you’ve never been to but you want to go to?
I feel like I’ve been to a lot of Brazil, just in general. And I’ve been to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but I want to visit the smaller places, that could be cool. South America in general is a great place to play shows, the fans are so energetic, and they love music there. So much love for music. I feel like that might be one of my favorite places to go.
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Video by Jeff Sutera.