After making his name with a series of viral remixes, Norwegian tropical house star Kygo released his first original track “Firestone” this week.
The single represents the first material to see light from Kygo’s forthcoming debut album, which is scheduled for release next year. Sporting a soaring hook from Conrad atop familiar layered chords and a playful melodic lead, “Firestone” appears poised to please the artist’s active fan base while drawing the radio support required to attract new listeners.
Billboard caught up with Kygo on the European leg of his Endless Summer Tour to discuss the making of “Firestone” and the artistic significance of his original debut.
What does releasing your first original track mean for you as an artist?
It definitely means a lot for me! After all these remixes, I felt it was about time to get some original material out there. I really enjoy doing remixes, but I don’t want to be known as just a “remix artist” for the rest of my career.
How did your creative approach on “Firestone” compare with your remixes?
The difference between doing a remix and an original track is that when you do a remix, you obviously already have the original track as a starting point. But with the originals you start from scratch. So you could say it’s more work doing originals, since you have to come up with the basic ideas like chord progressions and how to build up the track with verse, chorus, bridge etc. However, with a lot of my remixes, I’ve actually been doing just that — making up a new chord progression and adding melody and parts that aren’t in the original track. So I feel like I’ve been using a similar approach on the originals and the remixes.
How did the collaboration with Conrad come together?
This collaboration happened after Conrad sent me over an idea for a vocal. I fell in love with his voice and got really inspired by his ideas. I kind of ran to my computer after I heard the demo and started working around the vocal. It turned out really well, and after we sent it back and forth a couple of times and got together in the studio in L.A., we ended up having the finished product which we were both really happy with.
What more can you tell us about your forthcoming album?
I’m working on a lot of original material that I’m super excited about. I’ve been so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented vocalists, guitarists and producers, and I can’t wait to share more originals in the future.