"I wanted Cloud Nine to represent all the types of music I love" - hmv.com talks to Kygo
Norwegian EDM star Kygo made a big impression with his 2014 hit single 'Firestone', but only got around to releasing his debut album Cloud Nine last month (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page). The LP features collaborations with Tom Odell, Kodaline, Labrinth and John Legend amongst others and we called him up to find all about how it came together...
When did you start work on Cloud Nine? Have you been collecting songs for a while? Or are they recent tracks?
"It’s been in the works much since I released ‘Firestone’ back in late 2014. I’ve been working since then to create an album that represents where I’m at as an artist today, and I think I did that. Tracks like ‘Stole The Show’ and ‘Coming Over’ as you know, have been around a while whereas others like my ‘Happy Birthday’ collaboration with John Legend were much more recent."
You’ve got some incredible vocalists on the album, like Tom Odell, Kodaline, Foxes and Labrinth, can you talk us through each one and tell us how they came about?
"I would end up going on for hours if I was to take you through each one. What I can say is that they were all incredible artists in their own right to work with and what I loved about each of them was how different they all sound. Their roots lie in different genres and I wanted Cloud Nine to represent all the types of music I love."
"Tom had never really worked with an electronic artist before but we instantly clicked. I’ve always loved Steve from Kodaline’s voice and I heard a demo I thought he would be perfect for. Foxes obviously had such a massive hit with Clarity and since then, I knew I had to have her on my album. Then Labrinth, what else can I say… Production, mastering, vocals, he can do it all!"
Which of the songs on the album took the most work to get right? And which came together most instantly?
"‘Stay’ took a while. We loved the melody on the song and really wanted to use it on the album but couldn’t find a voice to fit it. Then we heard Maty’s voice featured on The Weeknd’s album and knew we had to have her try something. She ended up killing it. The easiest track was ‘Happy Birthday’ with John Legend. We spoke about creating a song to celebrate the birth of his daughter, went straight into the studio and got into it. He’s so talented and relaxed that we were able to complete the song in record time."
What’s the song on the album that you’re most proud of?
"That would be my collaboration with RHODES on ‘Not Alone’. The vocals really resonated with me on a personal level and I love the honesty and realness in his voice."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Do your collaborators bring the lyrics? Or do they come from you?
"Each track I begin working on normally starts with a feeling or mood and then with the artist, we build it out from there onwards to find a theme..."
When did you decide on the title of Cloud Nine? Were there any other titles in contention?
"I think it’s the same for most artists but when you hear an album title, you just know. ‘Cloud Nine’ jumped out to straight away and I couldn’t get it out of my mind from then onwards. I’m a really positive person so that idea of being on ‘Cloud Nine’ really resonated with me."
What are your plans to take the album out live? Will we be seeing much of you in the UK?
"I just played two sold-out dates at Brixton Academy, which was incredible. The second date actually ended up being the final show of my Cloud Nine tour throughout Europe. I ended up bringing out loads of the collaborators from the album such Kodaline, Parson James, and Maty Noyes to sing their tracks so it made for a really special ending to the tour. I'll be back this summer for Wireless Festival."