“Through your music, you have expanded my heart in so many meaningful, touching, and emotional ways. Your music lifts my spirits, has gotten me through so many tough times and saved my life.” — Drew
“Wow! I appreciate that so much. That is very motivating to hear. I didn’t always know my music made people feel that way!” — Kygo
In 24 hours, my dream came true.
My intention is to describe my journey and feelings in this 24 hours. My hope is to leave you with the same motivation, gratitude, and inspiration Kygo left me after our conversation.
Waking up alone
My 5:30 am alarm goes off. Even though I move slow, I am excited this day is finally here. “I am alone today” is the first thought that comes to my mind.
I think about doing an Instagram story vlog of the entire day. I think, “why not have some fun with today.” If I’m going to be alone, let’s talk to the followers (in hindsight, WOW)!
I turn on my Spotify. I listen to Kygo.
I take the Bus from my flat to the central station. Then take the train from Lund to the Copenhagen airport. It’s raining all morning so I am pushing through the gloominess.
Delay Drew’s Departure
The train is 15 minutes delayed. My nerves and anxiety increase ever so slightly. People are turning their heads left and right, all of us coming to a silent consensus. The train arrives but halfway to the airport, the train operator says this train cannot go to the airport. Great. I’m glad I took the earlier of the two trains to the airport, just in case something like this happens.
I hop off the train and quickly grab another one. I manage to get to the airport with some time before departure. There is a scotch tasting at the airport. Naturally, with curiosity, I taste.
I am sitting at my gate, and I realize that no one is boarding. I get curious. I look at the departure screens and notice I have a gate change! I run over to the correct gate with some time to spare.
I fly Norwegian, and I have to sneak my umbrella in my jacket so I fit the size limits of the carry on baggage.
Fuel The Decision Making Process
While I’m on the airplane, I listen to a TED Radio Hour podcast about the importance of inquiring information. From the podcast, I hear something that fuels my excitement: knowledge anchors you in the past as imagination and curiosity keeps you looking into the future.
I land in Bergen with the utmost imagination. I think that the hardest part is over; I successfully arrived in Norway!
I take the Bybanen (Light Rail) from the airport to the city center. The rain stops for this hour. I’ve written about the importance of gratitude in my previous medium article. While I am riding into the city center, people fill the train. The sun is out, the sky is blue, and there is a new culture of people on board. In this moment, I am so grateful for all of these subtleties.
The first thing I do is check into my hostel. I have 10 hours until the show. I walk to the tourist building to see if I can check out the Norwegians Fjords, but the line was way too long. I’m walking through the fish market, and they are playing “Oasis” by Kygo. Hearing Kygo in his hometown fuels my excitement.
I walk over to the Bergenhus Festning to check out the spot where the concert is tonight. I want to gather info on where I will be standing, where do I enter, and how big is the place. I want this to be the best concert of my life. As I am about 5 minutes away, I hear Kygo’s music blasting from the venue!
“I had a dream, we were sipping neat…” I run to the music. Blocked off by gates and security, Kygo is on stage sound checking for the show. I run around to a higher spot to get a bird’s eye view, and I hear the sound check for “Born To Be Yours”. I have never heard this track live, since it was released very recently. I am secretly recording all of these tracks in avoidance of the security, but just listening to what is going to happen tonight is ramping me up. These moments are fueling my ambition to have a spectacular night!
It’s starting to rain again as I walk back to the hostel. I have a couple hours to spare at the hostel. I grab some food, take a shower, and go to the balcony to make some Instagram vlog posts. I think it’s fun to express what you are feeling in the moment, put it out there, and have no regrets. I start speaking authentically about Kygo: my previous shows, why I love his music, and the underlying reasons for my excitement.
Random Action or Created Opportunity?
I leave my hostel at 5:45 to arrive exactly at 6 pm.
I notice a red tent and people crowding around on the street. All of a sudden, I see Kygo’s manager: Myles Shear. I’ve messaged Myles a few times on IG regarding Kygo a few times, but I knew it was a long shot. He’s one of the busiest managers in the industry.
I wait until he finished with a couple people, and I introduce myself. “Myles, hey man, it’s awesome to meet you! I came from LA to see Kygo.” I express my gratitude to Myles and his hard work in helping Kygo with his success. Our conversation lasted a few minutes, but I believe I made an impression.
Myles and I are the same age. At this moment, I just feel inspired. I feel it’s important to maximize your ability to be inspired.
Myles was interviewing with the Norwegian newspaper, Bergensavisen (BA). They overheard my story and asked if I wanted to interview for the Kygo pre-show. When they ask, I am hesitant at first because I have this plan to arrive at the show right at 6 o’clock. However, I come to my senses. I absolutely take this opportunity. (Click the photo for the full interview!)
In 5 minutes, I get mic’d up. I give my phone to a BA employee and ask if she can record the interview. I walk up and introduce myself. Over the next 7 minutes, I answer questions about where I am from, when did I like Kygo, what are my thoughts about his music, international exposure, and many more topics. Without any preparation, I’ve never been so empowered to express my love for Kygo’s music. Here is the FULL INTERVIEW VIDEO.
I am on an extreme Kygo high. So far, I’ve traveled from Lund to Bergen, heard Kygo’s soundcheck, met Myles, and just interviewed for a newspaper. The show hasn’t even started, and all I can think about is how I’m stealing the show.
As I leave for the interview, it starts to rain very heavily. I run into a souvenir store to grab a poncho. I walk into the venue while Oliver Nelson starts his set! Even though the venue is pretty empty, I’m excited to arrive. At this moment, I acclimate. I tell myself, this is why I am here.
Julia Michaels came on after Oliver Nelson. Julia crushed it. As she is playing, the crowd starts to the roll in. I am standing as close as I can to the stage. Julia closes with “Issues” and all I can think is, “I got them too.”
The Main Event
Kygo’s crew is setting up his stage. An upwards of 15 people, move his piano on stage. Center stage is rolling on out. I am ecstatic. I ask a girl behind me to take my picture of me with the set up in the background. A Canadian girl recognizes my accent with some familiarity and asked where I was from. I end up befriending their group of 7 or so. Everyone is in a poncho. The rain is slowing down. The sun is setting.
Kygo rises up onto his platform! He plays “Never Let You Go” for his intro. This is the 5th time I’ve seen him enter on stage, the 3rd time in 4 months, and the 1st time in his home: Bergen.
The show is explosive. Kygo spoke Norwegian the entire time, which made me really appreciate his culture. I feel so fortunate to gain this sense of perspective. I made an effort to see my favorite musician in his home. The entire show I was just in “ah” and kept repeating “ugh, this is amazing.” Not only did Kygo drop his album songs, but he played the original mixes he played before Cloud Nine. I am not going to go into detail about this show because I’ve recorded some of every song he played. I will highlight one song in particular: “I See Fire”. I’ve never heard this song live. Kygo plays the first song that internationally discovered him in the city where he created the song. WOW.
The show ends like every other one (except for his Avicii tribute at Coachella) with Firestone. One of the girls in the group of 7, Sunni mentions that we have to go to Rick’s, the official Kygo after party bar. We start to walk out of the venue, and I see a popup Kygo souvenir shop. Right before I get to the shop, I see Bonnie Mckee outside taking photos with some fans. Riding Shotgun is an amazing song, and I love her voice. She hands me an autographed picture of her, and then I make my way to the souvenir stand. I spend 10 minutes deciding between 3 Kygo hats.
Sunni and I walk around to the back of the venue to see if we can spot Kygo drive away. She is super keen on meeting Kygo. We spend 10 minutes talking to the security guard asking if Kygo is still back there. No answer. I turn to Sunni and say, “C’mon, let’s go. I promise we will meet Kygo tonight.”
The After Party
As we arrive at Rick’s, there is a line out the door and around the street. The wait time looks over 2 hours. However, Sunni had a friend mention that if you have a Norwegian student ID, you can go in the VIP line. As Sunni shows the guard her ID, all I’m thinking is that “Wait, I don’t have this ID. Are they just going to leave me in line? Is my night ending right here?” I show the guard my California driver’s license and say that I’m with them. He takes a look at my birthday and lets me in! I walk into the club, and I’m on cloud nine that I’ve just made another “meant to be” decision. I feel lucky to be where I am but honestly, it’s not luck, it’s persistence.
After 2 hours of dancing and waiting for Kygo to show up, I am ready to go home. I am tired and not feeling so well. Sunni wants to keep waiting. I notice a man in a suit take pictures of the DJ at the club, and I ask if he knows if Kygo is coming. He says, “Kygo has been in the other room this entire time.” I immediately told Sunni, “Let’s go!”
I approach the VIP section of the bar. It is blocked off. I look right and there he is: Kygo. I notice Parson James, Myles Shear, Oliver Nelson, and the rest of the crew. I ask the security guard if I can get through, and he says it’s a closed party. I notice we are at the final obstacle to meet Kygo. Feeling a sense of fight or flight, I immediately try to figure out all options of getting inside.
I look straight forward and Myles is DJing. I scream, “Myles!” He looks at me, and I throw up my hands to form an “LA” logo. I do this because I told him earlier in the night I came from LA to see Kygo. My hope is that he recognizes me. Myles looks at the security guard and signals my entrance. I take Sunni’s hand and say this is my plus one. We enter.
The entire night, the journey, all of the decisions, and the wait, lead up to this very moment: We are with Kygo.
Instead of speaking directly with Kygo, I notice Parson James. Now, if you don’t know, “Stole the Show” is one of my favorite songs and is the initial song that catalyzed my love for Kygo’s music. I introduce myself to Parson James. I let him know my story and where I come from. He is also living in LA. I tell him how much I appreciate his creativity and writing “Stole the Show.”
After about 15 minutes of chatting, I ask Parson if he can introduce me to Kygo. He leans into Kygo’s ear and within 7 seconds, Kygo looks at me and walks over.
We shake hands and realize the dream state I am in.
“Kygo, my name is Drew. I’ve seen you perform 5 times, and I’ve come from LA to see you. I just want to say: Thank you” — Drew
In these moments, I think of one thing: gratitude. Kygo and I speak for about 10 minutes. Not only do we share a few smiles, but I start to understand what inspires Kygo. He starts to reciprocate the gratitude I show him by mentioning that he loves hearing how people are affected by his music.
“I want you to know there are so several people I personally know like me out there who couldn’t be here today. I want to say thank you on their behalf too. You have positively changed so many more lives than just mine” — Drew
He responds with comfort and humility. I feel a sense of mutual respect. Kygo creates an environment where I feel equal to him.
We are interrupted about 3 times, but Kygo politely tells them to hold on. I feel happy because it means that Kygo values what I have to say. When your inspiration values your words, you feel empowered. At the end of our conversation, Kygo generously lets me take a photo with him.
About 30 minutes later, maybe around 3 am, Kygo starts to say his goodbyes to everyone. Quickly, I decide to take another risk. I ask the bar if they have a marker. Luckily, I hand my hat and marker to Kygo’s bodyguard. As he hands the hat over, Kygo looks at me and then proceeds to sign my hat. I won’t forget the smile on his face as he hands me the hat. I give him a big hug and say, “Thanks man! Good luck! I will see you next time you’re in Cali.”
Wait, There’s More!
Eventually, Sunni and I walk with Parson James and Kygo’s older brother, Mads, back to Parson’s hotel.
As we walk into the lobby of the hotel, I see Julia Michaels! She asks Parson how drunk is he on a scale of 1 to 10. I low key shout 10! I introduce myself to Julia, and I tell her congrats on the show! We both grew up in LA, which was nice. She asks me to take a picture of her and Parson. The picture is so funny. I love it. The picture is on IG: HERE.
In Parson James’ hotel room, I ask him why he wrote: “Stole the Show.” He proceeds to tell me the entire story and his inspiration for the song. I am almost in shock. I am listening to the person who wrote the song that made me fall in love with Kygo’s music and tells me why he wrote it! I feel so fortunate and lucky to be right here in this moment.
We leave the hotel room around 5 am. I give Mads a hug and express my final gratitude to his family. I ask, “Does Kygo really appreciate when his fans explain the positive affect Kygo has on them?” Mads replies with, “Absolutely. One hundred percent. He loves it.”
I walk Sunni to a taxi. We can’t believe the night we’ve had. It was the best rainy day of my life. I fell asleep at the same time I woke up.
Thanks for reading!! :)