Video Premiere: Kungs’ “You Remain” off the new album, Layers

by Miles Griffis

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“Well you see, it’s a funny story,” says Valentin Brunel from the passenger seat of a car cruising the dirty streets of Los Angeles on his way to his first radio promotion in the city. He’s telling me about how he got his DJ name. “So one night I’m on the computer with my brother and we typed “gentleman” and “Mr.” into Google translate and we came across Kungs as one of the results, which is Latvian.”

It’s more of a fun fact than a story but it mimics Brunel’s quick rise to the top of charts worldwide. The 19-year-old from the azure-lined coasts of the south of France originally wrangled global recognition for his remix of a 2009 song by Australian soul band Cookin’ on 3 Burners featuring the vocals of Kylie Auldist. Eventually the band granted approval for the use of the song before signing a contract with Brunel’s record label.

The remix features all parts of the original. The only differences are an increased BPM, the addition of a modern “big room” trumpet drop and a thumping house beat. Before a new dance move could be invented, the song went viral. It sat high on the throne as the most Shazamed song for nine weeks straight and remains comfortably at number three with over 10 million searches on the song-finding app and 118 millions listens on YouTube.

The song gained further recognition when it was used in Vogue’s promotional video for the September 2016 issue featuring Kendall Jenner, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian, and, strangely, Ryan Seacrest.

Like a good DJ, Brunel spends about six hours a week searching the endless archives of past music. A year ago (before he blew up) he spent a week listening to old funk and blues music in his flat before coming across the work of Cookin’ on 3 Burners. “I found this track “This Girl” and it was wow!” He says excitedly, “So, I downloaded it and made a remix with it.”

The remix is catchy to say the least. Sun-drenched and upbeat, it’s playing at pool parties in L.A. and at beach clubs across the Mediterranean. But as one YouTube user under the name “Woogie Nights” comments rather wryly, “We are in an era taken over by DJs. The remix only makes it more commercial,” they continue, “The song is what it is because of the melody and voice.”

Although Brunel, in these precious moments at the beginning of his career, is choosing to be commercial, he assures me that his debut album Layers (out November 4th) is anything but predictable. Unlike other producers, he’s diving into a variety of genres. “There are not only summer tracks on my new album,” he says from his car stuck in late afternoon traffic, “(There is) a lot of melodic stuff, some happy house, some blues and soul vibes, future house, and even chill tracks. I think that in electronic music you don’t have limits.”

We are pleased to premiere the video for “You Remain” off the new album, Layers featuring a cameo by David Guetta.

 

Catch Kungs this fall at:

12/8/2016          Los Angeles, CA – Sound Nightclub

12/9/2016          Vancouver, BC – Celebrities

12/10/2016         Montreal, QC – New City Gas

12/11/2016         Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion

12/14/2016         Boston, MA – Bijou

12/15/2016         Milwaukee, WI – The Rave / Eagles Club

12/16/2016         New York, NY – Webster Hall

12/17/2016         Toronto, ON – Hoxton