From Nelly Furtado to Teedra Moses: Our top ten Kaytranada remixes, ranked
Prolific producer, king of funk, master of groove, dancefloor filler extraordinaire. These are all terms to describe Canadian producer KAYTRANADA. Having defined a generation of producers over the last nearly ten years, he is one of the 2010’s defining artists. Delivering two acclaimed albums, cementing himself as a mainstay on the international touring circuit and developing a reputation for uplifting and euphoric DJ sets, KAYTRANADA (aka Louis Kevin Celestin) is a long time Purple Sneakers favourite for very good reason.
Recently, he was tapped to remix none other than Dua Lipa‘s smash hit, ‘Don’t Start Now’, and while it wasn’t a bad remix by any stretch and did contain some of those signature Kaytra sounds we’ve come to love, it was also by no means his best. One of our very favourite things about his is his ability to remix a song and give it an entirely new life. So many of his reworks have held their own when compared to the original as he’s perfected the art of remixing over the years. And, given his rich history of delivering stellar remixes for many years, there are just so many to get lost in all over again. So, because we like difficult tasks that make our lives harder, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to narrow it down to just TEN of our favourite Kaytranada remixes of all time and rank them from most favourite to tenth-most favourite. What did we miss? Did we get the order wrong? Let us know in the comments!
#10: BADBADNOTGOOD – Kaleidoscope (Kaytranada’s Flip)
Kaytra described this remix as an “honor” to do, and even he himself noted just how different it is. The hallmarks of a quintessential Kaytranada song are still there in that decadent rumbling bass and the undeniable groove, but he shakes things up with ease on this flip of BadBadNotGood‘s ‘Kaleidoscope’. Sublime!
#9: AlunaGeorge – Kaleidoscope Love (Kaytranada Edition)
Not to be confused with the aforementioned ‘Kaleidoscope’ by BadBadNotGood, Kaytra takes over an early AlunaGeorge bop for a sensational groove you just can’t get enough of. Aluna’s vocals are the perfect complement for Kaytranada‘s sound, looped over and over to add texture in between the pop-leaning hooks.
#8: Busta Rhymes x Janet Jackson – What Its Gonna Be? (Kaytranada Edition)
Even maintaining the adlibs courtesy of Busta was a good call on this remix. It just feels so RIGHT all the way through from the gentle opening moments to that goosebump-inducing moment at 1:05 when it all kicks into gear, there’s a reason this remix has over 2 million plays and counting. It’s timeless Kaytra, infusing the song’s original essence and delivering it in a totally different way.
#7: Nelly Furtado – Say It Right (Kaytradamus Remix)
Kaytranada + Timbaland = a total dream. Kay lends his hand to one of Furtado‘s biggest singles from her iconic Timbaland-era, and while this remix is eight years old, it stills bangs in all the right ways. In fact, this remix is so good he actually released the instrumental prior to the full remix version, writing directly to fans in the remix description that the instrumental did come after the remix. Dropping in a particularly prolific period, Kaytranada wrote, ” i didnt wanted to released because as you can see, i cant stop droppin’ newshit. I wanted to play it at the osheaga festival but i forgot to put on the damn playlist so yeah here’s a gift from me to you and umm… I thought i told you that we wont stop.” We’re glad he didn’t!
#6: The Internet – Roll (Burbank Funk) [KAYTRANADA Remix]
A more recent remix, there is no denying Kaytranada and The Internet are a match made in musical heaven. Having already appeared on their breakout hit ‘Girl’, Kaytra stepped up to remix their song ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’ and delivered one of his funkiest cuts ever. Featuring a bassline that just won’t quit, this is a slow burner that packs a whole lot of soul.
#5: Missy Elliott – Sock It 2 Me (Kaytranada Remix)
Kaytranada takes Missy Elliott’s ‘Sock It To Me’ and turns it upside down and inside out with this distorted, funky rework. The drops are enough to get even the quietest wallflowers two stepping with a bottomed-out bass to keep that groove chugging along. It’s a switch up but one we’re absolutely here for. Can we all please manifest an actual Missy x Kaytra collab in the near future?
#4: Snakehips – On & On (Kaytranada Remix)
Iconic Snakehips with iconic Jessie Ware vocals makes for excellent material for an iconic Kaytra remix to be created. This one is such a ~vibe~ with its downtempo, sluggish grooves and unhurried beats. It’s slinky, it’s sexy, it’s golden Kaytranada.
#3: Azealia Banks – Atm Jam Ft. Pharrell Williams (Kaytranada Edition)
Okay, we’re splitting hairs by this point. This remix is easily one of Kaytra‘s very best. The dance rework full of claps and that quintessential bass line makes for the perfect bed for Azealia‘s and Pharrell‘s already acclaimed performances on the original, making this one of many remixes by the Canadian king which hold their own (or even eclipse) the original.
#2: Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (Kaytranada Edition)
I admit this one was difficult, but I stand by my decision! This Teedra Moses remix is arguably Kaytranada‘s most famous, but is it his BEST? We might have to agree to disagree. With 11.1million plays on Soundcloud alone and an absolute rinsing in clubs everywhere for many years, this remix was omnipresent back when it first dropped and still hits in all the right places today. Years later, Moses would feature on a Kay original, singing on ‘Culture’ from his 2019 album, BUBBA and it makes sense why. Moses‘ absolutely glorious vocals the perfect complement for one of his best beats. The claps, the synths, that bass — it all works so undeniably well that it’s entirely logical people might consider this the very best Kaytranada remix, but that is where they are wrong. Which leads us to…
#1: Janet Jackson – If (Kaytranada Remix)
This is the BEST Kaytranada remix. If you think otherwise, while I respect your opinion it’s still wrong. Kaytranada and Janet Jackson are a match made in musical heaven. That intro, the multiple breakdowns, the hook!!!, that bass — there is not a single misstep on the entire track. Kaytranada delivers one of his most technically finessed, cohesive and electric reworks ever on the ‘If’ remix, pre-dating many of the others we have listed here. It was one of the first to put him on the map and for very good reason.
Words by Emma Jones
Image by Carys Huws