Home Uncategorized The Rise and Decline of Tropical House: What Happened?
The Rise and Decline of Tropical House: What Happened?
Image Credit: Johannes Lovund /

The Rise and Decline of Tropical House: What Happened?

Home Uncategorized The Rise and Decline of Tropical House: What Happened?

Tropical house, a subgenre of electronic dance music, burst onto the scene in the early 2010s and quickly gained worldwide popularity. This feel-good genre was characterized by its laid-back beats, soothing melodies, and the incorporation of real instruments like saxophones and pan pipes. Here’s a look at the rise and subsequent decline of tropical house, along with some of its iconic tracks and artists.

The Birth of Tropical House

The term “tropical house” was coined by Australian producer Thomas Jack around 2013, although the genre had been brewing in various forms prior to this. Its defining features were its slower tempo, typically ranging from 100 to 120 BPM, and its sun-soaked, summery vibes. The genre’s popularity started to skyrocket in 2013 with tracks like Klangkarussell‘s “Sun Don’t Shine.” and the various Kygo remixes such as of Passenger‘s ‘Caravan’, Matt Corby‘s ‘Brother’, Ellie Goulding‘s ‘High For This’, No Diggity vs. Thrift Shop mashup of Ed Sheeran & Passenger, The XX‘s ‘Angels’ and ofcourse Ed Sheeran‘s ‘I See Fire’ and Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Sexual Healing’ and many more.

Prominent Artists

Several artists played pivotal roles in popularizing the genre. Robin Schulz, known for his chart-topping hit “Prayer in C,” and Kygo, who swiftly rose to prominence with his tropical house sound, earning coveted spots at events like TomorrowWorld 2014’s Mainstage and Ultra Music Festival 2015 following the viral success of his remixes in 2013. Kygo also achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the fastest artist to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify in 2015. These artists were among the genre’s frontrunners, and Kygo’s collaboration with Selena Gomez on “It Ain’t Me” and Robin Schulz’s “Sugar” played significant roles in bringing the genre to mainstream audiences.


Iconic Tracks and Achievements

Tropical house produced numerous iconic tracks that remain beloved by fans. These songs were often characterized by their breezy melodies and infectious rhythms. Here are some timeless tunes and their noteworthy achievements:

1. Klingande – “Jubel”: Known for its catchy saxophone melody, “Jubel” became a summer anthem and achieved chart success across Europe.

2. Robin Schulz – “Sunset”: Robin Schulz continued his tropical house dominance with “Sunset,” blending acoustic elements with electronic beats.

3. Thomas Jack – “Rivers”: Thomas Jack’s “Rivers” added an exotic twist to the genre, incorporating world music influences.

4. The Magician – “Sunlight” feat. Years & Years: This track combined tropical house with pop sensibilities and showcased The Magician’s talent for catchy hooks.

5. Mr. Probz – “Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)”: Robin Schulz’s remix of “Waves” propelled Mr. Probz to international stardom and showcased Schulz’s remixing prowess.

6. The Notorious BIG ft. Ja Rule – “Old Thing Back (Matoma Remix)”: Matoma’s remix breathed new life into a classic hip-hop track, fusing it with tropical house elements.

7. Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill In Ibiza (SEEB Remix)”: SEEB’s remix of Mike Posner’s hit became a viral sensation and earned Grammy nominations.



8. Tez Cadey – “Seve”: “Seve” by Tez Cadey showcased the genre’s ability to incorporate playful melodies and catchy hooks.

9. Klangkarussell – Sonnentanz ft. Will Heard: Klangkarussell’s “Sonnentanz” featuring Will Heard became an iconic tropical house track, known for its infectious saxophone melodies and vibrant beats.

10. Marvin Gaye – “Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix)”: Kygo’s remix of this R&B classic helped solidify his status as a tropical house icon.

11. Sam Feldt – “Show Me Love (EDX Indian Summer Remix)”: This remix by EDX added an Indian Summer flavor to the tropical house hit.

12. Robin Schulz – “Sugar”: “Sugar” by Robin Schulz featuring Francesco Yates achieved chart-topping success and furthered the genre’s mainstream appeal.

13. Faul & Wad Ad vs Pnau – “Changes”: “Changes” combined deep house and tropical elements, making it a standout in the genre.



14. Michael Calfan – “Treasured Soul”: This track by Michael Calfan showcased his ability to infuse soulful vocals into tropical house.

15. Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners – “This Girl”: “This Girl” was a global hit, merging tropical house with funk and soul influences.

16. Lost Frequencies – “Are You With Me”: Lost Frequencies’ hit song became an anthem of the genre, topping charts worldwide.

17. Kygo – “Firestone”: Kygo’s “Firestone” featuring Conrad Sewell was a breakthrough hit that catapulted him to international fame.

18. Bakermat & Goldfish – “Games Continued”: Bakermat and Goldfish’s collaboration blended tropical house with jazz-inspired instrumentation.

19. OMI – “Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)”: Felix Jaehn’s remix of “Cheerleader” became a chart-topping sensation and introduced OMI to a global audience.


These tracks, among others, defined the golden era of tropical house, bringing sunshine and good vibes to listeners around the world. While the genre’s heyday may have passed, its influence on electronic music remains significant, reminding us of the joy it once brought to the airwaves.

One of the contributing factors to these artists’ shift towards deep house, pop, and even house and techno can be attributed to the evolving tastes of both artists and audiences within the electronic music realm. As the tropical house genre reached its zenith, there was a natural inclination among musicians to explore new sonic territories, seeking fresh creative challenges and opportunities for experimentation. Additionally, the desire to maintain relevance and adapt to changing trends in the industry played a role in this transition. This diversification allowed these artists to showcase their versatility and broaden their appeal to a wider range of listeners, ultimately shaping the trajectory of their careers.


Image Credit: Johannes Lovund / Provided by VANESSA MENKES COMMUNICATIONS

Latest magazine
December 01, 2023
  • SHMN: Onward & Upward
  • Amsterdam Dance Event 2023: Rewind
  • The Evolution of Rave Culture