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Kygo & Ava Max – Whatever

Some of our biggest hits coming from this decade have been created from sampling old music – David Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s “I’m Good,” The Weeknd, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Creepin’” and Jack Harlow’s “Lovin’ On Me” – so yeah, it was only a matter of time until someone found a new use for Shakira’s 2001 smash hit “Whenever, Whenever.”

When it comes to sampling and interpolations, our two latest collaborators are no strangers. Kygo has spent years reimagining iconic hits like Whitney Houston’s “Higher Love,” Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s “Say, Say, Say” and many others. On the other hand, Ava Max has reworked some special hits the likes of ATC’s “All Around the World (La La La)” on her single “My Head & My Heart” and Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” on “Not Your Barbie Girl,” among others. So her collaboration with Kygo, “Whatever,” is like that lightning-in-a-bottle moment that’s always meant to happen. And in case you’re wondering why they’ve chosen now as the perfect time to launch this collab, just know that both artists are planning on releasing albums this year.

Kygo revived the 23-year-old hit with upbeat chords and chirpy acoustic plucks, making it so sweet and catchy it’d be hard for it not to dominate dance radio. But the beat isn’t all that’s changed in the song.

Whereas the original song’s message was one of longing, Kygo and Max’s version talks about getting rid of a lover who’s not worth your time. “Whatever, whatever / We were never good together / I’ll be here and you stay there / Truth is, I never cared,” Max confidently sings, amid a backdrop of house-infused instrumental.

“Whatever” comes accompanied by a music video featuring Max, who looks radiant in black in a desert-like landscape. She’s surrounded by diamonds in several of the video’s scenes, as she confidently reclaims her life after deciding to give up on an unworthy quarry.

Max openly shared her opinion on sampling songs and why she’s careful about it in a 2023 Nylon interview. She said: “My opinion is they should always be done right. It shouldn’t be a knock-off of the whole song. That’s the beauty about bringing something back. You don’t want to give people the same thing. I take a lot of time on my songs — especially if I interpolate them.”

Kygo and Max have surely gotten our attention with “Whatever,” and now we certainly can’t wait to have a taste of what’s coming.