#3 – Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris (born Adam Richard Wiles[1] on 17 January 1984)[2] is a Scottish singer-songwriter, record producer and DJ. His gold-selling debut album, I Created Disco, was released in 2007 and contained the top ten singles “Acceptable in the 80s” and “The Girls”. He has written and produced records for other recording artists including Kylie Minogue’s X and his number-one collaboration with English rapper Dizzee Rascal, “Dance wiv Me”.

His second studio album Ready for the Weekend was released on 17 August 2009 and reached number one in the UK Album Charts on 23 August. It includes the chart-topper “I’m Not Alone”, the UK top five hit “Ready for the Weekend”, which was released on 10 August, and the track “Flashback”, which was released as the third single from the album on 2 November 2009. The fourth single from the album, “You Used to Hold Me”, was released on 8 February 2010 as a CD single and download. A remix album titled L.E.D. Festival was released in July 2010 as a free album in the August issue of Mixmag.

Biography

  • 1984–2006: Early life and careerHarris was born in Dumfries, Scotland. He states that his childhood hero was football star Steve McManaman, but because he could not play [the game] nor have McManaman’s ‘curly hair’, music was the next best option for a career. He was first attracted to electronic music in his teens and was recording bedroom demos by 1999. According to an interview with News of the World, all the while he created music, he started becoming an antisocial person, which affected his personality.[6] His earliest success was when he was 21: the songs “Da Bongos” and “Brighter Days” were released as a 12″ club single and CD-EP by the Prima Facie label in early 2002 under the name Stouffer.Harris signed contracts with EMI (publishing) and Sony BMG (recording) in 2006, after his music had been discovered on the social networking website MySpace. Harris had recently moved back from London to his hometown of Dumfries because he was unable to find a job. He had only managed to release one song in 2004 with artist, Ayah Marar. The song appears on The Unabombers’ ‘Electric Soul 2′.
  • 2006–08: I Created DiscoHarris’ first album I Created Disco was released on 29 June 2007. The album contained uptempo electroclash songs that were influenced by music from the 1980s. To promote I Created Disco, Harris embarked on a tour of the UK, supporting Faithless and Groove Armada.The first release from the album was “Vegas” on limited edition vinyl and the first charted single released from the album was “Acceptable in the 80s”, a tribute to the style and culture of the decade. The song reached the top ten on the UK Singles Chart, remaining on the chart for fifteen weeks. “The Girls” was the album’s second single, it reached the top 5 in the UK singles chart. The fourth release from the album was “Merrymaking at My Place” which reached number 43 in the UK chart. His song “Colours” is featured on the Kia Motors ad for the Soul. In 2007, Dragonette released a cover of Harris’ “The Girls” retitled “The Boys”, during which the band alludes directly to him: “I even like those scrawny, Scottish, into pop music but not like sorta like pop dance electro music.”In 2007 Harris recorded with Kylie Minogue. He had caught Minogue’s attention after his recordings had been passed on to her by another record producer.[9] Harris says that working with Kylie was “surreal, but fun” although he admitted to Mixmag in 2007 to “needing a few drinks before meeting her.” Harris co-wrote and produced two songs on Kylies’ X album; ‘In My Arms’ and ‘Heart Beat Rock’. He was recently credited as being the producer in a remixed version of The Mitchell Brothers song “Michael Jackson”. Harris is also currently working with British pop-star Sophie Ellis-Bextor, co-writing some new songs for her upcoming fourth studio album.In 2008 he collaborated with rapper Dizzee Rascal on his song “Dance wiv Me”. They performed an acoustic version for the BBC as part of the Glastonbury Festival 2008 coverage. The song was released digitally on 30 June 2008 and went straight to number 1 in the UK. On 18 October 2008 he was also featured on Radio 1′s Essential Mix with a 2 hour set. In 2009 he produced Dizzee Rascal’s next single entitled “Holiday”. He was supposed to make an appearance in its music video, but objected to dancing along in some scenes, wearing a certain shirt for the video and not wearing his “fly eye” glasses.In a BBC Radio 1 interview with Fearne Cotton, Harris said that he turned down working with Lady Gaga in 2008 because he disliked the demo given to him and that he did not want to offend her at the time. In a later BBC online interview, Harris stated he considers Gaga to be a “good artist”.
  • 2008–10: Ready for the WeekendCalvin Harris performing in Kilmarnock, Scotland promoting Ready for the Weekend in 2009On 3 April 2008, Harris stated that the only existing copy of his upcoming album work was lost when his laptop was misplaced during the baggage handling problems at the opening of London Heathrow Terminal 5. He later stated on the BBC’s Glastonbury Festival 2008 coverage that he got his baggage back including the album within a few days. Harris recently admitted however that this was a lie as the album was not in his luggage at all, and that he hoped that what he said would buy him some more time to finish recording the LP. Harris’ second studio album was released on 17 August 2009 in the United Kingdom. The first single, “I’m Not Alone” was exclusively performed in Sydney, on New Year’s Eve. The new single debuted on BBC Radio 1 on 23 January 2009, on the Pete Tong radio show and was released in April 2009. It debuted in the UK Singles Chart at number 1 on Easter Sunday on downloads alone, then stayed on top for a second week after the physical format had been released. On its release his single “Ready for the Weekend” went to number 3 in the UK Singles Chart.Harris toured around the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and the United States promoting his new singles and album. His single “Ready for the Weekend” features singer Mary Pearce. Other tracks included on the album are “Worst Day” featuring Izza Kizza and “Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La” used in a Coca-Cola advertisement. In June 2009, NME announced that Harris’ second album, Ready for the Weekend would be released on 17 August. His songs “Holiday” and “Ready for the Weekend” are listed on radio line-ups. Excerpts from “I’m Not Alone” were used in Madonna’s remixed version of “Frozen” in her Sticky & Sweet Tour. Also excerpts of “I’m Not Alone” are used on the 2009 live coverage of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) on ITV4.On 7 June 2009, Harris appeared at the Summertime Ball at the Emirates Stadium and performed “I’m Not Alone”, “The Girls” and “Acceptable in the 80s”. He then brought on Dizzee Rascal and Chrome and performed “Dance Wiv Me”. Harris will make a guest appearance on Tiësto’s song “Century”[18] on his new album Kaleidoscope which was released on 6 October 2009. On 15 August, Harris made an appearance on the first Soccer AM show of the season. Harris performed at Wembley Stadium on 25 October 2009 as part of the pre-game entertainment for the NFL International Series game between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.On 14 November, Harris invaded the stage of The X Factor during a performance by John & Edward, holding a pineapple on his head and bending over to point at his buttocks. He was subsequently evicted from the studio by the security team and told not to return to have his say on the ITV2 programme The Xtra Factor—in which he was to have been a “Celebrity Guest”. He later apologised on Twitter, saying he was a fan of the boys, “At the end of the day, I had a pineapple on my head. Sorry if I caused anyone embarrassment. PS, I love Jedward (sic)”[19] On 16 November however, Harris spoke to The Chris Moyles Show and revealed that he had been “inspired to make a mockery of the show”, as well as stating that “If you look at music it’s a frightening stranglehold that Simon Cowell has got over the entire music chart in the UK at the moment.”[20] On the same day, John and Edward’s “mentor” Louis Walsh, appearing on The Paul O’Grady Show, accused Harris of trying to “cash in” on John & Edward’s fame, and claimed to not know who he was.[21] On 28 November, Harris was a guest at 1xtra Live and appeared on stage with Dizzee Rascal as he sang his single “Dance wiv Me.”
  • 2010-present: Upcoming album and TouringOn 15–25 January 2010, Harris played at the 2010 Big Day Out, a music festival which takes place in several major cities in Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. On 30 May 2010, he performed at Evolution Festival, UK in Newcastle upon Tyne, Quayside which included performances such as Tinchy Stryder and Paolo Nutini. On 24 July 2010 Calvin Harris Played At Nottingham Splendour. On 31 July 2010 Calvin Harris headlined at the Stockton International Riverside Festival in Stockton-on-Tees. In July 2010, Harris released a mix, titled L.E.D. Festival (short for L.E.D. Festival Presents… Calvin Harris). It was available for one month as a free covermount CD in Mixmag.Harris appeared at the 10th birthday of Our:House in Auckland, New Zealand, on 26 November 2010, alongside Afrojack,[22] and performed an hour long DJ set at Australia’s ‘Steresonic’ festival alongside Tiesto, Carl Cox, Afrojack and Major Lazer in November/December 2010, in several major Australian cities including Sydney and Melbourne.In 2011, he toured with Rihanna in Australia, he has stated via his Twitter account that he has finished a track and is ready to be released, The track will also be part is his upcoming album. Harris headlined the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2011 party. Harris also headlined Limelite at Metropolis Fremantle (Western Australia) on 12 March in celebration of the event’s fourth birthday where he played small samples of his new track, “Awooga”, which was subsequently uploaded onto YouTube via his channel, icreateddisco.On 2 April 2011, Harris confirmed via Twitter that he was recording the video for the second single from his upcoming album, titled “Bounce”, in Las Vegas and that it would feature Kelis. On 29 April, BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac played a world exclusive premiere of the track, commenting that the single had the potential to be a “summer smash” It debuted in the UK chart on 19 June 2011 and was second to Example’s Changed The Way You Kissed Me.A second single, “Feel So Close”, has been announced and was released on 21 August 2011. Harris will provide vocals and remixers including Nero, Dillon Francis and Benny Benassi.

www.calvinharris.co.uk