- OrginLondon, UK
- GenresDance · EDM
- 004Studio Albums
About Calvin Harris
Adam Richard Wiles (born 17 January 1984), better known by his stage name Calvin Harris, is a Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He owns the vanity label Fly Eye Records. 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“. His second studio album, Ready for the Weekend (2009), reached number one on the UK Album Chart and includes the chart-topper “I’m Not Alone“, the top-five hit “Ready for the Weekend“, and the singles “Flashback” and “You Used to Hold Me“.
A remix album titled L.E.D. Festival was released in July 2010 as a free album in the August issue of Mixmag. Harris released his third studio album, 18 Months in October 2012, which contained the singles “Bounce“, “Feel So Close“, “Let’s Go“, “We’ll Be Coming Back“, “Sweet Nothing“, “Drinking from the Bottle“, “I Need Your Love” and “Thinking About You“. He has written and produced tracks for other recording artists including Kylie Minogue, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Dizzee Rascal, Cheryl Cole, Example and Rihanna (on the international chart-topper “We Found Love”).
Harris holds the record for the most top ten hits from one studio album on the UK Singles Chart with nine hits, surpassing Michael Jackson. According to Forbes, Harris was the highest paid DJ of 2013, grossing an estimated $46 million.
He was first attracted to electronic music in his teens and was recording bedroom demos by 1999. His earliest success was when he was twenty-one: 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. He released one song in 2004, “Let Me Know“, with artist Ayah Marar. The song appears on The Unabombers’ Electric Soul 2.
Harris signed contracts with Three Six Zero Group (management), EMI (publishing) and Sony BMG (recording) in 2006 after he had been discovered by Tommie Sunshine on the social networking website Myspace and his music was released on Sunshine’s label Xylophone Jones Recordings previous to his album on Sony BMG. Harris had recently moved back from London to his hometown of Dumfries because he was unable to find a job. Later in 2006, Harris produced a remix of All Saints’ hit single “Rock Steady“.
Harris’s first album, I Created Disco, was released in June 2007. The album contains 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. I Created Disco was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of 100,000 copies in the UK, where it reached number eight on the UK Albums Chart.
The first single, “Vegas“, was issued on limited edition vinyl; the first wide-release single from the album was “Acceptable in the 80s“, a tribute to the style and culture of the decade. The song reached number ten on the UK Singles Chart, remaining on the chart for fifteen weeks. “The Girls“, the album’s third single, peaked at number three in the UK, although the fourth release, “Merrymaking at My Place“, reached only number forty-three. The fifth and final single, “Colours“, was featured in television advertisements for DFS sofas and Kia Motors. On 18 October 2008, Harris was featured on BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix with a two-hour set.
In April 2008, Harris stated that the only existing copy of his then-upcoming album, which he had been working on for seven months, was lost when the bag containing his laptop was misplaced during the baggage handling problems at the opening of London Heathrow Terminal 5. In an interview with Popjustice in April 2009, Harris admitted that while he did lose his bags at Heathrow, he lied about the laptop being in his luggage in order to buy himself some more time to finish recording the album, adding that the idea was concocted by him and his sound engineer. The album, Ready for the Weekend, was released in August 2009 and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, eventually being certified gold by the BPI for shipments of 100,000 copies. “I’m Not Alone“, released as the album’s lead single in April 2009, debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart and was shortlisted for the Popjustice £20 Music Prize. The follow-up single, “Ready for the Weekend“, reached number three. Other tracks included on the album are “Worst Day” featuring Izza Kizza and “Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La“, which was used in a Coca-Cola advertisement in the summer of 2009.
Harris toured around the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and the United States promoting the album. In June 2009, Harris appeared at the Summertime Ball at the Emirates Stadium, and in August, he made an appearance on the first Soccer AM show of the season. Harris performed at Wembley Stadium in 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. The third single from Ready for the Weekend, “Flashback“, reached number eighteen in the UK, and the fourth, “You Used to Hold Me“, charted at number twenty-seven. During promotion of the album, Harris hosted a series of videos on YouTube titled JAM TV, in which musicians such as Florence Welch, Goldie and Katy Perry tried to open pots of jam. In 2010, Harris received a BRIT Award nomination for British Male.
On 14 November, Harris invaded the stage of The X Factor during a performance by Irish duo Jedward, holding a pineapple on his head and bending over to point at his buttocks. He was subsequently escorted from the studio by the security team and ejected from the ITV2programme The Xtra Factor, where he was due to appear as a guest the same night. He later apologised on Twitter: “At the end of the day, I had a pineapple on my head. Sorry if I caused anyone embarrassment. Ps. I love Jedward.” The same week, 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, “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.” On the same day, Jedward’s mentor Louis Walsh, appearing on The Paul O’Grady Show, accused Harris of trying to “cash in” on the duo’s fame, and claimed to not know who he was.
Harris played at the 2010 Big Day Out, a music festival which takes place in several major cities in Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. In May 2010, he performed at Evolution Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, and in July he played at Splendour in Nottingham and 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), which was available for one month as a free covermount CD in Mixmag.
Harris appeared at the tenth birthday of Our:House in Auckland, New Zealand, in November 2010, alongside Afrojack, and performed an hour-long DJ set at Australia’s Steresonic Festival alongside Tiësto, Carl Cox, Afrojack and Major Lazer in November and December 2010, in several major Australian cities including Sydney and Melbourne. In 2011, he toured with Rihanna as a support act on the European leg of her Loud Tour; Rihanna was quoted to say that “Calvin is the perfect fit for the Loud tour. He is going to bring something unique and fun for the fans.” Harris played the 2011 Mardi Gras Party in Sydney on 5 March.
During March and April 2011, Harris was scheduled to be an opening act/DJ for Katy Perry on the UK leg of her California Dreams Tour, but he withdrew from the tour shortly before his first date, citing production issues and difficulties with Perry’s management in his apology to her fans. Perry publicly criticised Harris via her Twitter feed, stating that the tour’s other support acts had expressed no problems with their production arrangements, but Harris later said “it’s all fine” between them and that he would still like to work with her in the future.
Harris headlined Limelite at Metropolis Fremantle in Western Australia in March 2011 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. Following “Awooga”, Harris released the single “Bounce“, a collaboration with Kelis that debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart in June 2011. Another single, “Feel So Close“, was released in August 2011 and also reached number two in the United Kingdom. “Feel So Close” became Harris’s first solo entry on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, peaking at number twelve.
“Let’s Go” featuring Ne-Yo, released in April 2012, also reached number two in the UK, while reaching number six in Ireland. It was his second Hot 100 appearance as a main artist, charting at number seventeen. The song was commissioned for a Pepsi Max advertising campaign. “We’ll Be Coming Back“, featuring rapper Example, was released as the fourth single in July 2012. It peaked at number two in the UK, and reached number one in Ireland. The fifth single, “Sweet Nothing“, features Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, and was released on 14 October 2012. It peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, marking Harris’ first number-one single as main artist in the United Kingdom since his 2009 single, “I’m Not Alone” as a main artist. The song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. These singles became part of his newest album, which was released on 29 October 2012 in the UK. He has said of the album, “I’m going for pretty epic-sounding dance records. I guess the whole sound has just moved on in terms of production as I’ve got a new studio and some new gear to make the sounds I wasn’t able to make before.” On 22 August 2012, Harris announced via Twitter that his third studio album will be titled 18 Months and will feature Kelis, Rihanna, Example, Nicky Romero, Ellie Goulding, Tinie Tempah, Florence Welch, Dizzee Rascal, Ne-Yo, Ayah Marar and Dillon Francis.
Harris was the house DJ at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, where he won Best Electronic Video for “Feel So Close” and Video of the Year alongside Rihanna for “We Found Love“.
In February 2013, Harris signed as the first exclusive resident DJ at the MGM Grand’s Hakkasan nightclub in Las Vegas, where he currently performs on a regular basis.
Harris performed as part of the post-race concert of the 2013 Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix in April 2013.
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