Long before he became the world’s highest paid DJ, an Emporio Armani underwear model, Rihanna’s music bestie and “an ex of Taylor Swift,” Calvin Harris (real name Adam Wiles) got his start in music after being drawn into to the amplified waves of the deep electronic music that took over the late ’90s. It was from that ATB filled moment that he began recording demos from the bedroom of his parents home in his hometown of Dumfries, Scotland, of which two fires he cooked up–“Da Bongos” and “Brighter Days”–were released as a 12″ club singles and became moderate underground club hits in his native dance music homeland.
Thinking he was ready for the big time, Harris relocated to London, but barely made a blip on the U.K. dance music scene (which is a tough one to break) except for “Let Me Know,” a collaboration with dance diva Ayah. Returning home to Scotland, Harris began posting homemade solo recordings to his MySpace page (really, who didn’t?), and soon an A&R representative from EMI came calling and signed the soon-to-be red-hot DJ to the label in 2006.
Following a pair of successful singles–“Acceptable in the ’80s” and “The Girls,” Harris released his debut album, I Created Disco, in the summer of 2007. The record was a huge hit, and along with his work as a solo artist, which includes touring in front of a full live band, Harris quickly became an in-demand remixer and would soon go on to rewerk singles by Jamiroquai, Dizzee Rascal, Groove Armada, and of course, All Saints. But perhaps his biggest accomplishment from this era came when he linked up with Kylie Minogue for her 2007 comeback album, X, producing a handful of tracks including the static electrified “In My Arms” and “Heart Beat Rock.”
Keeping on with the fire, Harris served up his sophomore set, Ready for the Weekend, which owned the top of the U.K. albums chart and peaked at number 12 on Billboard’s U.S. dance/electronic chart. Through 2011, Harris cooked up grooves for Example, Tinchy Stryder, and Rihanna, of which his career truly took a magnificent turn when he whipped up two singles from her Talk That Talk record–“Where Have You Been” and of course, “We Found Love,” a quadruple-platinum hit in the U.S.. RiRi’s smash hit also popped up on Harris’ third album 18 Months, a steady vocal buffet of collaborations that co-starred Kelis, (“Bounce”), Ellie Goulding (“I Need Your Love”), and Florence Welch,, who teamed up with Mr. Harris to destroy our music souls with the devastatingly delicious,”Sweet Nothing.” Sigh…
The following year, Harris’ songwriting was acknowledged when he was given the top Ivor Novello Award, all while Forbes announced that he was the highest-earning DJ of 2013; according to the publication, he made 46 million U.S. dollars — 14 million more than runner-up Tiësto. (Harris still holds that honor) But if that’s not enough heat for you, Harris’ lucky streak continued with his fourth set, Motion, as each one of the first three singles from the album–“Summer,” “Under Control” and ‘Blame” became worldwide global smashes.
But don’t think the superstar DJ is slowing his burn down anytime soon, because last year his collaboration with Disciples, “How Deep Is Your Love,” notched another hit in his music belt, as is his current thunder with Ms. RiRi, “This Is What You Came For,” which has become his highest-charting track on the Billboard Hot 100 to date where it currently sits at number six.
All of this only further proves that Calvin Harris isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, even if there’s an EDM inspired breakup from you-know-who headed his way. Now, let’s dance because the delicious dance music collection of Calvin Harris is certainly what we came for.
For much more on Mr. Harris, check this out.