For a man who is all currently over the airwaves and denting the charts with his retro smash ‘Acceptable In Three 80’s’, Calvin Harris seems very withdrawn and tired as he speaks to Gigwise. Apparently the 23-year-old electro-pop connoisseur has been up all morning doing interviews and God bless him, it’s still only 11am! The poor fucker. Still, we were hoping that in his weary state he would say it things were ‘unacceptable’ so that we could make a pun of it. But he doesn’t. Here have a strong coffee Calvin…
Mind you, it’s easy to understand why Calvin is in such high demand on this March morning. Putting things into perspective, this time last year, Calvin was a broke 23-year-old who had just left London due to his uncanny inability to pay the rent to returned to his hometown of Dumfries, to a job at Marks & Spencer’s of all places. After hurtling back down to earth and hitting the humdrum of everyday life, Calvin worked hard re-fiddling his Commodore Amiga and honing his Myspace skills to get noticed by the currently booming music industry. It worked. Calvin added a bloke from the EMI label who had just joined up on Myspace and, as he was new to the game, was up for listening to any talent he could find. Luckily for Calvin Harris his music was heard by the right person and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then Calvin has re-entered the heady heights of life, remixing for the likes of All Saints and Groove Armada, as well as penning lyrics for Roisin Murphy’s new album and gathering his own personal band for a tour with Faithless and later for his new album, I Created Disco. He has also worked with some Aussie singer called Kylie Minogue, but more on that later.
Calvin Harris’ music is what would be loosely described as electro, but it’s also very funky, as you can hear in his now signature tune, ‘Acceptable in the Eighties’. One very noticeable similarity with Calvin’s music is with that of Scottish dance contemporary, Mylo… remember him? That bloke that Elton John was always parping on about? Sure, Calvin gets this point made often so what does he think about it? Does it annoy him? “He’s class, so it’s no big deal.” Well that’s that covered then. Come one wake up.
Trying to break the ice a bit, we ask that nagging question.. Why was it acceptable in the eighties? He suddenly perks up: “I liked the culture in the eighties, people would say ‘I like your shoes,’ or ‘what you’ve done with you’re hair’… In the last ten years until lately everyone has tried to look the same and daren’t step out, or do anything crazy.” The eighties has definitely enjoyed a revival in the last couple of years and it seems like Calvin Harris has played on that with his smash hit. He adds: “I thought the eighties would be a good idea, I wanted a loose eighties theme so I just stuck it all in that song.”
So what has the Dumfries-man got lined up in the near future? “I’ve just started the first tour… a three week arena tour with Faithless.” Not bad for a debut trip around the country at all, and Gigwise notes that Calvin is doing this in style, “we get our own coach on this one,” he exclaims. However, he says the excitement about that aspect of the tour soon waned when he realised it was an all male coach, “aye, it stinks!... it’ll be an experience though.”
So with a start like that Gigwise wonders where next is in line for the Scotsman to play; Paris? New York? Tokyo? “No, this is gunna be my UK year… I’m planning on doing some gigs at club nights across the UK after the Faithless trip… I think I just need to stick around while I get the album out and that.”
Somewhat surprised by surprised by this modest (and all too)sober reply, especially for a man who is said to be mates with the Pop Princess that is Kylie Minogue, “[Calvin laughs] I get this all the time… I did some tunes with her, but ‘mates’ is a bit too much, I’d love to be her mate! But I wouldn’t say we were… Her management only liked one song out of the three we did anyway. But it could be on her next work.”
Calvin Harris’ next venture will be his new single out in May, ‘The Girls’. Gigwise can tell from the single’s name that the video will be a joy to watch, “It’s obviously going to be very dance-electro sounding, but nothing like Acceptable in the Eighties though… it’s going to be much more of a sing-along-song.” He then goes on to tell us that the video features “girls playing with a stuffed otter.” Sounds interesting.
A month later, Gigwise is told that we can expect a debut album for the summer, “the new album will be released in June and it’s called err… [Calvin seems to forget]… I Created Disco… it will be very much an electro album.”
Expect to see Calvin play at a summer festival near you, as he is planning to do “as many festivals as [he is] offered.” Currently confirmed by Calvin is Bestival, T in The Park in his native Scotland, it’s only a matter of time before more people wake up to Calvin Harris.