Interview: Calvin Harris

Posted by Dean Piper On June 18th, 2011


What was it like working with Kelis on your new track Bounce?
Kelis is amazing to work with – a total pleasure. It’s nice to have somebody that’s up for it. She brought flapjacks to the studio and she was brilliant. Maybe being a mum helps her. She was very caring. It felt good to work with her as she put everyone at ease. She’s very professional too – she did a great job.


Above: Kelis and me in Malta last year…..

How did you guys teaming up come about?
I definitely wanted to work with her after the last album. We met as she was chatting to producers before she made that album about doing tracks. The first time I met her was over breakfast in London. We talked about music and almost did a track together then, but not quite. She was still on the radar when I wanted somebody for this track.

And the video is a lot of fun too!
The video for Bounce is quite out there. Vincent Haycock makes these amazing looking film style epic videos. They’re so different and they have a storyline which I love. They’re funny but not in a cheesy way. I still think a good video adds a lot of weight to a track.

Will you be out in Ibiza this year?
I’m out in Ibiza a lot this year. I’m doing eight shows at Amnesia over the summer. The cream night with Laid Back Luke. I did one with Pete Tong at pacha and one with Swedish House Mafia. My main home is Amnesia. Ibiza definitely feels like a spiritual home for dance music. It’s brilliant playing there as you know everyone is there to have a great time. It’s like that in Majorca too – but not quite as much.

Who do you look up to in the industry?
Tiesto and Swedish House Mafia – they’re doing brilliantly and I have respect for them. Some are saying SHM have traded in right now but I don’t think they have. The latest single is more commercial but they can’t be judged on just that track. We know what Swedish are capable of individually. They all have an amazing track record. You can’t write people like the Swedish House Mafia off. They’re are not just some pop star that relies on other people to make tines. They are the ones twiddling the knobs and making the great music.

And what about the main man….David Guetta.
Guetta is the man responsible for settling light to everything in the dance world. The energy he brings to a show is madness. He’s had a huge amount of success. He has basically made sure dance music has taken over big time. I’m a huge fan.

How do you choose who you collaborate with?
I actually have a list of about 200 people – dead and alive – that I’d really love to work with in the future. Cheryl would be ace but top of my list is Ellie Goulding at the moment. She’s a great talent. Tinie Tempah would be brilliant too. Madonna’s not on my list – but if she came knocking then I’d obviously take the call. I’m sure she has her own list. All sorts of lists actually. I’d love to work with somebody like Cheryl Cole.

You caused controversy when you ran on stage whilst Jedward were performing on X factor with a pineapple – what do you think of the show now? Still as relevant?
I guess X Factor is still as relevant now. I actually think it’s more relevant than ever before because now it has a track record doesn’t it. The artists have done well from it. Not everyone that wins is going to do amazingly well. The world of music means not everyone can do well – no matter how much money you throw at them. Nothing in the music world is guaranteed. In the old days you could spend a lot of money and you would be guaranteed a certain chart position but now you just can’t tell what will happen. It’s wide open these days. The songs people like are genuinely the tracks that get high chart positions.

Are people bored of it all?

The public are not bored of X Factor are they? They seem fine with the situation. We’ve always had manufactured pop stars. There’s just no reason why we shouldn’t have them done in front of our eyes on the telly. Personally I don’t think I could be a judge. I could judge the production value of people’s performances. But I’m not sure if that would work.

Calvin’s Top 5 pop records right now……

Chris Brown ft. Benny Benassi – Beautiful People
It’s such a great track and I really can’t get enough of it.

Nicola Roberts – Beat of my Drum

Everybody I’ve spoken to seems to love it but I don’t understand why it isn’t flying in the charts. I’ve got a real soft spot for it.

Katy B – On A Mission
Any of her album tracks and I’m a big fan of hers.

LMAFO – Party Rock
I’ve got a soft spot for them too. I’m quite cheesy with my music taste. I definitely have a lot of cheesy moments.


Tiesto is coming out with loads of different little things and some great club tracks that I’ve been playing a lot.

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