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Porter Robinson: ‘Calvin Harris was really inspirational for Virtual Self’

“...his track from 2009 ‘I’m Not Alone’ was really inspirational for this project”

Porter Robinson Calvin Harris Virtual Self DJ Mag
Porter Robinson Calvin Harris Virtual Self DJ Mag

In a new interview, Porter Robinson has spoken about how influential Calvin Harris’ seminal 2009 track ‘I’m Not Alone’ was on his new Virtual Self monicker.

The recent DJ Mag North America cover star mentioned that influence on the project when asked if he had seen that the Scottish EDM producer had tweeted in support of the debut track ‘Ghost Voices’.

“I was just really surprised when Calvin tweeted that out,” he told MTV. “I’ve never interacted with him before, ever, and even as Porter we never had any relationship. Often times people won’t even say that kind of things when their buddies release new music, so I messaged him and I told him - and this is true - that I think his track from 2009 ‘I’m Not Alone’ was really inspirational for this project. It’s one of the only tracks from the last 10 years that sort of gives me that classic sort of trance feeling.”

In that same interview, Robinson spoke about his desire to use the Virtual Self project as a way of breaking from conventions in electronic music. It’s something that he has been openly passionate about, given his sentiment that, since 2014, big room, mainstream EDM has been lacking.

“People had really grown sick of the big room EDM sound that was dominating the festival main stages,” he said. “There were a lot of compromises being made and I think that as somebody who loves electronic music and who wants it to do well and I want even the most visible parts of the scene, even the mainstream to be producing music that’s worthwhile and that we can all be proud of. I was like ‘I really want electronic music to be great.”

It’s not the first time Robinson has spoken about the creative issues that arise when musical creativity comes in contact with the pop industry. Back in January he said that the convergence of electronic music with pop has “pushed a lot of artists away from risk-taking and passion projects”.

He also recently said in an interview with The Fader that he didn’t feel he had “ever really been a raver”. 

Calvin Harris himself has also spoken about the influence of non-EDM, less mainstream strands of music recently, saying he felt he was doing a “disservice” to himself by not allowing the influence of UK house music feed into his productions more.

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