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Calvin Harris: "I haven’t done any meaningful festivals for years"

In a candid interview with Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show, the Scottish star discusses EDM, Las Vegas, festivals and his new track with PartyNextDoor...

Calvin Harris was interviewed by Zane Lowe for Beats 1 Radio on Thursday 8th February. In his second candid interview of the week after an equally revealing one with Annie Mac on BBC1, the Scottish star producer further discussed his complicated relationship with EDM, preferring his Las Vegas shows to festivals, money being “the root of all evil” and collaborating with Canadian artist PartyNextDoor. 

Yesterday, Harris dropped his new single feat. PartyNextDoor ‘Nuh Ready, Nuh Ready’, a smooth, dancehall number that finds the producer working his way gradually back into the dancier moods that he consciously stepped away from in 2017. 

When he released ‘Funk Wav Bounces’, it felt like Harris was done with EDM altogether - he told Annie Mac that when he released ‘My Way’ in December 2016 he had "never felt so unexcited by what I was putting out in my life". However, after releasing an album that moved entirely away from EDM and which featured the likes of Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj, it seems he has since reconciled his relationship with the genre.

“I basically took a year off dance music when I did all the Funk stuff,” he said. “I thought I didn’t like it anymore...I was like wait, wait, wait. So actually some of the best producers in the world are EDM producers, even though they got shit on by everybody, the critics and cool music lovers. I'm sorry, but some of the best producers in the world are EDM and some of the best producers are Dutch.”

That being said, in his interview with Mac, Harris appeared ultimately concerned with making the music he wants to make and using the money he makes from his Las Vegas residency to collaborate with the artists he wants to work with, whether it’s “commercially viable” or not, saying, "I'm just going to out out tunes that I love”.

Speaking to Zane Lowe, Harris also talked about how much he is enjoying his residency in Las Vegas compared to playing larger festivals.

 “All that stuff got a little bit too impersonal,” he told Lowe. “Standing up there and it's the fireworks and all that stuff, but you've got no connection with anyone. And that's why I actually love playing Vegas at the moment because I get to see people's faces and get to see people enjoy their night. Those big festival shows which I wasn’t getting into personally other than a bit of money and money is, you know, the root of all evil.”

He went on to discuss how he prefers working and collaborating in the studio more than anything though. “I want to spend more time in studio and it's been that way for a couple of years,” he explained. “I haven’t done any meaningful festivals for years. Almost did one but I didn’t announce it because that’s the sort of guy I am. And also because I really might want to go back.”

In discussing his collaboration with PartyNextDoor, he said, “I thought he was a genius for a few years. The thing is, I feel now more than ever, if you don't come out acting like a genius then you don't get called a genius. And because he's to the outside a very reserved and very like just off limits, you don't know what he is; you don't know what he's like.”

In his interview with Annie Mac, he talked about wanting to highlight his love of other styles of music that people wouldn’t necessarily know he’s into…

“I wanted to do something with skippy drums,” he said. “People don't know that I love that stuff. Unless they know me they don't know that I'm obsessed with speed garage. I want people to know."

Harris seems to be set for another big year in 2018 (and beyond) with his Las Vegas residency being extended to 2020 and being worth £200 million. In January he purchased Steve Angello's LA mansion while last October he donated his booking fee for nightclub Omnia to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

You can listen to 'Nuh Ready, Nuh Ready' below. Listen to the interview with Zane Lowe here Annie Mac here.