From: Dumfries, Scotland
Calvin Harris is the ultimate musical chameleon, an artist who seems to make every transformation a success. Even in his first productions, Harris had an ear for a radio-friendly hook, though his earlier work is light years from the EDM he’d eventually become most famous for. His debut single ‘Let Me Know’, which appeared on Manchester underground heroes The Unabombers’ ‘Electric Soul 2’ compilation, was a sublime piece of jazzy neo-soul in the vein of Jill Scott or Angie Stone, before Harris changed tack and went full-on ’80s synth-pop with 2007’s chart-bothering ‘I Created Disco’ album.
His collab with Dizzee Rascal, ‘Dance Wiv Me’ tipped Harris into the mainstream, and from there superstardom, EDM songs and beats for artists such as Rihanna have beckoned, as well as a very lucrative DJ residency for Las Vegas club Omnia, which continued this year. More recently, he’s shifted style again, with last year’s ‘Funk WAV Bounces’ LP hinting at the soulfulness of his earliest work alongside an all-star cast of rappers and singers.
In 2018, he moved towards a warmer house sound (in line with many in the EDM scene), with several singles featuring bankable acts Dua Lipa and Sam Smith. He remains among the most famous dance acts from the UK.
Words: BEN MURPHY