Calvin Harris releases his third album 18 Months this Monday and to mark the occasion we’ve taken a look at the Scottish DJ that went from his bedroom making music to becoming one of the biggest names in the world of popular music.
It all started back in 2002 when operating under the name of Stouffer he began to create dance music in his bedroom and managed to release two singles through the small Prima Facie label called Da Bongos and Brighter Days before he moved to a more digital playground.
Taking full advantage of social networking site MySpace, Harris started putting his music up online after a failed attempt to strike gold in London had seen him back in his native Dumfries. It was his home-made digitally shown music that caught the ear of EMI who snapped him up in 2006.
From there it was full steam ahead for Harris, who then pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the form of Acceptable In The 80s, his debut single under his new name and a massive hit right off the bat, breaking Harris into the UK top 10 at his very first attempt in the early months of 2007.
He quickly followed it up with The Girls, the hyper catchy follow up that got up to number three in the charts and got his first album I Created Disco (rather bold claim there Calvin) to hit the charts at number eight just over a week later.
The success of I Created Disco made Harris a much bigger name, with his added clout now allowing him to hook up with other artists to take over part of the vocal duties. EMI also got him to be a part of Kylie Minogue’s comeback album, with him becoming of her writing team for her album X.
Coming off the recent success of Dizzee Rascal, the two combined for Dance Wiv Me, a certified smash hit, careening in at number one in 2008.
The single was oddly isolated (something that he’s done again this time around), but the added cache to his name gave his next track I’m Not Alone a much bigger fanfare than before, helping the 90’s reminiscent track power its way to the top of the charts and providing ammunition for Ready For The Weekend to become his first number one album in 2009.
Harris was also able to implement a far higher amount of polish on to his music this time around, making a form of dance pop that was seemingly purpose built for an assault on the charts.
From here, his international presence sky-rocketed, with a whole raft of stars now anxious to work with him in one capacity or another, either in the studio or on the road.
He was brought in to produce for Dizzee Rascal again, as well as accompanying Rihanna through the European section of her tour and dropping out of supporting Katy Perry in 2011. It was then that the collaborations soon started rolling in, but none would prove to be as big as his work with Rihanna.
His collaboration with the Barbadian star resulted in We Found Love, a global super-hit and multiple award winner that has taken Harris’ already lofty reputation and powered it past the stratosphere. His Midas touch has been in full effect this year, with him teaming up with Florence + The Machine to help get them their first chart-topper, supposedly making several tracks with Ke$ha and hitting the number one spot alongside Cheryl Cole with Call My Name.
This star-studded line up has carried over to Harris’ own album, with only a third of the tracks only featuring his vocals, compared with the following two albums that featured more instrumentals than guest vocals.
While most albums have an air of mystery about them, Harris has done the opposite, having released a third of the new album as singles already. While the remaining ten tracks still provide a great chunk of unheard material from Harris, with duets with Nicky Romero and Tinie Tempah still there to be discovered, it gives a great sample of what we can expect from 18 Months
With it hitting shelves this Monday, Calvin Harris is looking to get his second UK number one album and cement himself as the UK’s leading DJ and producer. If the successes of the album’s singles are anything to go by, he’ll have absolutely no trouble doing that.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith