Music Interview: Calvin Harris

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HE’S the lofty Scottish producer and pop star behind classic anthems like The Girls and Acceptable in the 80s and number one hits Dance Wiv Me and I’m Not Alone.

And that’s before you rack up the famous names his worked with over the past four years, ranging from popstrel Kylie Minogue to rapper Dizzee Rascal and, more recently, uber cool stars like Kelis and Rihanna.

But increasingly 27 year-old Calvin Harris has been experimenting with less commercial tunes and turning his talents to DJ sets – one of which Leeds is lucky enough to experience this weekend.

The Warehouse will play host to Mr H before he gets preoccupied with the unveiling of his new single, Bounce, and an album release later in the year.

We grabbed some Q&A with the top DJ before he disappears around the world...

Do you prefer DJing to live performances?

I stopped the performances with the band now. I wanted to focus on building an amazing DJ show as my music has changed a lot recently so the show with the band wasn’t relevant anymore. So I’ve changed it up and there will be a big production DJ tour some time in the future.

We hear you’ve got a new album out this summer, can you tell us anything about it?

The album will actually come a little later, I’m going to be releasing a lot of singles over the summer. There will be a lot of new music from me this year!

Can you tell us anything about your latest collaboration?

My new single features a vocal from Kelis, she sounds amazing on it. You’ll hear it in the next couple of weeks.

Your current track ‘Awooga’ went down a storm during Miami Music Week, you must be pleased with the reception the track has had?

The crowd reaction is so big for that track, and the fact that so many DJs that I look up to were playing it just absolutely blew my mind. I’m very, very pleased.

How was Miami for you this year?

Really good, I played four shows over there. It’s always a great party. Miami gets me excited for the summer! The highlight for me was the Swedish House Mafia party on the beach, it was huge and the crowd were so up for it.

Awooga is a clear change in musical direction for you. Is this a one off or indicative of future Calvin Harris releases?

I’m going to be releasing a lot of different music this year, some tracks designed strictly for the clubs, and this was one of them. It’s only available on Beatport which is designed for electronic music only. The track with Kelis is more in line with what I have released in the past and that is the ‘proper’ first single.

The track is an out and out club banger, did you create the track with clubbers in mind?

Yes, it is one of those meant for the clubs, to get people dancing and going off, and so far it’s been doing a great job of that so everybody’s happy.

What do you think of the UK club scene at the moment?

The UK club scene is unrivalled. I think it’s still the home of dance music, and there is always so much going on here.

What was it like DJing on the Rihanna tour?

Great fun, her fans go absolutely crazy and she’s a very down to earth girl so the whole thing felt really easy, and I felt very welcome on the tour.

Are you looking forward to Ibiza this year? Where can we catch you?

Absolutely. Ibiza is always so much fun. I’ll be doing about ten dates for Cream at Amnesia which I can’t wait for. Amnesia was my favourite club to play last year, it was incredible.

You’re DJing at a lot of festivals this year. Do you have a favourite?

Creamfields is the best in my opinion – the line up is consistently unbeatable and the crowd they draw know their music and love to party.

If you were putting on a dance festival, who would be your top three headliners?

It would have to be Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia and Afrojack – that would be a hell of a party.

What can Warehouse clubbers expect from your set?

Loads of bass, and BIG tunes that will make you dance.

Saturday, The Warehouse, Somers Street, Leeds, 10.30pm to 6am, £12 to £17.50, www.ticketarena.co.uk/calvinharris

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