Childhood & Early Life
Calvin Harris was born Adam Richard Wiles on January 17, 1984 in Dumfries, Scotland, to biochemist David Wiles and his wife Pamela as their youngest son among three children.
He grew up in Dumfries with older brother, Edward, and older sister, Sophie, and studied at the ‘Dumfries High School’. As a teenager he developed interest in electronic music and began to record bedroom demos in 1999.
He went on to release two songs through the Prima Facie label in 2002. After a short and unsuccessful stint in London, he returned to Dumfries and developed solo recordings at home and posted them on his ‘Myspace’ page.
Gradually, he garnered attention in Myspace and got noticed by talent booker, Mark Gillespie, who signed Harris with his own newly founded company.
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In 2006, he signed contract with ‘Sony BMG’, ‘EMI’ and ‘Three Six Zero Group’. Later that year, he generated a remix of the single ‘Rock Steady’ originally by English-Canadian girl group ‘All Saints’ ’.
On June 15, 2007, his first studio album ‘I Created Disco’ released via ‘Columbia Records’. He singlehandedly wrote, produced and performed all its 14 tracks. It debuted at #8 on UK Albums Chart and climbed atop UK Dance Albums. British Phonographic Industry (BPI) gave it gold certification on May 23, 2008.
His collaboration with rapper Dizzee Rascal saw him produce the latter’s song ‘Dance with Me’ where he also sang the hook. The single that released on June 22, 2008, climbed atop the UK Singles Chart holding the position for four weeks in a row.
On August 14, 2009, ‘Columbia Records’ released his second studio album ‘Ready for the Weekend’ that debuted at #I on the UK Albums Charts. He wrote, sang and produced 11 out of its 14 tracks.
He continued his successful collaboration with Dizzee Rascal that saw him produce the latter’s single ‘Holiday’ on August 23, 2009. The song that he originally wrote for the girl group, ‘The Saturdays’, and rejected by them, reached atop the UK Singles Chart.
Lead single of ‘Ready for the Weekend’ titled ‘I'm Not Alone’, debuted t number one on the UK Singles Chart. The album received gold certification from BPI. Perceivable similarity of the song with that of October 2010 released Chris Brown’s hit single ‘Yeah 3x’ forced Harris to receive writing credit for the latter.
‘You Used to Hold Me’, the fourth and the last single of ‘Ready for the Weekend’ that released on February 8, 2010, became the last song he sang as a regular singer for his own efforts. From 2011 he started concentrating more on producing music while vocals of his songs being contributed by guest singers.
During this time he also resolved to quit performing in live shows and in that pursuit left the band he was associated as lead vocalist. Moving forward, he released many remixes including that of ‘Supernova’ by Mr Hudson, ‘Waking Up in Vegas’ by Katy Perry and ‘She Wolf’ by Shakira.
Meanwhile in March 2010, he founded the record label ‘Fly Eye Records’ which formed partnership with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2014.
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On August 19, 2011, ‘Feel So Close’, the second single of his third studio album, ‘18 Months’ released while the album released later on October 26, 2012. The song not only marked his return to singing but also his debut solo effort to make it to the US Billboard Hot 100 climbing at #12 apart from debuting at #2 on the UK Singles Chart.
The European leg of third world concert tour of Barbadian recording artist Rihanna saw him accompanying her as a support act during 2011. He then went on to write and produce the song ‘We Found Love’ also featuring in it; and co-wrote and co-produced the song ‘Where Have You Been’, both for Rihanna’s sixth studio album, ‘Talk That Talk’ (2011).
His song ‘We Found Love’ also found place in his album ‘18 Months’. The song made it to the top of several charts worldwide including the US Rhythmic (Billboard), UK Singles and US Billboard Hot 100 and retained the position in the latter for ten non-consecutive weeks.
’We Found Love’ became his first effort to reach atop the US chart. It later positioned itself as #24 on the chart of all-time top hundred songs of Billboard Hot 100. It received several gold and platinum certifications including 9× Platinum from United States (RIAA) and 2× Platinum from United Kingdom (BPI).
His third studio album ‘18 Months’, where he focused more on an electro house style rather than his usual nu disco-style, made its debut at #1 on the UK Albums Chart marking such feat for the second time consecutively.
All 8 singles of ‘18 Months’ and ‘We Found Love’ with Rihanna made it to the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, creating history for an album to produce 9 top 10 singles. He thus surpassed the earlier record of Michael Jackson.
While ‘18 Months’ received a Grammy Awards nomination in the Best Dance/Electronica Album category, two of its songs ‘Let's Go’ and ‘Sweet Nothing’ garnered nominations in the Best Dance Recording category at the 55th and 56th Grammy Awards, respectively.
In February 2013, he became the first exclusive resident DJ of the renowned hospitality group, the ‘Hakkasan Group’ in Las Vegas and went on to extend the partnership for another three years in January 2015.
In May 2013, he received the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in the category of ‘Songwriter of the Year’ which he considered "easily the greatest achievement of my entire life".
On October 31, 2014, his fourth studio album ‘Motion released that included collaborations with DJs like Firebeatz and R3hab; vocalists like John Newman and Gwen Stefani; and groups like Hurts among others.
While ‘Motion’ debuted at #2 at the UK Albums Chart and at #5 at the US Billboard 200, its first three singles ‘Under Control’, ‘Summer’ and ‘Blame’ reached atop the UK Singles Chart.
He was declared the co-owner of the subscription-based music streaming service ‘Tidal’ on March 30, 2015. That year he succeeded in topping the list of highest-paid DJs, third year in a row.
His forthcoming album ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’ that is planned for a June 30, 2017, release will feature guest vocals by Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, and Young Thug among others.
He has also worked on tracks for advertising campaigns for the likes of ‘Coca-Cola’ and ‘Kia Motors’ and featured for brands like ‘Pepsi’ and ‘Emporio Armani’. Over the years Harris performed in different charity events.