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

Zane Lowe conducted an exclusive interview with Calvin Harris on his Beats 1 show where he talked of rediscovering his love for dance music, his Las Vegas residency, awards nominations and loving the studio.

On releasing more music this year and rediscovering his love for dance music and the criticism of EDM…

I'm going to release more and also I’m taking it one song at a time. The songs are all going to be based on dance music because I love it again…I basically took a year off dance music when I did all the Funk stuff [on last album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1]. 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 s*** 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.

On his Las Vegas residency compared to festival appearances…

All that stuff got a little bit too impersonal, 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.

On preferring the studio to performing at festivals…

I want to spend more time in studio and it's been that way for a couple of years. 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.

On being nominated for awards but not winning…

I’m happy to be on the list. Genuinely. I mean, it’s dumb. It doesn't make sense. But you know I don't want to sound too LA. I think there was something happening in the universe to me when I was doing that. Especially with that Grammy thing because I mean I'm sure DJ Khaled won’t mind me saying this but I basically text that tune I did on his album he had with Jeremih and he did the DJ Kahled things on, but if I hadn't of put that track on his album and been named producer, I wouldn't have had that Grammy nomination because you need to work on at least two records. I loved it. I was like, well, it’s Travis, it’s a tune. Maybe DJ Khaled. It was a week before he had to turn in his album or something. I'm going to make this happen. If I hadn’t done that the Grammy thing wouldn't be a thing.

On rapper/producer PartyNextDoor who appears on his upcoming single 'Nuh Ready Nuh Ready'…

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. You just see an image and you hear a voice and you hear his writing in it and and it's amazing, but you don't know what it's all about.

On not utilising PartyNextDoor's skills/not doing any more albums similar to last release, 'Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1'...

I didn’t really figure him out anymore working with him. I just know that his pen and his voice and his delivery is amongst the best in the world. I worked with him on my last album and I was aware that I under-used him and I felt embarrassed and ashamed from under-using him. He sung a hook on a track, I was like, come on, you need to do more if you can. I mean so that's just what I did. But I knew that I wouldn't want to do more funk records as well because I've done that and I've done the best I could possibly do.

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