ARTIST PROFILE

Calvin Harris

Name: Adam Richard Wiles

Birthday: 17 January 1984

Fav Dish: Rice & Fish

Adam Richard Wiles was born on 17 January 1984 in Dumfries, Scotland. His parents, David Wiles, a biochemist, and Pamela, a homemaker, married in Oxford before moving to the Dumfries suburb of Georgetown.

He has an older sister, Sophie, and an older brother, Edward. He attended Dumfries High School, and after leaving school he stacked shelves in supermarkets and worked in a local fish processing factory in order to buy DJ gear.

He was first attracted to electronic music in his teens and began recording bedroom demos in 1999. When Harris was 18 he released two songs “Da Bongos” and “Brighter Days”. Both were released as 12-inch club singles and CD-EPs by the label Prima Facie in early 2002 under the name “Stouffer”. With these singles to his credit, Harris moved from Scotland to London, hoping to learn from the local music scene. Only one of his songs was released during his time in London, “Let Me Know” with vocalist Ayah Marar on the Unabombers’ 2004 live-mix CD Electric Soul, Vol. 2.

With the lack of job opportunities and money, Harris returned home to Dumfries and began posting homemade solo recordings to his Myspace page.  Harris’ popularity on the social media website created Internet attention that prompted Mark Gillespie, a talent booker for the dance-festival firm Global Gathering who had recently founded his own management firm, to make Harris the company’s first signing.

Harris rose to international prominence with the release of his third studio album 18 Months in October 2012. Topping the UK charts, the album became his first to chart on the US Billboard 200 chart (where it reached number 19). All eight of the album’s singles, which were “Bounce”, “Feel So Close”, “Let’s Go”, “We’ll Be Coming Back”, “Sweet Nothing”, “Drinking from the Bottle”, “I Need Your Love” and “Thinking About You” reached the top 10 in the UK. At the time, Harris broke the record for the most top 10 songs from one studio album on the UK Singles Chart with nine entries, surpassing Michael Jackson. Harris released his fourth studio album Motion in November 2014. It debuted at number two in the UK and at number five in the US, and became Harris’s second consecutive number one album on the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The album’s first three singles “Under Control”, “Summer” and “Blame” all topped the UK chart.

Harris has collaborated with numerous other recording artists. His collaboration with Rihanna “We Found Love” became an international success, giving Harris his first US number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The two later collaborated on the singles “Where Have You Been” (2012) and “This Is What You Came For” (2016). In October 2014, he became the first artist to place three songs simultaneously on the top 10 of Billboard‘s Dance/Electronic Songs chart.

He also became the first British solo artist to reach more than one billion streams on Spotify. Harris has received ten Brit Award nominations—three for Best British Male, and four Grammy nominations, winning a Grammy for Best Music Video in 2013. He received the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year in 2013 and at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards was named Top Dance/Electronic Artist. Additionally, Harris topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid DJs for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015. One of the most successful musicians in contemporary British popular culture, Harris appeared on Debrett’s 2017 list of the most influential people in the United Kingdom.

Harris runs his own record label, Fly Eye Records.

Close