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Interview: Q&A

Calvin Harris on Beats 1: New single featuring PartyNextDoor

Calvin Harris on Beats 1: New single featuring PartyNextDoor

Don’t miss UK hit-maker Calvin Harris on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe discussing his new single “Nuh Ready Nuh Ready” featuring Sauga City’s own PartyNextDoor. The video was released earlier today:

PND was featured on Harris’ 2017 album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 (the song “Cash Out”) along with budding Canadian star Jessie Reyez. Other artists on the project include Travis Scott, Kehlani, Future, Katy Perry, Big Sean, John Legend, Khalid, ScHoolboy Q, DRAM, Nicki Minaj, Lil Yachty and Snoop Dogg.

In today’s interview, Calvin calls PartyNextDoor “a genius.”

Listen to the full conversation now below via Apple Music. You can find the full transcript below.


Calvin Harris on Beats 1

Zane Lowe: Lovely to speak with you. How are you.

Calvin Harris: I’m really good. How are you?

Zane: You sound great. I mean you sound great to speak to but your music sounds F***ing great as always. And thank you I’m fine. But getting to Nah ready Nah ready with PARTYNEXTDOOR. I love the way that you’re working this, this way. “Oh you think I’m going to release songs. Here’s an album and it’s really F***cking good. And now you think I’m going to make another album, naaaaah here is another collaboration with PARTYNEXTDOOR and it’s really good.” I just love, it man. It’s just completely deliberate and in control.

Calvin: Yeah you know it’s more just like I feel quite liberated at the moment you I know what I mean. I think. What happened to me was the end of, the end of 2016 I put a tune out and it did all right. It was called “My Way”. It did all right. And then I was thinking about it and I was thinking about what I’m going to do for the next song is going to be and who’s it going to be with and blah blah. And I realized I wasn’t really excited about that song for the first time in 11 years. I wasn’t excited about the songs that’d come out. I was like alright something’s wrong here. So eventually I come up with the idea of a funk album with everyone that I’ve always wanted to work with.

Zane: With just everyone.

Calvin: Everyone I’ve always wanted to work with but I don’t know self-aware musically aware, I don’t want to put Young Thug on an EDM song because I think that’s offensive. I don’t want to do that. I think it’s an offensive notion. It’s like people used to ask me the question “Who’ve you always wanted to work with? I’d be like Andre 3000. OK. Have you ever reached out to him? I was like hell no because I’d put him on a dance tune?? Like that’s not respecting his legacy. You know I mean. I’d be angry at myself for doing that. You know just an ego money movie right? Not that this album wasn’t an ego move but it was. So I’d be like, OK, so I can work with all the people I’ve always wanted to work with or at least approach them tnd put them on something I think is cool like sounds great and I love.

Zane: And you cracked it.

Calvin: Right. For myself like it was the least commercially viable thing anyone’s ever done. You know I mean, I was actually playing a gig in Vegas on a Friday and then giving the money to a feature like that’s what I was doing. And I knew that I was the only person in the world that could do this album or even would even want to.

Zane: But if you’re going to swerve if you’re going to swerve and you’re going and you’re going to reset and reestablish your footing somewhere different then of course it’s going to cost something.

Calvin: I wanted to just kind of almost like wipe the slate clean. That’s my new thing and this new record as well. And I’ve done it before. You know I mean like you know I used to be singing in a band and all that stuff. Most people don’t know that.

Zane: I was there when you f***ing set fire to the cornfield. I’ve told you this many times we were on a plane ride and you looked at me and I was with my wife and we were both tired and you just went. “I just don’t know if I’m can be to be f***ing with this” And I said to my wife “I think Calvin is breaking the band up”. She said “When” and I said “I think now.

Calvin: Nah I remember my last gig really really well, it was Creamfields 2010. And that was one of the happiest days cause I knew that, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had no records ready. I just knew I wanted to work with people that could actually sing and perform. You know I mean I was completely exhausted my limitations in every way and I was like you know forget about it. So the next tune I put up after that was the most like EDM like repetitive seven minute long like obnoxious track.

Zane: That was Awuga.

Calvin: Yeah right. That was like “All right forget all that stuff out there before here’s this, What do you think of this? What do you think of that? You Like this? No? Oh well never mind. I’ll feel like I wasn’t doing that for so long but that’s kind of like seems to be my default thing is that I just wanna do something totally different that is going to confuse people but it’s just going to ultimately just make me so happy.


Part 2

Zane: PARTYNEXTDOOR is a monster. I mean I’ve been lucky enough to actually spend some time with him talking to him about music. He doesn’t do interviews at all. But he came into our studio and we did one which was really cool and it was great and I loved it. It was special for me because I got a little inside track into how he thinks and how he works but not too much and I like the fact that he’s got a very sort of protective vibe about his craft and his art, as a collaborator how was it for you? Because you have to go deeper than I can.

Calvin: I mean I thought he was a genius for a few years. The thing is that I feel like 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 like you know to the outside a very reserved and very like just off limits.You don’t know what he is. Like 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. I didn’t really figure him out anymore working with him. I just know that his pen and his voice and his delivery is, I think, 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. You know I mean so that’s just what I did.

Zane: you know you crushed it with that SZA remix man. that to me was like “Oh I totally know how to do this now. Over the course of the year I have completely captured the essence of what is quite a dark and quiet sort of vicarious record on her album and turned it into this celebration. It’s a f**ing triumph”.

Calvin: I mean the funny thing about that record as I did in July before the time
don’t kill me with the time line like the analysis it’s all wrong.

Zane: I did not get into either the cost of the album coming after the album come out. I was like That’s absolutely amazing. I had talked for the Kabylie gave it to me and it’s been sitting around for July.

Calvin: I just wanted them to put it on the streaming platform talked about it to the fun way play. But you know I’ve come to say that it isn’t any good.

Zane: I just wanted to go on my first way play unless I keep adding songs played because the rigatoni never ends and it’s an accumulation business. I put another song out another song out and reignite my catalog because that’s what streaming does and that’s what you’re Calvin Harris by me you haven’t said.

Calvin: Now. Na na na na.

Zane: Hear me out because if I was if I was this ruthless businessman you make me be left with the deejay. Calvin hot ETM has made the 10 Chuck funk combo.

Calvin: Absolutely not. No.

Zane: And by the way the wifi on the gym playlist. You know I mean I enjoy just messing with people I like. I like because I know. Look if you’ve got a guy who can walk in a studio and make a song sound like something on the radio right. That’s one thing. If you’ve got a guy that can play much on this hunter almost anyone because he’s been doing it since he was 14 then you’ve got a channel. You got shallow your knowledge and some sort of genre right. So no matter what genre you pick you’re going to be okay because you’ve been doing it for so long and has been your whole life so then that’s when the business man comes in. OK I’m just gonna do nothing but ETM for a while. I’m not going to be my lane. Enjoy all of us. I’m going to I’m going to stay there. Some people stay the whole lives specially No. Yeah right. So I’m me. I’m just like I just get frustrated because I don’t care about the fakers or really make the money. Really getting the CHA positions anymore. I’m just going to make wild one of me. You know people are going to have opinions on who is going to be fine but I know my opinion is going to be there. Absolutely love to make everything mate. When it came to that conclusion at the end of 2016.


Part 3

Zane: Who’s new that you love right now. I mean who would you love to get in the studio with. I mean you know I’m not trying to put it like you know put it in the diary but just in terms of manifest destiny. Who are you listening to and who do you love?

Calvin: I love that Porter Robinson but chose self ghost voices.

Zane: He’s special.

Calvin: He’s amazing. You know it took a year of dance music right when I did all this funk stuff I thought.

Zane: And like any didn’t think fall what it was. But that track actually kind of pulled me out of it. Hey boy. So I see some of the best producers in the world. The producers even though they got shot on by everybody all right you know the cracks in the but the cool music lovers. I’m sorry but some of the best producers in the world The ETM on some of those some of the best producers are dutch.

Calvin: Are you going to do anything else with SZA going forward after that remix because it’s such a beautiful what you guys are doing. I know that she’s got the Matt and Kevin Parker thing that’s on the boil as well. Anything in the horizon that.

Zane: Not that I know of. I mean I love her. I think she’s absolutely amazing. But you know this just happens where it’s like. You want to work with someone and they might want to work with you. It’s just getting in the same cycle. And I don’t mean record release cycle. I mean just the way you are and in life and in your career and just like ” Now is the right time to do that. You know I mean more than ever i don’t force anything. I put this thing out there which is like Oh I would really like to work with this person or like a contact them and thats it. And then eventually either it comes around or it doesn’t. But either way it’s you know it’s a great thing and what’s meant to happen happens with stuff like.

Calvin: With that being said do you have. I mean you say you don’t plan but do you have desires or are you inspired to release more music this year or are you just taking it one song at a time right now?

Zane: Well no…. but yes to both of those questions. I’m going to release more. And also I’m taking on one song at the time. The songs are all going to be based in dance music because I love it again. The videos comin at the same time as a song and you’ll get a lot of the attitude from that, my current attitude from that.


Part 4

Zane: You never really toured extensively, you’ve been picking and choosing the right events. and luckily that they’re in front of many many people or very good payers which is the perfect balance to tour. Are you planning on kind of changing that anytime soon or are you like are you happy with the way that that’s working on a touring front?

Calvin: Nah, I want to spend more time in the studio. It’s been that way for a couple of years. I’m not doing any I havent done any like any meaningful festivals for years. Almost like did an Avicci but I didn’t announce it because thats the sort of guy I am. And also because I might really really want to go back to it.

Zane: You don’t want it hanging around you.

Calvin: No but it won’t be it won’t be in the same sort of way that it did it before and if i do do it. You know all that stuff got a little bit too impersonal I guess. Standing up there and its the fireworks and its all that stuff but you’ve got no connection with anyone. And that’s why I do love playing Vegas at the moment because I get to see people’s faces. And get to see people enjoy their night you know and them big festival shows which I wasn’t getting anything out of it personally. Other than a bit of money and money is you know the root of all evil.

Zane: Who was the most expensive, who cost you the biggest check.

Calvin: There was one person the most expensive and on another person who’s said in the contract that they wanted to match whoever I spent the most amount on on the album which I thought was so so brilliant. I love that. Absolute genius little clause there. There was some people want to do a swap or like like “I wanted to be on this album was like please let me pay you nab. It just feels so it feels great.”

Zane: Just trade. Exactly. Just an even trade we don’t have to get this to this doesn’t have to lead to anything else. It’s just get one moment and I’ll pay for the privilege.

Calvin: Yeah, I like that stuff. So you know I mean I was elated with who I got on that album you know and I was just like the whole thing was for me like for a self gratifying project like that it was just perfect. I just absolutely loved every minute. And then you have a Grammy thing. I just find hilarious light. I was like “OK. Oh no thats cool. Thank you.” You know I went and I lost.

Zane: Were you pissed?

Calvin: Oh what? To Greg Kirsten? One of the best producers in the world? No.

Zane: Can’t be you can’t.

Calvin: No no. I’m happy to be on the list. Genuinely. Its dumb. I mean it doesn’t make sense. But you know I don’t want to sound too LA or too mystical. There was some in the something was happening in the universe to me when I was doing the. Especially with that grammy thing because I mean I’m sure DJ Khaled won’t mind me saying this basically text him that tune that i did on his album you know he added Jeremih and the did the DJ Khaled thing. But if I hadn’t of put that track on his album and been name producer I wouldn’t have had that Grammy nomination because you need to be out you need to work on at least two records. And I just did not like. I’ve got 11 tracks , I think i want 10 tracks but I was like, “It’s Travis. Its a tune.” It was a week before he had to turn in his album or something. I’m going to make this happen and if I hadn’t had done that, The Grammy thing wouldn’t be a thing even.

Zane: You’re canny man.

Calvin: But I didn’t that didn’t cross my mind when I was doing it, just something forced me to do that. I do that I don’t know why. So I think it must have been the aliens.

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