This week's track is inspired by the newest playlist on the site: Music to Vibe To! Our latest curator — Noka Agudah — featured this Calvin Harris joint as her first track on the site and we just had to steal it! And you can probably guess why...
"Feels" is featured on Harris's 2017 album Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, and as Noka writes, it's that "feel good music to dance, sing along to and act goofy with no matter the mood." The album represents a new chapter for Harris, in his story of struggle to balance his desire to create the music he wants to hear, his ability to write hit pop songs, and his need to eat.
At 23 Calvin Harris left London for his parents house in Scotland because he couldn't pay his rent. His music wasn't getting noticed, and he needed another way to break into the industry. By 25, he had figured it out, and was in Ibiza for Dizzee Rascal's song, "Holiday", which he wrote. Harris has always had a talent for writing massive hits. It's how he became one of the biggest producers and DJs in the world. He built a career out of writing songs for other artists, but then he would also produce them, sing background vocals and star in the videos, pushing his name forward as not just a songwriter, but, as the Independent called him in 2009, the "Caledonian Justin Timberlake".
At that time, he was putting together Ready for the Weekend, but hated how his label were mastering his songs. "There was no groove or vibe" he would explain, and though the album eventually went gold in the UK, it was a constant battle between Harris and his label to even put it out. He felt like nobody understood his vision. He wanted to take chances with his sound. He was writing other artists' songs so he could afford to, but the label didn't see it that way, and he was beholden to them.
Harris was feeling something similar at the end of 2016, when he released "My Way", and EDM track that entered the Top 10 in over two dozen countries. But Harris wasn't excited about it. He still felt like he was creating music for other people, they wanted hits from him, he didn't know what he wanted, but it wasn't this. Luckily, years of Vegas residencies and chart topping hits gives you a little more financial freedom, so Harris took some time away from the spotlight to mess around with new sounds, in an attempt to fall back in love with his music.
"Feels" and Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1 is what we got from that experimentation, and it's nothing like Harris has done before. With it, he's finally found the "groove and vibe" he'd been searching for a decade ago with Ready for the Weekend. So sit back, hit play and bounce with Harris.
You can learn more about Calvin Harris here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.