Looking through Calvin Harris’ last two albums, you can see that there’s definitely a preference for female vocalists over male. While established artists like John Newman, Exampe and Tinie Tempah make appearances, tracks like “Pray To God,” “Outside,” “We Found Love,” and “Sweet Nothing” perfectly demonstrate how flawlessly female vocals can add to a track.
In a recent talk with NME, a discussion about his studio time with Rihanna on “We Found Love” dug up some interesting perspective from the Scottish producer. While Harris has previously alluded to his preference for female vocals, he goes into just a bit more detail herein.
“They’re always at the perfect frequency to play in a club. A good, soaring, high-mid female vocal bounces off the walls nicely, and it doesn’t interfere with the bass or drumbeat.
“It’s basic science. A man’s voice is likely to interfere with the bassline which is why you don’t hear many classic dance tracks with a male lead.”
I would agree that perhaps a lot of “classic” tracks are lacking male vocalists, but artists like Tiesto who have taken vocalists like Matthew Koma under their wings have begun to realize the potential that males have for vocals. Many male producers are beginning to add their own vocals to tracks, as well, Calvin included. Alvin Risk, Crywolf, and Tristam are notorious for using their own vocals, and Porter Robinson too on his latest album.
We won’t decry Calvin’s love of female vocals, though. They’re absolutely awesome.
In the interview, Calvin Harris also described how it was like working with Rihanna and how she found him “strange”:
“She thought I was kind of funny, this strange guy making cool music, or I guess what she thought was cool. I’d never been around someone who was doing shows so big, such a huge iconic presence. I kept my head down. Then I saw her at the last show and she told me she wanted to do a song like the one I was playing.”
He also had to ask to get credit on his own song. The fact he had to ask, is kind of messed up. When talking about having to ask for credit, Calvin Harris stated: