This week, Calvin Harris launched his new project, Love Regenerator, with two heavily house- and techno-influenced singles, “Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait)” and “CP-1.”
After major pop releases like Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 and “Giant” with Rag’n’Bone Man, the next logical question is: why create a new alias for this more underground type of sound? The answer comes from a new interview with BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, and it appears negative connotations around his Calvin Harris alias are the culprit.
Calvin Harris’ real name is Adam Wiles, and the stage name he’s donned for the past 12 years has developed its own identity beyond what he intended. Speaking about putting out the new singles, he said:
“I didn’t want to put it under my stage name that’s known. I started feeling almost negative connotations with that name. It’s not my name. My name is Adam. The fake name has been around for a long time and it’s served me well. It’s still around but there’s just a little bit of negativity from me creeping around that name. Let’s shepherd in a new little thing and see what happens with it.”
After the release of his 2014 album Motion, if you look back at Wiles’ discography, it’s clear that his intent with music shifted significantly from radio-friendly pop hits to passion projects, especially the collaborations on Funk Wav Bounces. (Though, the tracks on Funk Wav Bounces are exceedingly pop friendly, as well.)
He continued: “I am now solely in the business, and have been for the last four years, of making music to make me feel good in the hope that it makes other people feel as good, or even just a little bit as good and improves their day.”
In a quote that came with the press release for the new singles, he said: “I wanted to rediscover the way I originally began producing music 22 years ago before I ever thought about how it might be perceived by outside forces. Just pure fun and experimentation with what sounded good to me. The records are inspired by early rave, breaks, techno and house, the music I was obsessed with growing up. In fact, I’ve done everything I can to make them sound like they’ve come from a 1991 time capsule. Every synth and sound used is from that time period.”
From the sound of it, Wiles is going to be putting a lot of effort into Love Regenerator as 2020 goes on. Calvin Harris won’t be abandoned, but it’s clear he’s lost his original passion in that project.
Listen to “Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait)” and “CP-1” below.
Photo: Mike Davies