As a young and determined teen making music in his bedroom at age 15, Calvin Harris, real name Adam Wiles, sent CD demos to Defected boss Simon Dunmore, like many budding producers who dreamt of being discovered by the best in the business. He received in return first a handwritten note, which read: “I’m returning your CD but would like you to know that this is far superior to many of the demos we regularly receive.” Then came a merch package with a note saying, “Keep faith in yourself. I am sure we will do something together.” Finally came a personal phone call from the A&R man and label head. Simon remembers the phone call well, saying that he disturbed Calvin while he was watching Eastenders, eating his dinner in front of the TV. Simon explained that he wanted to thank him for the demos he’d been sending and offered him further encouragement.
Years later, when Calvin’s stardom had been realized on a global scale, he was introduced to Simon at Pacha nightclub in Ibiza, recalling the phone call to him and prompting a reconnection between the two. Since then the mutual respect blossomed, with Calvin occasionally reaching out to Simon for remixing advice, to share industry insights and to support Defected Records in DJ sets, radio shows or playlists. Fast-forward to 2020 during COVID-19 induced lockdowns around the world. Like many DJs, Calvin took to live streams to try out new music and the keen ears inside Defected’s A&R department picked up on an unreleased tune in one of his sets. That record was ‘Live Without Your Love.’ In turn, Calvin made a surprise appearance at Defected’s monumental Virtual Festival series in April, bringing the relationship full circle in an organic and suitably innovative way.
Simon Dunmore added: “Calvin Harris and I have long-standing mutual respect that goes back 20 years when he initially submitted some of his early demos to Defected. I heard ‘Live Without Your Love,’ reached out and our discussions led to our involvement on the project. I am all about long term relationships and the fact that Calvin remembers our first exchanges says so much to me, and clearly demonstrates that first impressions are lasting impressions.”
The record sees Calvin at his most intuitive and rave-inclined, with club ready, penetrating stabs softened by Steve Lacy’s drawl and plenty of acidic synth.
‘Live Without Your Love’ will be out on June 11th via Defected/Columbia Records, and is available for pre-order and pre-save now. Watch Calvin Harris’ live stream set from the Defected Virtual Festival here.