A Minute With: Scottish DJ Calvin Harris hits big time in U.S

Wed Dec 5, 2012 1:28pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Scottish DJ Calvin Harris may not be the most recognizable face in the U.S. music scene, but after writing Rihanna's biggest chart hit and with two other top 20 singles, Harris is fast becoming a chart staple.

Harris, 28, found success in the UK over the last five years before storming the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year with "We Found Love," a dance-infused dark love song featuring Rihanna's vocals that became one of 2012's biggest hits.

The DJ, who released album "18 Months" in November featuring other hits "Feels So Close" and "Let's Go," sat down with Reuters to talk about his U.S. breakthrough.

Q: Did you ever think "We Found Love" was going to be one of the biggest hits in the U.S. this year, and what do you think of the growing British presence in the U.S. music charts?

A: "I hoped that it would do really well, but you can't predict writing Rihanna's biggest-ever record, else you're an egomaniac. Couldn't have predicted that - that was a surprise. It's nice that British music is getting played over here, it seems like everyone has a more even playing field than before."

Q: Why do you think dance music is becoming such a big part of the U.S. scene?

A: "The people to thank are probably the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga. They were the first two American mainstream acts to have that house beat in their songs, whereas before, it was all hip hop. I remember Ne-Yo, when 'Closer' came out ... and it bombed here but in the UK it was number 1, it was massive ... Black Eyed Peas' 'I Got a Feeling' and (Lady Gaga's) 'Poker Face' that was pushed really hard, and once they were huge, huge hits ... radio stations wanted more and there was plenty of it because it's been going on for years."

Q: There are a lot of DJs coming into the mainstream scene now. How do you make yourself stand out in a saturated market?   Continued...

DJ Calvin Harris poses backstage with statuettes after winning the award for "Best Electronic Dance Music Video " at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok