He may be one of the biggest dance music producers in the world, but a decade ago, Calvin Harris was just trying to hold on to his record deal.
The Scottish producer celebrated the 10-year anniversary of 2011’s “Feel So Close” with an Instagram post recapping where he was in his life when the song totally changed it.
“Feel So Close is 10 years old today!,” Harris wrote in an Aug. 19 caption paired with an image from the music video and a clip of the song going absolutely off at a festival set.
“I like remembering how it came about, cos at the time I was well confused about what to do with my life/career. At the end of summer 2010 I had played my last gig (Creamfields) with my ‘band’ and had done enough ‘DJ set’ gigs to know that I wanted to change the way my music was presented. I needed to stop singing every song as I had all these ideas for female singers and my falsetto just wasn’t going to cut it.”
“So I began producing with a new purpose,” Harris continued, “excited I could give my songs to real singers and finally move closer to the role I had always dreamt of in music (weird dude in the background who never speaks).”
But this goal of fading into the background of his own performances didn’t quite land when Harris presented it to his label.
“After about 3 months of studio,” he wrote, “I visited my record label Columbia and played them Awooga, Bounce and another ok song with a feature that ended up not coming out. The response from the label was overwhelmingly lukewarm; I came out of the meeting wondering if I had made the right decision in changing my path. That’s putting it lightly actually I was gutted and my head was spinning, I thought I’d absolutely f—ed it. So immediately I headed back to my studio room feeling properly sad but also enough ‘f— it I’ll show em I”ll sing on one then, and it’s be class’ and made Feel So Close in a few hours.”
Demonstrating the creative potency of having something to prove, the song almost rocketed to the top of the chart in Harris’ native UK, with the producer noting that “it came out August 19th 2011 and reached *2* in the UK, my second in a run of too many numbers 2s. As was familiar to me, most other countries didn’t pay any attention to it at all. Absolutely fine. Number 2 in UK was still enough to keep me in a record deal, which at the time was my top priority, my years in dead end jobs were still very fresh in my head.”
While at the time Harris had indeed still recently been working at his local grocery store, when “Feel So Close”started gaining traction in the States in 2012, the song not only made it so he’d never have to stock shelves again, but established him as one of the marquee artists of the dance music revolution of the early 2010s. The track was one of the EDM era’s first big crossover anthems, hitting No. 12 on the Hot 100, where it spent 26 weeks on the chart.
“It got absolutely rinsed,” Harris wrote. “What a time. It’s been responsible for some absolute scenes at my gigs over the years, and for that I am so thankful.”
See Harris’ Instagram post below:
soul, classic soul, motown,