Calvin Harris Is Actually A Legend

These lo-res home movies from pre-EDM Calvin are a total game changer.

These lo-res home movies from a pre-EDM Calvin are a total game changer

Calvin Harris in 2015 is an enigma. The lanky Scot who used to dance around on stage singing dance pop songs about his birth decade and throwing house parties has transformed into a hench, blonde, celebrity dating, stadium filling, rich list topping... thing. We gave him a bit of a hard time a few months back when he started dabbling in life coaching, but the truth is we've always had a bit of a soft spot for the bonny lad.

He makes great music and he's come a long, long way. But we have to admit, sometimes it's a little too easy to forget just how far he's come and what he was like before he got here. Fortunately, while free falling down the depths of a dance music subreddit, we stumbled across these perfect postcards of the man he was before he became the man he is.

Every shakily shot, low res, dodgy sounding video is a time capsule, not just of Clavin Harris, but also of the music industry and it's relationship to the Internet. These are from a time before The Majors grasped the importance of social media, before artists were digital brands. These videos are old, sure, and they show a Calvin nowhere near as famous as the one today, but even then he still had a successful album, he'd been on TV, he was signed to Sony. In no universe would a modern day Major allow one of their signed artists, no matter how small, to dick about on camera in the way Calvin does in the videos below.

These are candid windows into a time before the music industry understood the internet, a time before society at large really understood it, a time when it was free and open, and a laugh and Calvin Harris was a fucking legend. Here are four of our faves.

Calvin Harris Cribs

What is it?

Calvin showing us around a Travelodge in the style of MTV Cribs.

Why do we like it?

Back in 2009 the world was buckling under the weight of Cribs parodies, but stumbling across one in 2015 has the same nostalgia rush as finding a pair of shutter shades or a Hadouken! album. To think that Calvin Harris - a more than legitimate candidate for the real show, were it still running today, made his own parody video and actually posted it online tell

Key moment?

Too many to choose, but I think my favourite is the "I don't need to clean that up, I have a maid" moment, as despite the fact he would've actually had a maid, there is no doubt in my mind that the 'creator of disco' personally placed those sugars back into that ceramic mug immediately after the camera cut.

What does it tell us about Calvin?

To think that Calvin Harris - a more than legitimate candidate for the real show, were it still running today - made his own parody video and actually posted it online shows us that not only does Calvin have a comedic streak that we rarely see, but that he also has (or at least had) a level of self-awareness that totally jars with his more recent YouTube outings. This is late Noughies Calvin standing up and saying to the world, "I know that I'm not big enough to be on this show, but this show is bullshit anyway, so here's me - music business minnow - showing you around my shitty Travelodge room and having a laugh, because it's irrelevant to me whether or not my face ever actually ends up on MTV."

Calvin Harris On How To Eat Cereal

What is it?

It's Calvin, in the same clothes from his Cribs debut, sat outside a pub, discussing how he likes to eat cereal.

Why do we like it?

Not only is it a candid insight into his breakfasting habits, it shows him interacting with actual real life mates, rather than standing moodily beside Taylor Swift on a red carpet. It also shows that before he got all "eat a chicken a day" he was happy just pouring milk into a variety pack of Frosties and digging in. Like a normal person.

Key moment?

Obviously when he roots around in the bins for a pack cheeky box of Frosties then pull his own personal spoon out from his pocket. Sidenote: why does he walk about alleys with a pint of milk, surely unopened cereal boxes are very rarely found in trash heaps. 

What does it tell us about Calvin?

That he's actually a bit of a genius when it comes to stoner snacks. Take note, freshers!

Calvin Harris In Bed With Some Objects

What is it?

It's Calvin Harris. In Bed. With some objects. Objects that he's describing... to The Guardian.

Why do we like it?

As an emerging artist an interview with the Guardian is a pretty big deal. It's an even bigger deal when said interview is filmed and put on the internet and it's at a point in time when traditional newspapers were only just coming to terms with the fact they could add moving pictures to their copy. So how does Calvin rise to the occasion?By wearing what appears to be a sub-Kappa track top while sitting in a Travelodge bed and telling the world that he doesn't know what a brillo pad is.

Key moment?

Just all of it really. That it ever happened at all is the true highlight.

What does it tell us about Calvin?

Really it tells us more about 2007 than Calvin. YouTube is a mere two years old  at this point and it's already shaken up the media landscape to the point that a British institution is filming a hype artist bullshit about baked beans from his bed.

Calvin Harris How To Make Your Own Fly Eyes Glasses

What is it?


Why do we like it?

We don't really. It's hard to really like something this confusing. 

Key moment?

The return of the Kellogg's variety packet!!!1!!!11!

What does it tell us about Calvin?

That at some point he quietly stopped wearing fly eye spectacles and nobody noticed. Alert the media! Lets commission a bunch of sweet think-pieces about what the abandonment of the spectacles really meant. Does this represent his metamorphosis as an artist? From mad-for-it maggot to fly Superstar DJ? Were the spectacles holding him back all along? Did he remove the spectacles only to see clearly for the first time - to see that he didn't want to make jokes YouTube videos anymore, he wanted to be top of the mother-fucking Forbes DJ List? Only Calvin (and God) can be truly certain.

Honourable Mentions

The rest of what we're going to call 'the brown hoodie saga' here, here and here.

Calvin on Something For the Weekend Part One, Two and Three.

And of course, Jam TV.

More Calvin Harris:

Calvin Harris's Easy 3 Step Workout

Calvin Harris Slapped With A 15 Certificate

The 2015 DJ Rich List Is Out

Written by Matthew Francey

18 Sep 2015