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At 15 Calvin Harris Sent A Demo To Defected, 20 Years Later He’s Set To Make His Debut With ‘Live Without Your Love’

In a joining of legends, Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum selling British artist & DJ Calvin Harris is set to debut on esteemed house label, Defected. The heavyweight producer will land on the iconic UK imprint with a new single that has come about only due to the coronavirus and an unlikely, but inspiring twenty-year relationship with Defected label boss Simon Dunmore.

The release is a collaboration called ‘Live Without Your Love’ with Steve Lacey that first came to be known during Calvin’s quarantine live streams and this also lead to his guest mix on Defecteds own live stream. However, while we can’t wait for the record, the story behind it is just as interesting to hear. As we know now, Calvin has gone on to become one of the biggest musicians in the last decade, but when he was just starting out at the age of 15 he got politely declined by the label.

However, instead of sending him a boilerplate rejection e-mail or ignoring him as many labels do in the current age, Defected sent him a letter followed by a few other encouraging moves. Among them they kept the young producers hopes up by sending him a special merch package with a note saying, “Keep faith in yourself. I am sure we will do something together.” – Now went years that day is officially upon us.


Initially, upon receiving the rejection he got a handwritten note from the label boss and A&R that you can read below that read among other things “I’m returning your CD but would like you to know that this is far superior to many of the demos we regularly receive.” If that wasn’t enough, later on Simon went a step further and gave him a phone call. At the time of the call, Adam was doing what many kids do at the age of 15 – he recalls Calvin was eating dinner while watching Neighbours – an Australian TV show which found a huge audience in the UK. During the call, Simon explained that he wanted to thank him for the demo’s he’d been sending and offered him some further words of wisdom.

It was Dunmore who would go on to cultivate a relationship with Calvin Harris once in his prime that facilitated till now. Jump forward to a heaving Ibiza season when Calvin had already made moves on a global scale, he was introduced to Simon at Pacha nightclub. The two sparked up a conversation and recalled the long-ago phone call sparking a long relationship.

Calvin is said to have occasionally reached out to Simon for remixing advice, as well as discussions around the current state of the industry and of course to get the latest new Defected records for his coveted sets. Fast-forward to 2020 during COVID-19 induced lockdowns around the world. Calvin like many others took to sharing music for the people with live streams testing out a crate of new tunes, one of Defected’s A&R department picked up on an unreleased tune in one of his sets. That record was ‘Live Without Your Love’.


Simon Dunmore added: “Calvin Harris and I have a 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 say so much to me, and clearly demonstrates that first impressions are lasting impressions.”

‘Live Without Your Love’ on 11th June 2020, available to pre-order now here: https://www.livewithoutyourlove.com/

UPDATE: It now seems that the track will be released on the 16th of July, likely delayed due to America’s protests.

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