Calvin Harris is an Okay Person

I did my research and have discovered that Calvin Harris is an okay person. Now I just need to share my newfound knowledge with the world.

I just did my research and have discovered that Calvin Harris is an okay person. Now I just need to share my newfound knowledge with the world.

When Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris broke up, like, two weeks ago, I felt nothing, obviously. Because when two pretty, rich, famous people break up, they are bound to experience other magical romances, while I remain at my work desk writing an email to someone who needs a response ASAP about some trivial thing that literally no one else cares about.

Then, this happened:

Like the bored loser I am, I read the entire Sun article, and felt a strange sense of sympathy for…Calvin Harris. Yes, Calvin Harris, of all people.

To provide some context, I’ve always thought Calvin Harris looked like a douchebag. In fact, I’ll go a bit further: I’ve always thought Calvin Harris was a douchebag, and was precisely the kind of douchebag who existed in the Taylor Swift Media Narrative solely to complete Taylor Swift’s post-1989 transformation from Blonde Taylor to Brunette Taylor a la the “You Belong with Me” music video (“Blonde Taylor” and “Brunette Taylor,” as in the characters, not the actual hair colors). Continuing my lifelong tradition of making shit up, I concluded all of these things about Calvin Harris knowing absolutely nothing about Calvin Harris, except for a few of his top 40 pop hits. I wasn’t really sure if he had any thoughts, feelings, or personality, and even if he did, I was pretty sure they were of the douche variety.

A few months ago, I read that Calvin Harris chose the name “Calvin Harris” to be “racially ambiguous.” Not quite douchey, but seems extremely silly. Calvin Harris, in the same interview, even went on to say, “I thought people might not know if I was black or not.” Sure, okay. I don’t really know how the music industry or EDM fans would perceive the difference between his birth name “Adam Wiles” and “Calvin Harris,” or why it would even matter because they are both seemingly bland and potentially white boy names, so Calvin Harris may have been over-thinking this non-problem.

So despite all of this, the Sun article made me sad for the guy. This particular paragraph sort of got me:

Taylor and Calvin announced their split on June 1, just ten days after Calvin was involved in a car crash in Los Angeles just hours before he was due to DJ in Las Vegas.

He was being driven to the airport when a 16-year-old girl crashed her Volkswagen Beetle into his 4×4, leaving him with facial cuts.

Calvin Harris was involved in a car crash with a 16-year-old girl (is she okay??). Then girlfriend Taylor Swift breaks up with him. Two weeks later, The Sun publishes a bunch of ridiculously picture-esque photos of ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift and her new beau, Tumblr heartthrob, Tom Hiddleston.

Okay, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but the fact that an internationally renowned DJ (I guess?? I know nothing about DJs, but I know this guy’s name and he’s Scottish, so he must be both international and renowned) had to miss a DJ gig in Vegas because he was involved in a car crash with a teenage girl is enough for me to do some research on the guy. Oh, and his ex-girlfriend, who many predicted was going to base her next album about HIM dumping HER broke up with HIM and has moved on to a new lover. Who knew this was all that needed to happen for me to be partially intrigued by Calvin Harris? Probably no one.

Moreover, Calvin Harris has begun removing evidence on social media that he and Taylor Swift were ever a thing. He has recently unfollowed her and her brother (lol he followed her brother? and unfollowed him? bro didn’t do anything wrong, though!!) on Twitter, deleted their break-up PSA tweet, and deleted some Instagram photos. Pretty sad!

All of this made me wonder: Who is the real Calvin Harris? Is he really a douchebag? Which led me to an insightful, candid interview with Calvin Harris from 2009–back when he was still primarily working with British artists. Most notably, this part stood out to me:

A supremely motivated sole trader – he’s never touched drugs and has been teetotal for a year, the better to have a clear, creative mind at all times – he writes, produces and mixes all his own music.

(So, if only Mike Posner had been hanging out with Calvin Harris instead of Avicii, he wouldn’t have had to try so hard! Except he also wouldn’t have been able to pen his comeback hit with that cool opening line, sadly.)

I’m sort of shocked that Calvin Harris doesn’t need drugs or alcohol to sustain his line of work, yet I admire his discipline. I would need a lot of drugs and alcohol to play EDM music every night to my drugs and alcohol induced fans. But what is more shocking is that this directly contradicts with my image of Calvin Harris. I was about 105% sure that Calvin Harris was this stoner drugged up alcoholic party boy who was definitely going to cheat on Taylor Swift with a million models, perhaps one or two from her #squad, but now, after reading this interview from 2009 (I know it’s from 2009, but let’s just say he’s still the same dude), I kind of doubt he was ever that kind of douche.

I also appreciate some of Calvin Harris’ tweets the article referenced:

YouTube have now removed the ORIGINAL mix and video of ‘Ready for the Weekend’, due to a ‘copyright claim’. It’s my song, you bastards (12.46am, 23 July)

There are videos up there that other people have uploaded of the same song, and they haven’t been removed!? But mine has! (12.50am, 23 July)

It’s the fucking BPI [British Phonographic Industry]. ‘The BPI’ what have you ever done for anybody you useless shower… (12.52am, 23 July)

Piers Morgan interviewing Richard Branson asking him how much is a pint of milk, really insightful journalism. I hate ITV (2.53pm, 1 March)

I’m glad Kate Nash is getting married, imagine all the material she’ll have for next album, buying a dress, doing your hair, eating a cake (4.17am, 25 February)

I totally just listened to an old Kate Nash favorite, “Merry Happy,” and girl literally sang “Dancing at discos, eating cheese on toast.” So my new man CH (as this post dwindles down, we’re now on an initial basis) has a point here.

Also, it’s sort of comforting to learn that he used to look like a weird alt nerd. I like to think if you were ever part of our community, you’re always going to be part of our community. But he gives me hope that we (as in the weird alt nerd community, I guess) may all grow up to be super chiseled Armani models.

Back when Calvin Harris looked like a weird alt nerd and would have had to pay Armani billions of dollars to model for them.

Back when Calvin Harris looked like a weird alt nerd and would have had to pay Armani billions of dollars to model for them. But this gives me so much hope, guys.

I’m going to conclude this convoluted rant? defense? love letter? of Calvin Harris with this majestic tweet from today:

Relatable! I guess Calvin Harris is an okay person after all.

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Breaking: Zayn Malik is now just “Zayn”

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Unlike Niall Horan in One Direction’s “Perfect” music video, Zayn Malik is probably not interested in playing golf in his “PILLOWTALK” video.

Like Madonna and Cher before him, former One Direction member Zayn Malik has dropped his last name and is now simply “Zayn.” Along with his last name, Zayn has also dropped his first new song as a solo artist, “PILLOWTALK.”

In the back of my mind, I expected Zayn’s solo career to sort of drift into oblivion. I was one of those girls who felt sort of betrayed by Zayn’s departure from the band, mainly because I already purchased a $120 ticket to One Direction’s 2015 “On the Road Again” tour expecting to see ALL FIVE OF THEM when he made his announcement.  So I really think that both Simon Cowell and Zayn owe me one-fifth of my ticket price, meaning that they owe me $24 (I’m sure both Simon and Zayn have $12 to spare) because they robbed me of my chance to see Zayn’s gorgeousness AND hear his “Steal My Girl” high note live.

Sure, there were all those interviews where Zayn had to give the same spiel about how he left One Direction because it wasn’t really him anymore and he didn’t care for the music he was making. Interview after interview, I never really had a sense that there was a true artist behind all that mystery–just sort of an arrogant young man with a lovely falsetto without any depth to burn it with.

To my surprise, Zayn’s new song, “PILLOWTALK” is all over the Internet and all over Top 40 Radio. It’s a song that I know won’t grow on me, and I never want to go out of my way to listen to. Yet, I rarely switch the station when I hear it on the radio. Deep down, there’s a part of me who wants to like Zayn’s foray into tryhard sex god shit, but I just can’t.

There’s an Ariana Grande problem here, in the sense that I can’t understand what Zayn is singing most of the time. Unlike Ariana Grande’s catchier songs, though, “PILLOWTALK” sounds like that song that plays when two lame nerds in a movie walk into a club populated by a bunch of annoying bros. This song is for the AMBIANCE, man.

I don’t necessarily dislike the song, though I must agree with Harry Styles on this one–One Direction has done much better stuff, musically, and if the rest of Zayn’s album is anything like his first single, then it may not have been a good enough reason to abruptly leave the band. But I suppose this may all come down to a matter of taste.

Of course, I think like the music video is ridiculous, which I would kind of argue isn’t really up for debate. The “PILLOWTALK” music video features Zayn’s girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, as a sexed up love interest to a sexed up Zayn (dubbed by Medha, and Medha only, as “Gayn”).

To Hadid’s credit, she actually directed a much better music video for DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” (Joe Jonas, Hadid’s ex-boyfriend and ex-member of another boy band, is the lead singer of DNCE), so it kind of sucks (yeah, this is the first time you’ll hear me feign any sympathy for a rich, pretty Victoria’s Secret model) that she needed to star in this stupid music video to support her boyfriend, when we all know she could have probably directed a better one herself.

That being said, I wish Zayn the best of luck, and I really do hope that Zayn and former bandmate (and former smoking buddy) Louis Tomlinson patch things up soon. Zayn reportedly liked Louis’ Instagram of his newborn son, Freddie, because double-tapping a photo is definitely millennial code for détente.

Top 10 Pop Singles on the Radio in 2015: Part II

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I think I’ve had enough of only having ten things on my top 10 lists.

As promised, here is Part II of my top 10 pop singles on the radio in 2015. Please note that Part II is way too long and I was including way more than just the last five pop songs, so nothing makes any arithmetic sense.

You can view Part I here.

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Top 10 Singles on Pop Radio in 2015: Part I

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I fall in love just a little ol’ little bit everyday with a brand new pop song that I’m forced to listen to on the radio.

For the past year, I’ve spent two hours, five days a week, in my 2000 Toyota Camry commuting to and from work with six preset pop radio stations. I suppose that makes me an expert on pop radio, obviously. So I’m here to share my top 10 singles on pop radio in the glorious year of 2015. Consider me a drop in the bucket of top 10 pop singles lists on the Internet.

But if I shared everything at once, this post will feel too long. Songs ranked six to ten on my top 10 list are under the cut; the rest will be posted tomorrow.

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Drake Won 2015…Here’s Why

2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3

INDIO, CA – APRIL 12: Rapper Drake performs onstage during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

As you make your BevMo runs for your glittery night out or Trader Joe’s 2 Buck Chuck runs for your sweatpants-hair tied chillin with no makeup on (see what I did there?) night in, let’s reflect on the year in entertainment.

More specifically, let’s reflect on one entertainer in particular: Aubrey Graham. You may know him as Drake, Drizzy, 6 God, or even by his Instagram moniker Champagne Papi. Drake started from the bottom, if you
will, (I hear your groaning from here) and has risen up from the wheelchair that his character Jimmy Brooks was bound to on Canada’s hit drama, Degrassi (Still groaning?). Drake won 2015 and let me tell you why.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a recovering Drake stan. I watched Degrassi and thought Jimmy was a cutie. I was a little confused when he started rapping but copped his mixtapes and told everyone how great he was. People laughed when I spoke of his bars, telling me that he was weak and was more of a singer than a rapper. I have at least 3 different posters of Drake (whether they’re hanging or not is irrelevant) and I’ve seen him in concert twice. To this day, I believe Take Care is one of the best albums of the past 5 years.

ANYWAY.

This all changed in February of 2013. Why, you ask? That’s when Drake dropped his “Started from the Bottom” video. Drizzy bouncing around in his convertible while it snows and rapping about how he started from the bottom, even though Degrassi is SO not the bottom was just too much. I put myself on a Drake hiatus. Tired of hearing about the money and the fame he’s garnered, I was done.

Until 2015.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Drake has redeemed himself in my eyes. This was the year that Drake headlined Coachella –ok, maybe he wasn’t great but uhh… shouldn’t the audience have been looking for Bey & Nicki who filmed “Feelin Myself” there? And what about when Madonna held Drake against his will as she made out with him? That should be good enough to distract from his lackluster performance, right?

Ok, let’s move on. In February, he dropped his new album/mixtape, “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” and the album art itself became an Internet phenomenon, used in everything from the everyday Twitter trending topic  to the  NBA Finals.
Speaking of the NBA, Drake not only brought the Toronto Raptors out of obscurity (well, in my eyes) and back into the headlines for the first time since Chris Bosh took his “talents” to Miami. Toronto hosted its own “Drake Night” where Drake announced the 6’s lineup and released a bunch of OVO Raptors shit. He solidified his place in the basketball sphere by attending a bunch of random games
and even making In-N-Out runs with NBA’s First Family, The Currys (President Riley, who would run on the Drake-inspired platform: “Wayy Up, I Feel Bwessed”).

While we’re talking about Drake and sports, let’s not forget about his relationship with world champion and Sportsperson of the Year, Serena Williams. Drake and Serena were spotted canoodling in Cincinnati following her win at the Women’s Tennis Association Tournament. After Serena’s stunning loss in the US Open semifinal, the Internet was quick to blame Drake, who attended the game and left with a disappointed Serena. Although it appears Drake may have been friendzoned, we’re sure he’ll be fine as he enters 2016.

Still not impressed? Well, the summer of 2015 is when Drake really proved his rap chops during the beef of the year which, unless you’ve been living under a rock, occurred when Meek Mill (forever known as the guy we can’t believe Nicki Minaj is still with) threw a tantrum over Drake not tweeting about Meek’s new album. As if Drake doesn’t have better things to tweet about?

Well, Meek decided he needed to expose Drake and let the world know that the 6 God has a ghostwriter. Instead of addressing Meek’s accusations on Twitter, Drake decided to do it musically, dropping a single called “Charged Up” which didn’t reference Meek directly but definitely called him out. With lyrics like “6 God is watching, I just hope you’re prepared to face him,” the world anxiously waited for Meek to respond with his own bars. Instead, Meek turned to Twitter, bashing on Drake’s single without dropping any music of his own. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Drake dropped ANOTHER single, “Back to Back” (now GRAMMY-NOMINATED, by the way) that didn’t spare Meek at all, calling him out on his Twitter escapades and the fact that he’s an artist on Nicki Minaj’s tour.

To add insult to injury, Meek’s response single, “Wanna Know”(released one whole week later) was equivalent to the drill that fills in your large cavities at the dentist: painful and you just want it to end.

Drake took it one step further at OVO Fest in Toronto, compiling Meek memes and presenting a comedic Power Point presentation for not only the fans but Will Smith and Kanye West to enjoy.

We can only hope that Weak..er, I mean Meek Mill learns his lesson not to fuck with Drake in 2016.

What else has Drake done? Hmm…while Jay-Z was gathering artists for Tidal, the streaming service that that puts more money into his own pocket, Drake was scheming with the big dogs, showing his tech prowess by helping Apple present its own streaming service, Apple Music, at its Worldwide Developer Conference. Don’t write Mr. Aubrey Graham off as he’s well on his way to becoming a mogul on par with Hov himself.

And finally Champagne Papi blessed us all this year with the video for his hit single that threw it back to the old Drake days: “Hotline Bling.” Knowing that the video would inspire countless memes, GIFS, and Vines, Drake was his dorkiest self, dancing like a  dad at a Bar Mitzvah and even pulling out some lowkey salsa and Indian Bharatanatyam moves. Thank you, Drake, for making it acceptable to dance like a complete derp at the club when your song comes on.

 

Drake proved himself in 2015. Now that he’s got nothing left to prove, will he go back to rapping in the snow with the convertible top down? Or will he use his powers as 6 God for good? Only time will tell. 2016: bring it on.

 

How to Seduce the Grammys

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Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift are basically just like the Bubble Boy from Seinfeld in this still from the “Bad Blood” video, but Grammy nominees.

The Grammys are the bishops of the Billboard gods, cementing the public’s oftentimes misguided pop music sensibilities into credible dogma. So that’s why it’s important that the 2016 Grammy nominations are out, as we shall discuss what’s orthodox, and what’s blasphemy.

Here is an awards body that awarded Artist of the Year to Maroon 5 (aka The Worst Band in the Universe) over Kanye West (aka Music Genius, obviously); considered “All About that Bass” and “Call Me Maybe” as not mere earworms, but some of the best songs of the year; and noted that a Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album, which is basically an unapologetic ploy for radio airplay and money, contains some of the strongest compilations of songs from an artist (well, “artist”) that year.

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