Calvin Harris (image courtesy of Columbia Records).

Dance producer extraordinaire Calvin Harris has just released his new single “Slide,” and it’s not just another club-ready track for the unthinking millions to enjoy—it’s a calculated career shift, and one that will surely pay off for him and his collaborators all around the world.

The song sees Harris going in a different direction, opting for a simpler, more percussive, poppier production as opposed to the EDM, drop-heavy music he’s become known for over the past several years. While the decision to step away from what has worked time and time again might be a difficult one for many artists, Harris has nothing left to prove…though he surely is still looking to reach the masses with his music, and charting more smash hits is definitely in his future.

“Slide” separates Harris from the EDM-pop he not only helped push into the top 40 arena, but which has also gotten away from him recently. Production teams like The Chainsmokers have cracked the code and are now busy churning out one radio hit after another, so if he is going to keep up and regain his place as the king of all things electronic, Harris needed to do something different.

This time around, he partnered with indie favorite Frank Ocean and hip-hop trio Migos for the vocals, and when combined with production he’s never delivered in a proper single, this is something entirely new for Harris. Ocean and Migos are at the top of their games, as the former scored a massive critical and commercial success in 2016 with his album Blonde, while Migos were on top of the Hot 100 with their single “Bad And Boujee” just last month. He couldn’t have chosen better artists when it comes to talent, but also because their inclusion all but guarantees radio play and attention from every media outlet on the planet. It’s destined to be a hit before most people have even had a chance to listen to it.

“Slide” is Harris’ first new single of 2017, but he hasn’t been away from the spotlight for long. Since promotion of his last album Motion wrapped in 2015, the Scottish producer has released four singles under his own name in addition to working with other artists for their own material. All four tracks became worldwide hits, and three of them—“How Deep Is Your Love,” “This Is What You Came For” and the Harris-only “My Way”—all broke into the top 30 here in the States, with the Rihanna-assisted “Came For” climbing all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100. The song, which was actually written by Harris’ ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift, ended last year as one of the most successful singles. The singer/producer/DJ now has 11 top 40 hits in the U.S., but in the U.K., where he is much more famous and more respected, he has racked up 27 top 40-charters, including an incredible seven No. 1 smashes.

Harris has now released five songs since he stopped promoting Motion, and fans have been asking for some time when another full-length may arrive, but it sounds like they may need to keep waiting. There are rumors that the chart-topper himself has stated he’s done releasing proper albums, but that doesn’t mean no new music is on the way. In fact, Harris himself tweeted to a fan confirming that he plans to release 10 songs in 2017, though whether those end up on an “album” or not is yet to be seen.

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