Calvin Harris went extraordinary lengths to get Rihanna vocals
Rihanna is a very busy girl. So busy that even when the biggest producer wants to get her vocals for a new smash hit, he literally has to travel the breadth of America to secure that precious recording.
Calvin Harris has revealed the lengths he had to go in order to get Riri’s vocals for their recent smash hit This Is What You Came For, and it sounds like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster.
“In the end she recorded the vocals in New York,” Calvin told Zane Lowe on his Apple Music Beats 1 show. “She was gonna do it in LA. She didn’t, she couldn’t. She had to finish her album.”
“So it got pushed back a couple months and then there was a day in New York, or like some hours in New York that she had free because she was on tour at the time as well. I said, ‘Well OK we didn’t get the vocal last time, I’m gonna fly over to New York and just make sure that I get it because I really want it today. This is the only day she has on tour, if it’s not today it’s another two months, so can I come over? So I checked into the Mercer and I waited for her engineer to call me. Her engineer didn’t call me [laughs] and then I was texting him and I was like, ‘Is she there yet?’ she wasn’t there yet. In the end it was 4am I fell asleep. I woke up at like 8 to three texts from him and he was like, ‘We got it. It’s great, let me get everything together for you. And you can come pick it up tomorrow’. So he finished at 2, my flight was at 4. We left the hotel, I had this brown bag with a hard drive in it. We drove to the studio, we heard the vocal once. I’m like ‘that’s great’, they put it on the hard drive, I put it in my bag, we drive around the corner to the helipad, we take off in the helicopter to the airport and I have this priceless vocal in my brown bag.”
“Get on the plane, I sat it there opposite me in the seat, I looked at it and I was just like that was like a bank heist. That felt incredible, knowing that I had the most important vocals that I’ve ever got and it felt amazing. I would’ve waited six months for it.”
Well, it all paid off because This Is What You Came For went on to be one of the summer’s biggest hits, peaking at No.2 in the UK and No.3 in the US. The song was also certified double platinum in the United States!