How did Adam Wiles become the richest DJ in the world as ‘Calvin Harris’?

100% pure grinding – and a true passion for the art.

Originally named Adam Wiles, he worked at a Scottish grocery store in 2004.  He lived with his parents and had dreams of being a musician. How did he get from there to making $63 million last year and dating Taylor Swift?   Results not typical, right?  But …  if you really get into this art of being a DJ…  I mean, even a fraction of that is more than a LOT of people make in a lifetime!

His marked entrance into mainstream popularity began about 10 years ago.  After producing a remix of All Saints’ single “Rock Steady”, his effort started to spread with popularity.




Enter the remix producer  <  Sample someone else’s hit, edit, enhance, back-beat, add personal flavor and release.  With some legal checks on copyright approvals of course.

Honestly, with enough time and practice you really only need a computer.  I’ve remixed several songs this way over the years, just for fun.  With sampling machines, keyboards, beat machines, and SO many options, this is a very realistic goal for nearly any DJ.

Dovetailing with remix producing, Calvin’s popularity began to trend up as a hired DJ.  To date, this is his regular job (paired with producing in his spare time) making up for a large portion of his $63 million earned in 2016.  Armed with a DJ Controller, USB stick and headphones..  this is the modern DJ’s lifestyle.

His fee is in the mid 6 figure (~$500k) range for playing night clubs.  To play a music festival, his fee rises to 7 figures.  Yes, that is at least 1 million dollars for a few days work.

Should you start learning a craft like this?  At the bare minimum, you’ll have a lot of fun.  You could start playing local parties.  You could start charging a fee.  Your name could explode if you do well and network a bit.

Step 1…   Be a couch DJ.

Step 2…   Invest in and learn a DJ Controller.

It won’t happen over night.  But if you get into it, you could have a lot of fun and start making extra cash on the weekends.  Meet a lot of people.  Networking.  The sky is the limit right?   You have to commit to it and cut your teeth in the art.  Develop your style.  Make sure it works for you and an audience.   Go get ’em, tiger.

Ever since I bought my first DJ controller (Numark MixTrack Pro 2), I’ve been hella hooked!  Well that, and using the DJAY app for fun on my iPAD…  which I actually used during a live gig a couple of times (line level input to my DJ Controller board from iPAD stereo output port) and it worked quite well.