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This Is What You Came For

This Is What You Came For (Single by Calvin Harris & Rihanna) | 2016

“This Is What You Came For” is a song written by Taylor and produced and recorded by Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, featuring Barbadian singer Rihanna. It was released on 29 April, 2016, through Sony Music and Westbury Road. Taylor’s demo recording was leaked on March 1, 2023.
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Background and Release

Calvin Harris and Nils Sjöberg were credited as the song’s original writers. Calvin Harris and Rihanna recorded the song in New York while Rihanna was on tour. Harris said they made this track in one all-night session, working until 8 in the morning. Rihanna didn’t hear the final version until they were backstage at Coachella in 2016.

On 13 July 2016, TMZ reported that the track was co-written by Taylor, who used the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg because her and Calvin Harris did not want their relationship to overshadow the song. The track became a point of contention upon its release, when Harris — in response to being asked about the possibility of collaborating with then-girldfriend Taylor during an interview with Ryan Seacrest — said that he “can’t see it happening.” After the couple broke up shortly after, Harris then took to his Twitter account to confirm that Taylor indeed wrote the lyrics and contributed some vocals, while he “wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals”, while also confirming her previous request for secrecy as co-songwriter. The credit has since been officially changed to “Taylor Swift” in BMI’s and ASCAP’s entry for the song. Taylor also has uncredited vocals on the song.

Lyrical Theme

“This Is What You Came For” is the first EDM song Taylor ever wrote. It wouldn’t fit on one of her own albums because her brand is that of a storyteller. Her songs are usually in-depth explorations of emotions and self-awareness, which “This Is What You Came For” is not. It is not easy to assign deeper meaning to the song itself because there isn’t much to analyze. There are only two real verses the entire time. A woman has caught the attention of the people around her as she’s presumably out dancing at a club, but she’s only focused on the man she desires. The two are drawn to each other and leave the party together.

Critical Reception

“This Is What You Came For” received mixed reviews from critics; while some praised Calvin Harris for creating a catchy track, others labeled it as boring, and cited Rihanna’s vocals as overprocessed.

Commercial Performance

“This Is What You Came For” debuted at No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Rihanna’s 21st top-five song and Harris’s second. It also reached No. 1 on the US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. The song topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Taylor's Live Performances

Taylor performed “This is What You Came For” on the piano for the first time at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on October 22, 2016. She then performed an acoustic guitar version at the DirecTV “Super Saturday Night” in Houston, Texas on February 4, 2017. She introduced the song, saying:

«As a songwriter, the most rewarding feeling in the world is writing something and then having a crowd sing it back to you, because they know the words. It’s the coolest thing in the world. And I’ve never played this song live before. But if you know it, maybe you could sing along and I could get to know what that feels like?»

On March 1, 2023, Taylor’s full demo of “This Is What You Came For” leaked online.

Lyrics

General Information
ArtistsCalvin Harris
Rihanna
ReleasedApril 29, 2016
Recorded2015
GenreEDM
Length3:40
LabelsWestbury Road
Columbia
SongwritersTaylor Swift (Nils Sjöberg)
Calvin Harris
ProducersCalvin Harris
Kuk Harrell
Single Certification
RIAA 8_big
Instagram Teaser
Music Video
Taylor's Demo
Taylor's Live Performance