Tag Archives: Benny Benassi

Dance Again: Making The Jump From Bubblegum To BPM

We loved them in those beautiful days of the boy band bonanza (even if they hate the term), but now, they’ve taken other routes and dramatically different ones at that. Now, I’m no expert when it comes to the world of electronic and dance music, but I certainly approve of these two guys getting a second chance at success. Both of these releases off of the Armada Music label are looking to take off as the summer season begins to sizzle. Who has the right moves and who can move over? Check these two groovy gems out.

Feelin' the power of two.

Feelin’ the power of two.

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE – “This Is What It Feels Like”
Release Date: at radio (Canada), May 6 (United Kingdom)

You probably don’t recognize the name, but if you were listening to radio in 2000, then you’re probably familiar with the act this guy was a part of. Trevor Guthrie is the former frontman of the Canadian trio soulDecision, who are best known for their 2000 hit, “Faded”. It actually hit #1 in Canada, while it made the top ten on the pop airplay chart here in the States. After expanding to a quartet and releasing a sophomore album that didn’t do particularly well (although I liked both singles from it), the group disbanded in 2005, with Guthrie pursuing a solo career to little attention. His foray into dance music began last year when he appeared on German DJ’s Markus Schulz‘s album Scream on one track, “Until It’s Gone”. Now, he’s teamed up with Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren to lead off his latest album, Intense, due to be released in May. This is his first single on which he sings solo to see the light of day as a commercial release. It’s already been picking up momentum at mainstream radio in Guthrie’s native Canada, while it’ll be released in the United Kingdom in a week and a half, where Van Buuren has placed four singles into the lower regions of the chart, but hasn’t charted since 2005. Perhaps this collaboration will be the trick. Guthrie may have gone from bleach blonde highlights to his shaggier look recently, but he’s still sounding great at the microphone on “Feels”. Plus, he’s a natural fit for this new twist of genre. He sort of reminds me a bit of Erik Hassle or Mr Hudson. I think the two of them have a hit on their hands. Plus, who doesn’t love a good video with car chases in it? Don’t miss this one; it’ll be on your local station this summer.

Gotta let it burn.

Gotta let it burn.

Release Date: May 27 (United Kingdom)

Just a few weeks later comes this new single, which originally appeared as just an instrumental when it was released online in the fall of last year. A video was shot and remixes were issued. However, last month, the song was essentially rereleased in a second form featuring vocals from a familiar face. Remember BBMak? Well, Christian Burns was one of the B’s in that British trio. Four of their singles managed to gain airplay here, including their first single “Back Here” from their 2000 album Sooner Or Later. A second album did moderately well in 2002, but quickly fell off the charts, and the trio disbanded by 2003. Years later, Burns made a big leap into dance music and it paid off, first hooking up with Dutch DJ Tiësto on the 2007 single “In The Dark”. It led him to appearances on other songs by top-named DJs like the aforementioned Armin Van Buuren, Benny Benassi and BT. His now finds him on this collaborative single between British producer Chicane and Dutch DJ Ferry Corsten. Chicane‘s been a regular on the Singles Chart in the U.K. since the late 90’s, charting as recently as 2009. Corsten’s had a few singles make the top 40, but 2006 was the last time he saw any kind of placement. This one’s a pretty decent record, although you’re more likely to hear this one in a club than on the airwaves. Burns sounds fine, and the production is great on “Suns”, but it’s a little too European sounding to make it anywhere outside of there. Plus, the video with the whole Twilight theme? Yeah… not my thing. That being said, let’s see if it can do anything in the U.K. on the 27th. It could catch on quickly with the buzzing EDM crowd.

Who are you rooting for to succeed with their newest release? Do you like Burns and Guthrie better as dance vocalists or back during their pop days? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Let’s Dance: Producers Taking Over The Pop Scene

Tired of hearing the same old Calvin Harris and David Guetta-produced songs on the radio day after day? After a while, they all seem to sound the same. Well, here are four producers who haven’t seen a lot of chart success to date in the U.S., but watch out! They’re climbing towards the top of the turntables (and station playlists) with their new releases to the CHR format. Check them out and don’t be afraid to shake a little something once you pump up the volume.

You've got a "Friend".

You’ve got a “Friend”.

Current Position: #36

25-year-old Nick Van de Wall has been on the charts in his native Netherlands since 2006, but is slowly finding a following in the United States. You probably best know Afrojack from his 2011 single, “Take Over Control”, featuring vocalist Eva Simons, though he also had a featured credit on Pitbull‘s big smash “Give Me Everything”, which went to #1. His latest single is another big anthem featuring Chris Brown, which will likely discourage some listeners from pressing play. However, the guy’s a decent singer and I’m trying to separate the personality from the musician. (I obviously don’t condone what he’s done in his personal life in the last few years.) I’ve listened to his dance-leaning singles quite a bit like “Turn Up The Music” and “Yeah 3X”, and this one is no exception. It’s big and in-your-face, maybe a tad too harsh-sounding for mainstream radio, but it gets the job done. Brown hasn’t made the top ten on the format since 2011. Let’s see if this one gets the job done. It’s already entered the top 40 despite some fierce competition.

Boys on film.

Boys on film.

BENNY BENASSI featuring GARY GO – “Cinema”
Current Position: #50

Sometimes it takes mere weeks to have hit, sometimes it takes years. The latter statement neatly fits in with this song from Italian DJ Benny Benassi and English singer Gary Go that was originally released in Europe two years ago, yet is just now becoming a hit record at mainstream radio. The highest position it achieved in its initial release was #20 in the United Kingdom, though it made the top 40 in a few other European countries. The song’s sold north of one million copies in the United States as well, but has never made the Hot 100 or the Dance/Club Play Chart. How come? Lackluster radio support, especially at top-40 radio, though it finally seems to be picking up now. By the way, Gary Go‘s 2009 single, “Wonderful”, was a #1 hit on my personal chart. Great tune. The song’s been issued to radio in two forms: the original mix, and a remix done by Skrillex. It’s already built up a good-sized audience given its positioning on the chart, so, don’t be surprised if this one finally becomes the hit it was determined to be for the last twenty-odd months.

"One" more try at Pop success.

“One” more try at Pop success.

AVICII vs. NICKY ROMERO – “I Could Be The One”
Current Position: not listed; just released

Two producers, one track, and neither of them sing on it. Sweden’s Avicii meets Nicky Romero from the Netherlands on this single, which features a Swedish studio singer named Noonie Bao on it. Bao’s been credited as the main vocals on other album by Swedish acts in the past few years, though none of them have hit Stateside. Romero’s never released here either, and Avicii made a minor hit in the States out of “Levels”, the original composition that sampled Etta James‘s “Something’s Got A Hold Of Me” before Flo Rida started rapping all over it in “Good Feeling”. Of course, with that kind of feeling, it went to the top. “One” has already been a top five hit in Finland, Ireland and Sweden and is likely to be the new #1 single in the United Kingdom on this weekend’s chart reveal. Whether that will translate into perhaps a late spring or early summer hit in the U.S. has yet to be seen, but it’s already zipping up the Dance/Club Play survey with an impressive 44-22 leap on the February 16 edition. As the title suggests, it could be the one to break them all here.

Not a hot John Mayer remake.

Not a hot John Mayer remake.

ZEDD featuring FOXES – “Clarity”
Current Position: not listed; below the top 50

Anton Zaslavski is only 23-years-old, but he’s made a name for himself as Zedd, releasing singles for about three years now. He’s also the main producer behind Lady Gaga‘s forthcoming ARTPOP album, due later this year. The Russian-born producer made a minor splash on the mainstream scene last year with “Spectrum”, which featuring a vocal from Matthew Koma, but it quickly faded away despite a #1 placing on the Dance/Club Play chart. (Koma is best known as the boyfriend of pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen.) This new release topped the same chart, but this time, it’s Foxes singing the song, an English dance artist who hasn’t seen any exposure here before. His star is definitely climbing fast; in fact, he co-produced the recent Justin Bieber/Nicki Minaj top ten entry, “Beauty And A Beat”. The song goes for adds on March 5, but is already starting to rise on iTunes and get a little bit of pre-impact play. Look for this one to do the damage that “Spectrum” couldn’t last year.

Are there any other EDM favorites you could see doing well on popular radio and the Billboard Hot 100? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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