Tag Archives: dance

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”.

AFROJACK & CHRIS BROWN – “As Your 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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SINGLE REVIEW: Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”

Pitbull and Christina: in the pink.

Miami-born rapper Pitbull has been in the doghouse lately… at least when it comes to hit singles. After a stellar 2011, including a feature on Jennifer Lopez’s comeback hit “On The Floor” and one of the top-played songs at CHR radio, “Give Me Everything”, the performer has released a few singles to mixed reaction this year.

Just a few months ago, he was riding the charts with “Back In Time” from the soundtrack to Men In Black III, which essentially mutilated a sample of Mickey & Sylvia’s 1957 hit, “Love Is Strange”, into a tune that may as well have been titled “This Song’s Strange.” Given that it was from a movie, the shelf life wasn’t long, and it quickly peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 (ironically, the same peak as “Love Is Strange”) before falling off the face of the Earth. Next to be released was “Get It Started” which featured the she wolf herself, Shakira, but by the end of its chart run, it seemed they were both crying wolf. The “leadoff” single from Global Warming (reduced now to a bonus track on the 16-track deluxe edition), it coughed and sputtered up the CHR airplay chart and settled somewhere in the 30’s before being pulled in favor of his current single, “Don’t Stop The Party”, which may make the top 20 in airplay but that’s about it. That one relies on a sample of Toots and the Maytals’s “Funky Kingston” and it’s more junky than funky.

So, now we come to the fourth release from the rapper’s album entitled “Feel This Moment” with a hook done by, well, I think you already know her name. It’s Godtina Aguilegend, the voice of The Voice, Christina Aguilera. Aguilera is coming off of an underperforming lead single, “Your Body”, with a second single duet in the wings called “Just A Fool” with fellow The Voice judge Blake Shelton. It looks like a master plan for sure to get her back to a solid place on the radio with both a dance single and a ballad, so I guess we’ll have to see if it actually pans out that way in 2013.

The chorus of “Feel This Moment” is probably the highlight of it as Aguilera’s belting isn’t as all-over-the-place as usual and it’s simply just a nice hook. She croons, “One day while the light is glowing/I’ll be in my castle golden/But until the gates are open/I just want to feel this moment.” Now, this is coming from a superstar who once sang about how “it’s so empty living behind these castle walls,” on the chorus of T.I.’s “Castle Walls”. Did something happen in the last two years? It’s not like our fair maiden can judge new talent from the corner room of her ancient estate waiting for Prince Charming to ride upon his stallion and rescue her. They may as well just keep her locked in there. If she can’t restrain her voice, why can’t they just restrain her?

The building drumbeat continues and wait–what is that I hear? Oh lordy, Pitbull has done it again, interpolating the melody from the band a-ha’s international hit from 1985, “Take On Me”. It’s a pleasant piece of 80’s pop that probably isn’t recognizable to a younger generation, but goodness, does it sound odd on this track. I suppose they needed something extra so that the song didn’t sound exactly like a rip-off of “Primadonna” by Marina & The Diamonds, so I’m guessing Pitbull and his team stuck a page of all the #1 songs from the 1980’s on a dartboard, took a swig of his vodka brand, and somehow landed on our Norwegian friends. Who am I kidding? They probably need a little extra cash on the side; those royalties can only go so much. Is it the worst thing in the world? No. Was it necessary? Absolutely not.

The lyrical matter is nothing new: making money, partying, suits, although I suppose this time around, the black suits aren’t comin’. (You might want to go “back in time” if you can’t figure out that one.) Pitbull doesn’t say anything in Spanish until almost 52 seconds into the song, which must be a new record for him, and it’s an “oye mamita” for once. Also, apparently, he’s “undefeated like Zula,” which must mean he’s the cat’s meow, if you know what I mean. Wait, I thought he was a dog. Is he a CatDog now? I’m confused.

It’s certainly not the best work for either performer, but if I heard it pop up on ye olde iPhone or on the radio, I wouldn’t pass it over. It should make a decent impact on the charts before inevitably being a forgotten era for both Pitbull and Christina Aguilera. At least Aguilera has a hit television show to fall back on. Perhaps Pitbull should go into animation. A Spanish version of Chip ‘n Dalé’s Rescue Rangers has a ring to it. –AFS

Purchase “Feel This Moment” on AmazonMP3.

Listen to “Feel This Moment” on YouTube.

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