Tag Archives: Get Lucky

CONCERT: Passenger (Acoustic), 8/21/13 – Worcester, MA

Ready, set, "Go".

Ready, set, “Go”.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… okay, make that March and it was right here at my computer. March 21, in fact. It was then that I started writing a post about a performer named Passenger who I had heard a little about, especially because he was doing so well in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. I also really liked his song. So, I wrote for a little bit and finished it and this piece went up just after Midnight on March 22. I didn’t think much after that because I was off to bed and hoping for maybe a few hits on it by the time I woke up.

Around 11:30 the next morning, I noticed two things that were peculiar. Firstly, my link had been tweeted out by someone named Terry McBride and this was awesome in itself even though I wasn’t sure who he was. Then, I found that pulsing orange “You’ve got a new comment” button going off with a response from somebody named Bob Divney, asking if he could use my post in an advertisement. I was confused, but a few Google searches later, it was clear that he was part of The Artist Cooperative, a small agency used for radio promotion and marketing that worked with Nettwerk Records, Passenger‘s label, which McBride is the CEO of, and that’s when a like turned into a love, which turned into some freebies from TAC, which turned into a job interview with Nettwerk Records, which turned into a #1 song on my chart for 12 weeks and now a top 5 followup single. That’s just the short version – I’m not sure you want the long one.

The point of all this is that “Will Passenger “Go” On To The U.S.?” can now be answered with a definitive “yes” – he’s sitting in the top 20 on Hot AC radio and in the top 30 of iTunes and there’s still room for much growth at digital retailers and on AAA and CHR radio. I’d like to think that maybe my article helped out when it was sent on a promotional email, even if it was in the smallest way; it was something that hopefully made up somebody’s mind about adding the song or not. Now, five months to the day that I started with that idea, I finally got the chance to see him perform live at the radio station I work at, and trust me, I was on cloud nine.

After setting up at my weekly event at a dive bar (but not in a West End town), I was back at the station smelling like I just came from the beach. Gross. After a quick wash-up, I found myself in a conversation with Andrew Govatsos, another Cooperative member, and I casually slipped in the whole blog post, which he seemed impressed with. Who wouldn’t? I think I said something to effect of “I’m so thrilled this is all happening,” to which he responded, “You wanna meet him? He’s in there.” All I could say was, “Oh my god, yeah!” There he was, red plaid shirt and blue jean shorts, sitting in one of our studios and extending his hand with a “Hi, I’m Mike, what’s your name?” and I was literally struggling for words. I was so not prepared for this moment. I managed a “So great to meet you! How was the gig in Boston?” to which he replied positively, then we took the picture you see above, and I was out of there for fear that I was bothering him. Also, there might have been an overdramatic faint on the music director’s office floor. Luckily, it wasn’t real but someone was star struck.

Fast forward through the in-between time of waiting for people to show up and getting them settled upstairs. Let’s begin the show! Like most acoustic loft performances, this was a shortened set and started off with “Patient Love”, an album track from All The Little Lights, which saw him plugging away his guitar and sounding just like the record. Then, he said, “this is a new song, tell me what you think,” before going into the line “Like the legend of the Phoenix”, which clicked with me automatically. It’s “Get Lucky”, the Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams song. He sure is clever, kids. This is coming from the same guy who was involved in a medley of “No Diggity” and “Thrift Shop” with Ed Sheeran, so he has some tricks up his sleeve. Good ones too. This seamlessly blended into “Let Her Go”, which was the cue for everyone to take out their cameras because once the hit comes on, you know the flashes come a-rolling. However, it was a passionate performance that everyone quite enjoyed. Lastly came a new song, “Scare Away The Dark”, which saw Passenger in name-check mode, from “hashtags and Twitter” and PSY‘s “Gangnam Style”, this while encouraging that “if we all light up, we can scare away the dark.” This was largely sung away from a microphone, and boy, he can belt and fill up a room. I was majorly impressed. He puts on an awesome show.

The guy’s a sweetheart and seems really humbled by what’s happened thus far with his career. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in meeting him. He’s a superb performer and an even better person to talk to – he’s just a regular guy, but you don’t know that until someone is humanized for you before your very eyes. Also, I just want to say that as he was signing posters away, I mentioned that he couldn’t just drop “Gangnam Style” in a song without making his next medley a mix of PSY and Los Del Rio‘s “Macarena”, to which he said, “Whoa! That’s a great idea!” I don’t think I was alive at that point, but if that’s going to be my new claim to fame, I will take it. “He inspired a mash-up of the two most annoying songs ever!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I did. Potentially. Ultimately, the show was over and everyone went their separate ways – he and his crew to New York City, me down to pack up a sound system in Small Town, Massachusetts and thinking about how my chart was going to look this weekend given what just happened, while not fully comprehending everything at the same time. It was the highest point for me this summer by far.

Call me bizarre, judge me, tease me, etc. for fangirling for the growing list of British singer-songwriters that I enjoy rather than a Britney Spears or Lady Gaga type, but that’s just me being different and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Somebody’s got to be there for them. In a world full of cries of “one-hit wonder”, I’d probably be the first to argue that “Holes” or “Things That Stop You Dreaming” (which I would like to be the followup to “Holes”) could make an impact. It’s all part of the job. I’m genuinely excited about what’s to come for Passenger and Nettwerk Records, even if I wasn’t picked to work there — it was the consideration and the validation that counted, that maybe something could work out regardless of what employer it was. Most of all, I’m just thankful that a new favorite of mine is doing so well and can be appreciated by so many people. I’m not the first fan he ever saw or the last, and someone can probably outdo me in making posters and fan videos, but for one guy in Worcester, MA who wants to help the music industry and move onto greater places, this is a night I’m going to treasure, a thing that won’t stop me dreaming — at least for the time being.

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Just Got Lucky: Pharrell’s On Fire, But For How Long?

I'm not Frontin'...

I’m not Frontin’…

He’s the man with the Midas Touch, it seems; his producing and featured appearances turn to Gold and Platinum records. 40-year-old Pharrell Williams is back on top of the charts with his involvement on two huge summer singles: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, featuring he and T.I. (a Williams co-write and production) and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, where he is a vocalist and co-writer. Understandably, there have been quite a few calls placed to his office for collaborations: he’s featured on new singles by rappers 2 Chainz and Azealia Banks, plus he’s being put to good use on albums by Jay-Z, Justin TimberlakeMayer Hawthorne, Mike Posner and Miley Cyrus, but that list keeps on growing. For a guy who has been in the industry 20+ years, it’s nice to see that he’s a relevant name in the mainstream once again. Yet, it’s all come very fast, and with the radio release of a song he did for Despicable Me 2, “Happy”, he’s bound to be overexposed down the road. How much is too much and how long can Pharrell maintain this sudden momentum? You decide if this is the real thing or just a summer fling.

I guess what gets me most, and maybe a few other analyzers too, is whether this sudden rise in popularity for this jack-of-all-trades is a performer/producer trend or a genre/sound trend, because the former is a little more stable than the latter, but he’s essentially mixed up in both. I’ve noted above that Pharrell is on a number of current and forthcoming projects that will take him through the end of the year should he play his cards right. This is a set of production, vocal and writing credits, so it’s not just focused in one area of the song. Still, his frequent appearances will ultimately get him compared to other acts like Flo RidaPitbull, and will.i.am, providing the “rent-a-rapper” break for an act whose label is trying to secure a hit. I’m personally hoping that he doesn’t get caught up in this area, because there’s a high potential of backlash to follow. Go on any music message board (or listen to any mainstream radio station) and you’ll see the dozens of cries in disgust when a new single by an anonymous performer is serviced with the (featuring so-and-so rapper) tag. This isn’t the case in every song he has out right now, but you just wait. It could happen.

So, he’s getting more work today. However, there is a second argument that both songs that he’s featured on, “Lines” and “Lucky”, are also influenced by variations of 70’s disco, a specific sound belonging to a previous era. “Lines” is a party jam inspired by Marvin Gaye‘s #1 hit “Got To Give It Up” (1977), while a co-write by Nile Rodgers on “Lucky” automatically brings up Chic with songs like “Le Freak” (1978) and “Good Times” (1979). (His own single, “Happy”, is a Motown copycat.) Besides these songs, there are a few other throwback singles making their way up the charts: “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities, for example, is very much rooted in the late 70’s new wave scene and could’ve easily been a Devo song, while “Treasure” by Bruno Mars brings you back to the club, reminiscent of Michael Jackson‘s Off The Wall era. This would reinforce the idea that it’s only a trend given that those two songs are hits at multiple formats. It may only last until the end of the season. It also helps that not everything Pharrell is producing is dated; his current single with 2 Chainz, “Feds Watching”, is just that — sounding like it belongs in 2013, not 1979. Case closed?

Not exactly. It’s going to be at least another few months until we can determine which way popular radio has travelled, at least until “Lines” and “Lucky” finish their chart runs. Remember, these things probably won’t be off the air/out of high rotation until probably September or October. It should be pointed out that although these featured appearances have done wonders for Pharrell, he has only managed one top 40 hit as a main-credited artist, “Frontin'”, which peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 in the later summer of 2003. It featured Jay-Z, and while it was huge at Urban radio, it was only a minor crossover at CHR radio. Let’s be honest, it was out ten years ago; you probably barely remember it if at all. His only solo album to date did moderately well, 2006’s In My Mind, but produced no top 40 singles (though a pair did make the Hot 100.) “Happy”, you little soundtrack single… you don’t really have a bright future, I’m afraid, not that Mr. Williams is scoffing when he’s rolling in plenty of dough.

Regardless of what you think of him, the guy’s come a long way from his first musical number, 1992’s “Rump Shaker” by Wreckx-N-Effect. However, with the kind of exposure he’s getting lately and the unfortunate ageism in the industry, radio and retail may just shake him off sooner rather than later, and that’s not very lucky at all.

Let me know what you think about Pharrell, his musicand his resurgence. Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News

SINGLE PREMIERE: Daft Punk featuring Pharrell – “Get Lucky” (+ Lyrics)

With a little "Luck", it'll be huge.

With a little “Luck”, it’ll be huge.

Download “Get Lucky” on iTunes.

You’ve heard a taste of it in a few commercials; now, the full thing is out. It’s the highly anticipated single by dance and electronic group Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”, featuring a guest vocal from Pharrell Williams. It’s the first release from their new album, Random Access Memories, out May 21 on Columbia Records. The thirteen-track effort features other collaborations with producers Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, as well as other musicians. You’ll be seeing a lot more information about it coming out soon. Listen to the radio edit version of “Get Lucky” here.

“GET LUCKY”
Pharrell, Daft Punk

[Verse 1]
Like the legend of the Phoenix
All ends are beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning, ah
The force from the beginning

[Pre-Chorus x2]
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky (x4)

[Chorus]
We’re up all night to get lucky (x8)
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)

[Verse 2]
The present has no limit
Your gift keeps on giving
What is this I’m feeling
If you wanna leave I’m with it
We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar in our cups to the stars

[Pre-Chorus x2]
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky (x4)

[Chorus x2]
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar in our cups to the stars

[Pre-Chorus – x2]
We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky (x8)

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Filed under Single Reviews