Tag Archives: global warming

PROFILE: Danny Mercer Goes From “Nowhere” To The Big Leagues

The dynamic duo of the moment.

The dynamic duo of the moment.

Were you watching the television show Katie recently? You may have noticed a performance on the show by rapper Pitbull and a new singer named Danny Mercer, who performed a track together. It’s a major change in style for the rapper and it’s a major shift in lifestyle for Mercer, a recent college graduate who is now making a huge splash into the world of music. If the song’s a hit, the payoff will be huge, but it helps that Mercer has some major backing already at such a young age. He’s got the chops and the charisma and he’s ready to pop.

Mercer was born Danny Murcia in Bogotá, Colombia and moved to Weston, FL at 6 months with his family. He developed a liking for music at an early age, learning the guitar at age 7 and writing songs by age 14. He joined the class of 2014 at Columbia University in New York City, and that big city adventure led him to an internship at Atlantic Records in the spring of 2011. That role provided him with a few contacts and he sent his demo tapes out, one of which came to Pitbull‘s attention via his manager. After some initial hesitation, Mercer lent his voice to the chorus of the rapper’s song, “Outta Nowhere”, which has now become the fifth single from the rapper’s album Global Warming. It was just announced as a single last week and went to radio this week at the CHR format, picking up 21 adds in total, including commitments in major cities like New York City, Las Vegas, Sacramento and San Francisco. It’s sure to pick up more next week as programmers return from the Memorial Day weekend.

In addition to his single of his, Mercer co-penned two other tracks on Pitbull‘s album Global Warming. He also co-wrote Nicole Scherzinger‘s “Boomerang”, which went to #6 in the United Kingdom in March. Singer Frankie J‘s current top ten hit on Spanish radio, “No Te Quiero Ver Con Él”? He was also involved with that song. According to his Twitter profile, Mercer has also worked Akon, The Wanted and will.i.am, providing him a lot of exposure to a great crop of artists as a newcomer in the industry. There’s more – he’s also signed as a solo artists with Columbia Records, with an EP due late this summer. Like college, like label, I guess. He’s a busy guy, but he’s ready to take over and his perseverance and drive are definitely appreciated.

As a “hook singer” (though he’s only known for one song at this point) with a looming solo career ahead of him, there will surely be an attempt to pigeonhole him into the Bruno Mars or Mikky Ekko category, maybe even a Mike Posner type as he’s coming straight out of college into the industry. However, I’d argue that he’s even more well-rounded than even these hit singers. He can obviously play the piano and sing, but he also has jazz aspirations, having initially wanted to study jazz guitar before choosing to go to New York City. He also has a Latin appeal having written songs in Spanish, which could prove really useful down the line. Plenty of singers like Enrique Iglesias and Shakira have used the technique of recording singles in both English and Spanish versions to great success; who says Mercer can’t be next? He writes R&B music, he writes dance music… and let’s face it, the hook of “Outta Nowhere” sounds sonically like it belongs in a OneRepublic song, so he can easily transition into rock. Dare I say he’s a musical chameleon? It’s clear that the guy can work across the spectrum and get the job done while balancing all he has to do in college. Now that he’s graduated early, he can focus solely on his music without any other distractions.

It will be interesting to see what kind of trajectory happens for Mercer, but with Pitbull to help him out for the ride, the dog-eat-dog world of the biz may as well be muzzled while he’s unleashed on the charts.

Liking the sounds of Danny Mercer so far? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News

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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Filed under Single Reviews