Madeon ft Kyan – You’re On
Before the days of ‘Little Monsters’, HypeMachine, and VEVOLift (an impressive rebranding of the term ‘advertising’,) if you wanted to be a popstar you had to pay your dues as a backing singer for a middling chart-friendly act and get your face seen by the right people at record labels. Then, they’d throw a load of cash at you, Radio 1 would stick you straight on their A Playlist and boom: Top of the Pops.
Now to earn your shot at a record deal you have to be writing superhits for other acts (step forward Jessie J,) have one song with a killer hook (hello Meghan Trainor,) or – in the case of Madeon – be producing for a major global star like Lady Gaga. Then there’s all kinds of positioning nonsense to get right, invariably involving ‘buzz’ tracks (yawn) that are designed to curry favour with professional tastemakers, some particularly capricious bloggers and the self-fulfilling prophecy that is the BBC ’Sound of…’ poll.
Madeon falls into the same category as Dev Hynes and MNEK: producer-composers that’ve been going through the motions for some time now, and one of them needs to have a proper hit sooner rather than later if we’re not to lose all interest.
You’re On could’ve been the smash Madeon needs. A pulsating summery semi-banger that tells the mournful story of a man begging to know where he stands, it was released at the wrong time in 2014: i.e. while we were all breaking out our Christmas compilations, liberally applying glitter to every surface, and trying to convince ourselves that we like buttered rum (… euuurgh.) Perhaps because of this poor timing – or, more likely, simply the proliferation of potential popstars fighting for radio real estate in the digital age – this sparkler didn’t make it onto the Radio 1 A-list. In fact, even Capital gave it a wide berth.
Columbia Records really needs to pull its finger out – it’s not too late for a re-release to make this the summer anthem it deserves to be.
Entered chart: did not chart
Who could sing this today and have a hit? Someone get Calvin Harris on the phone.