Baby I

Last updated

"Baby I"
Cover art for single Baby, I.png
Single by Ariana Grande
from the album Yours Truly
ReleasedJuly 22, 2013 (2013-07-22)
Format Digital download
RecordedBrandon's Way Recording Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length3:17
Label Republic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Babyface
  • Antonio Dixon
Ariana Grande singles chronology
"The Way"
(2013)
"Baby I"
(2013)
"Right There"
(2013)
Music video
"Baby I" on YouTube

"Baby I" is a song recorded by American singer Ariana Grande for her debut studio album Yours Truly (2013). It was written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Antonio Dixon and Patrick "J. Que" Smith and produced by the first two. The song was released by Republic Records on July 22, 2013, as the second single from the album. The song was initially written with the singer Beyoncé in mind, but she rejected it. "Baby I" is a pop and R&B song with drums, horns and a syncopated beat. It also contains an uptempo '90s-inspired beat. Lyrically, the song is about not being able to fully express your feelings towards someone you love. The song was well received by music critics who complimented the song's "throwback" sound while others praised Grande's vocals comparing to the singer Mariah Carey.

Ariana Grande American singer, songwriter and actress

Ariana Grande-Butera is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She began her career in 2008 in the Broadway musical 13, before playing the role of Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious from 2010 to 2013, and in the spinoff Sam & Cat from 2013 to 2014. Grande made her first musical appearance on the soundtrack for Victorious and was signed to Republic Records in 2011 after music executive Monte Lipman came across one of her YouTube videos covering songs.

<i>Yours Truly</i> (Ariana Grande album) 2013 studio album by Ariana Grande

Yours Truly is the debut studio album by American singer and actress Ariana Grande. It was released on September 3, 2013, by Republic Records. Incorporating R&B, Yours Truly was influenced by Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey, amongst Grande's other greatest idols. Grande describes the album's first half as a "throwback" to the R&B music of the 1990s, and the second half being "very unique and very special that I've sort of written" which is completely original. On the album, Grande co-wrote six out of the twelve tracks. Contribution by Harmony Samuels, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Patrick "J. Que" Smith and Victorious co-star Leon Thomas III, as well as others, handling the production on the album. Grande recorded a number of songs on this album over a three-year period. The collaborations are with Big Sean, Mika and Mac Miller, in addition to The Wanted's Nathan Sykes, who features on the song "Almost is Never Enough" which was also included on The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones soundtrack. Occasionally, the album dips into other genres such as adult contemporary music and dance music.

Babyface (musician) American songwriter, singer and record producer

Kenneth Brian Edmonds, known professionally as Babyface, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced over 26 number-one R&B hits throughout his career, and has won 11 Grammy Awards. He was ranked number 20 on NME's 50 Of The Greatest Producers Ever list.

Contents

The song was serviced to contemporary hit radio in the United States on August 8, 2013. Commercially, it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at its peak position of number 21 mainly due to the strong digital sales, 141,000 copies, during its first week of availability, and stayed in the charts for four non-consecutive weeks. The single also earned a top twenty peak on the US Dance Club Songs and charted within the top thirty of the Rhythmic chart. Internationally, the recording placed in number 67 in Australia, 57 in Canada, while reaching number six in Japan and earned a gold certification in the country becoming Grande's first top 10 single in this region. "Baby I" has since been certified Gold by the RIAJ and Platinum by the RIAA.

Contemporary hit radio is a radio format that is common in the United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, and the Philippines, that focuses on playing current and recurrent popular music as determined by the top 40 music charts. There are several subcategories, dominantly focusing on rock, pop, or urban music. Used alone, CHR most often refers to the CHR-pop format. The term contemporary hit radio was coined in the early 1980s by Radio & Records magazine to designate top 40 stations which continued to play hits from all musical genres as pop music splintered into adult contemporary, urban contemporary and other formats

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Dance Club Songs chart is a weekly chart published exclusively by Billboard in the United States. It is a national survey of the songs which are the most popular in nightclubs across the country and is compiled from reports from a national sample of disc jockeys. It was launched as the Disco Action Top 30 chart on August 28, 1976, and became the first chart by Billboard to document the popularity of dance music. Since its inception, several artists have set various records and garnered multiple achievements. In January 2017, Billboard proclaimed Madonna as the most successful artist in the history of the chart, ranking her first in their list of the 100 top all time dance artists and Janet Jackson being the second most successful dance club artist of all-time; Madonna also holds the record for the most number-one songs, with 46. Katy Perry holds the record for having eighteen consecutive number-one songs. Perry's third studio album, Teenage Dream (2010), became the first album in the history of the chart to produce at least seven number-one songs between 2010–12, a record it held solely until Rihanna's eighth studio album Anti also produced seven chart toppers through 2016-17. Rihanna is the only artist to have achieved five number-one songs in a calendar year.

It was accompanied by a music video directed by Ryan Pallotta and filmed in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was released on Vevo channel on September 5, 2013. The video was well received by critics who complimented Grande's styling and the video's concept. According to Grande, she wanted to emulate "the breeziness of early 90s music videos" and cited the style of actor Will Smith and the group TLC as two sources of inspiration. It featured Grande dancing in the streets wearing top and shorts.

Ryan Adam Pallotta is a Canadian music video director.

Will Smith American actor, producer, comedian, rapper and songwriter

Willard Carroll Smith II is an American actor and rapper. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.

TLC (group) American rhythm & blues vocal group

TLC is an American girl group whose original line-up consisted of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas. Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1990, the group was very successful during the 1990s despite numerous spats with the law, each other, and the group's record label and management. They scored nine top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including four number-one singles "Creep", "Waterfalls", "No Scrubs", and "Unpretty". The group also recorded four multi-platinum albums, including CrazySexyCool (1994) which received a diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). TLC also became the first R&B group in history to receive Million certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for FanMail (1999).

Background and release

"I love that. It felt like '90s, Aaliyah, Destiny's Child. I like that it has that throwback feeling to it, and that's when I grew up and it was such a feel-good song to me. And I love what it says. I love it's about loving somebody so much that you just don't know what to say. I think that's really cute. I laughed the first time I heard the lyrics. I like that I get to sing a little more on it ... It's quirky."

— Grande on the song during an interview with MTV [1]

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks and headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

"Baby I" was written by Kenneth Edmonds, commonly known as Babyface, Antonio Dixon and Patrick "J. Que" Smith, while the song's production was handled by the former two. The song was originally written by Babyface for Beyoncé, however, she rejected it. [2] [3] During sessions at Brandon's Way Recording Studios in Los Angeles, Babyface played the song to Grande, she immediately agreed to record the song. Following its recording, the song was mixed by Jaycen Joshua at Larrabee Studios and mastered by Tom Coyne and Aya Marrill at Sterling Sound. "Baby I" was released in the United States in digital download format on July 22, 2013, by Republic Records and was sent to US contemporary hit radios on August 6, 2013, by the same label. [4] [5] In an interview with Complex , Grande stated that it was actually Mac Miller who picked "Baby I" to be the second single from her album. Despite her disbelief in releasing it as the second single, she enjoys the recording, since it is reminiscent of "Dreamgirls". [6]

Patrick "J. Que" Smith American songwriter

Patrick "j.Que" Smith is a Grammy nominated record producer and songwriter. He has contributed to songs from Usher, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Fantasia Barrino, Ciara, Avant, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, The Gospellers, and Omarion.

Beyoncé American singer, songwriter, producer, and actress

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer and dancer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé's theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her first solo album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and earning five Grammy Awards, and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Grande also opined that "Baby I" was more "sophisticated" and "mature" and showed off her musicality and vocals more than her previous hit single "The Way", which was part of what made her excited to release the song. [6] It was released as a bonus track for the Japanese version of Grande's sophomore album My Everything , featuring Japanese musician Taro Hakase. The song features new arrangements in the background instrumental, with Hakaro playing violin during the whole song. [7] This version was the second credits theme for the 2014–2015 anime series GO-GO Tamagotchi!, making it the only song in that series not to be sung in Japanese. [8]

The Way (Ariana Grande song) single by Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller

"The Way" is a song recorded by American singer Ariana Grande, featuring rapper Mac Miller, from Grande's debut studio album Yours Truly (2013). It was written by the song's producer Harmony Samuels, alongside Amber Streeter, Al Sherrod Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Brenda Russell, and Miller. The song's backing track is based on the piano melody from Russell's 1979 song "A Little Bit of Love", and the song has melodic and lyrical similarities to Big Pun's 1998 song "Still Not a Player", which also samples "A Little Bit of Love".

<i>My Everything</i> (Ariana Grande album) 2014 studio album by Ariana Grande

My Everything is the second studio album by American singer and actress Ariana Grande, released on August 25, 2014 by Republic Records. Grande wanted My Everything to sound as "an evolution" from her debut album, Yours Truly (2013); it explores more mature themes and genres. In the album's production, Ariana worked with a host of producers – including Max Martin, Shellback, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, Darkchild, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Zedd, and David Guetta. Upon its release, the album debuted atop the Billboard 200, selling 169,000 copies in its first week. It debuted at number one in Australia and Canada as well, and peaked in the top ten of twenty countries worldwide. As of April 2018, the album has sold 735,000 copies in the United States.

Composition

"Baby I" is an uptempo pop and R&B song [9] [11] that runs for three minutes and seventeen seconds. [4] According to the music sheet published by Sony Music Publishing, "Baby I" is written in the key of Db major and set in a 4
4
time signature
at a moderate tempo of 100 beats per minute. Grande's vocal range spans from the low note D4 to the high note G6. [12] [13] The elements demonstrated on the track are further illustrated by its use of horns, such as trumpet, saxophone and trombone. [13] [14] a syncopated beat. [9] A writer from Rap-Up described the track as a "summertime record" which features Grande's "big vocals" over a "breezy beat". [15] Similarly, MTV's Jenna Rubenstein agreed noting that the track is "set to a syncopated, breezy, summery, R&B-tinged beat." [9] Several critics noted the 90's influences not only in this track, but also in the album. [9] [10]

Lyrically, the song is "a confession on Grande's behalf admitting a special love for someone and how she can't formulate her strong feelings into words." [16] Regarding this matter, Grande said that she could related to the song's lyrics because she is "so awkward and so flustered," especially if it's towards the beginning of a relationship. [1] Also, the composition has a remix of Deep Note from THX. [17]

Critical reception

"Baby I" received generally positive reviews from most music critics. Sam Lansky of the website Idolator opined that Grande succeeded in "meeting the bar where she set it with her debut," while praising her "extraordinary vocal performance" and describing her vocal runs as "nothing short of everything." He also stated, "Comparisons to Mariah Carey are starting to grow tiresome, but truly — who else has a range like that?" [18] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly praised the production of "Baby I" dubbing it as a throwback and felt that the song argued Grande as "the new Mariah". [10] Pitchfork's Andrew Ryce gave a positive review to the song and believed that "Baby I" is "most representative of where Grande is at this stage in her career." Ryce also noted a diversity of characteristics presents in the track, "from its Britney-esque "yeah yeah yeahs" to the punchy horn riffs that somehow melt into a staggered hip-hop verse," and further opined that "Grande's boundless energy means she can power through like no one else", by using her voice as if it was nothing. [14]

Reviewing the album Yours Truly, an editor from Sputnikmusic felt that "Baby I" as well as "The Way" "are the only sections he genuinely enjoyed and revisited countless times." [19] Digital Spy's Lewis Corner commented that "is an infectiously bouncy jam of love-struck jitters." [20] Analysing the album, Gregory Rich of The Michigan Daily thought that "most tracks are of quality composition, lyrically and melodically, but beat usage becomes excessive at times." He also said that "Baby I exploits nearly every beat in existence, resulting in messiness." [21] Writing for MTV, Jenna Hally Rubenstein praised the vocal performance explored in the song comparing to Grande's previous single, according to her, while "The Way" "set the bar pretty high for Ariana", "Baby I," "sets the bar even higher" and referred to the song as "a more than worthy followup." [9]

Commercial performance

In the United States, "Baby I" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 21 [22] for the week marked at August 10, 2013, making it her second top 40 single after "The Way". [23] "Baby I" sold 141,000 digital downloads during its first week of availability, [24] allowing the song to debut at number six on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart, making Grande the only female music artist to debut two songs in the top ten of the Digital Songs chart during the year 2013. [24] Following the release of its music video, "Baby I" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 94, rising to number 60 the following week. [25] On the US Dance Club Songs chart, the song peaked at number 18 after charting for ten weeks. [26] It also reached number 28 on Rhythmic chart. [27] Almost five years after its release, "Baby I" was certified Platinum by the RIAA in March 2018, becoming her fifth solo single to be certified Platinum or above. In Canada, "Baby I" debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at its peak position of number 57 for the week marked at August 10, 2013 following its release. [28] In the United Kingdom, "Baby I" entered the UK R&B Chart at number 26 following the album release. [29] [30] In Australia, "Baby I" debuted at number 67 on August 3, 2013 on the ARIA Charts. [31]

In Japan, "Baby I" also saw commercial success, reaching a peak of number six on the Japan Hot 100 for the issue dated February 22, 2014, while topping the Japan Hot Overseas chart, making it her first top-ten hit in the former. [32] On the Japanese year-end charts of 2014, the song was placed at number 38. [33] It was also certified gold by the RIAJ. [34]

Music video

Grande said that she wanted the video to emulate the "breeziness" of early 1990s music videos released by TLC and Will Smith. Ariana Grande - Baby I (Video Screenshot).png
Grande said that she wanted the video to emulate the "breeziness" of early 1990s music videos released by TLC and Will Smith.

Filming for the song's music video took place July 28–29, 2013. Grande hinted that the video would "travel" back to the 1990s and that there would be "lots of color" and "lots of baggy clothes." [1] A teaser video was posted on Grande's personal YouTube channel September 5, 2013. [36] The official music video was released on September 6, 2013 on her Vevo account. [37] The video surpassed 100 million views on July 13, 2015, making it Grande's seventh Vevo-certified music video. [38] [39] By July 2018, the music video has been viewed over 155 million times on Vevo.

According to Christina Garibaldi from MTV, the video "takes a page straight out of the '90s, from the overalls to the graphic T's and mismatched prints. All they missed were the snap bracelets." Speaking about the video concept to Billboard, Grande said:

It's like a 90's, throwback-type vibe, when I said 'I want it to look like this,' I said like a TLC, Fresh Prince type vibe. I was like, 'Let's just get really silly, 90's amazing outfits, and just go out and dance around and have fun. [40]

The video begins with Grande arriving at a party. For the first verse, the singer is appears accompanied of her friends shutting down the block as she rocks a pair of short shorts and a midriff-baring top which according to Garibaldi, is reminiscent of Mariah Carey's ensemble in the 1995 "Fantasy" video. [41] Halfway through the video, another scene is introduced, with Grande dancing and singing in the streets with a "frilly top and high-waist shorts on." Lucas Villa from AXS noted that Grande dances in a New York City street, [42] she also appears with her dancers singing in a bus. [41] Eventually Grande makes her way back to the house party, which is complete with "inflatable microphones and boom boxes." [41]

Live performances

Grande performing the song during the event Worldwide Day Of Play in 2013. Ariana Grande performs in the World Wide Day of Play 2013 PETER DZUBAY.jpg
Grande performing the song during the event Worldwide Day Of Play in 2013.

Ariana Grande performed the song at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards pre-show in medley with "The Way". She sang only the first verse, chorus and bridge before moving into "The Way". [43] Caitlin White from MTV praised Grande's performance while commented that her "stunning, unstoppable belt proved she could handle the spotlight all on her own." [44] Grande also performed "Baby I" at the 2013 Worldwide Day of Play. [45] In a video published in her YouTube channel, the singer performed an acoustic version of the song accompanied by musician Dan Kanter. [46] The song was also included as part of her headlining tour The Listening Sessions, [47] and during her opening concerts for Justin Bieber's Believe Tour. [48] it also appeared during some shows of her 2015 concert tour The Honeymoon Tour. [49] The song was also included as part of Grande's set list on the Summer Sonic Festival in Chiba, Japan on August 16, 2014. [50] [51]

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from Yours Truly's liner notes. [13]

Recording and management
Personnel

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/Sales
Japan (RIAJ) [34] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [55] Platinum1,000,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngsales+streaming figures based on certification alone

    Radio and release history

    CountryDateFormatLabel
    United StatesJuly 22, 2013 Digital download [4] Republic
    August 6, 2013 Contemporary hit radio [5]

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