Anatomy of a Hit: Ben Pearce – What I Might Do

It’s time for the second instalment of my new feature, analysing the highest charting new entry to the UK singles chart top 10 each week.

#7 – Ben Pearce – What I Might Do

It felt to me like this song came from nowhere. Although I have been aware of it since March, when I included it in a Future Hits playlist of international songs I thought could be UK hits if released, I was shocked to see it in the top 20 last week. However, knowing it had risen that far without reappearing on my radar, I fully expected it to move into the top 10 this week. It was a very slow climb, only entering the iTunes top 10 towards the end of the week, but as sales steadily increased it ended up at no. 7 on Sunday’s Official Chart. And overall What I Might Do has been a very slow burner, as it was originally released in summer 2012, so let’s look at how it finally became a hit.

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I believe What I Might Do achieved its success for a number of reasons, rather than one factor being entirely responsible.

  • Although Ben is from Manchester, the track was a hit first in European countries such as Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands, so Brits may have heard it on holiday. More importantly, many of the world’s most influential DJs are Dutch.
  • Radio 1 have got behind the track, with George Egratoudis first mentioning it even earlier than me, back in November 2012. However, it’s surprisingly low on their playlist, only C list at the moment.
  • What I Might Do was released by MTA Records, owned by none other than Chase and Status. A look at the other tracks they’ve released shows this doesn’t guarantee success, but the seal of approval of such influentual producers would surely convince DJs to give it a chance on the dancefloor.
  • The turning point is obvious, however: This month, What I Might Do was featured on a Tesco advert. After a year of awareness gradually building, this opened the gates to a mainstream audience who don’t go clubbing, read blogs or listen to late night radio. They just like a catchy song, and out of its intended context, that’s simply all this is. They got out their phones, and it was soon the most Shazamed track in the UK. A top 10 hit was sure to follow.

Come back next Monday to read my thoughts on the highest new entry in the top 10. Will it be The Vamps (I hope so!), Chase and Status, Dizzee Rascal or maybe even Michael Bublé?

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