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Charts analysis: The Wombats land first No.1 album

The Wombats pouch their first No.1 album with fifth release Fix Yourself, Not The World debuting atop the list on consumption of 13,812 units (5,997 CDs, 4,984 vinyl, 1,084 cassettes, 356 digital sales and 1,391 sales-equivalent streams). The lowest tally ...

Charts analysis: Encanto soundtrack's We Don't Talk About Bruno ascends to summit

The soundtrack to the Walt Disney studio’s new animated blockbuster Encanto continues to charm audiences, with three of its songs climbing the Top 20, including the new No.1, We Don’t Talk About Bruno, an ensemble piece performed by Adassa, Stephanie Beatriz, Mauro Castillo, Rhezy Feliz, Carolina Gaitan & Diane Guerrero. Climbing two notches to become the first original soundtrack recording to top the singles chart since Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s Shallow (from A Star is Born) in 2018, We Don’t Talk About Bruno is effectively – and ironically, since its entire premise is that he isn’t talked about - a three and a half minute diss of anti-hero Bruno.   The song’s lyrics suggest Bruno has a "seven-foot frame’, ‘rats across his back’ and a somewhat gloomy outlook on life. Negativity can be a very positive thing in the charts, however, and We Don’t Talk About Bruno is the 46th No.1 with ‘don’t’ in its title. Its consumption up 27.11% week-on-week to 45,684 units, ‘Bruno’ is being chased up the charts by fellow Encanto offcuts Surface Pressure (8-5, 29,466 sales) by Jessica Darrow and The Family Madrigal (29-15, 19,621 sales) by Stephanie Beatriz & Olga Merediz. Two more songs from the soundtrack are ‘starred-out’ of the Top 40, these being What Else Can I Do by Diane Guerrero & Stephanie Beatriz (16,633 sales) and Waiting On A Miracle (12,119 sales) by Stephanie Beatriz.  Bruno is the second Disney No.1, following Suspicious Minds, a track from the 2002 film Lillo & Stitch, performed by Gareth Gates, and a double A-side with his Will Young duet The Long & Winding Road. All the above Encanto tracks were written by the multi-talented (singer, songwriter, playwright, producer, director) Lin-Manuel Miranda, who turned 42 on Sunday (January 16), and the driving force behind a number of huge cinema and theatre hits, most notably Hamilton and Moana. Although We Don’t Talk About Bruno will likely emerge as the New Yorker’s most-consumed song in the UK in due course, that honour is current held by How Far I’ll Go, a song that appears twice in the Moana soundtrack and reached No.49 for Alessia Cara and No.55 for Auli’l Cravalho in 2017. Cara’s higher peak nevertheless brought much lower consumption (675,228 units) than Cravalho’s (1,252,427 units). Cravalho’s version ranks 499th in the top tracks of the 2000s, based on OCC sales and streaming data – one of 821 (!) ‘million sellers’.  Bruno’s coronation means that 17-year-old American newcomer Gayle’s debut smash Abcdefu – which ended 28 weeks of UK rule last week – dips to No.2, despite best-yet consumption of 41,780 units. After stalling at No.6 last week, Peru resumes its climb, advancing to No.4 (30,308 sales) for Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran. The rest of the Top 10: Easy On Me (2-3, 35,757 sales) by Adele, Seventeen Going Under (5-6, 27,291 sales) by Sam Fender, Fingers Crossed (4-7, 25,474 sales) by Lauren Spencer-Smith, Overseas (7-8, 25,367 sales) by D-Block Europe, Coming For You (9-9, 23,825 sales) by SwitchOTR feat. A1 & J1 and, starting its third stint in the Top 10, Flowers (11-10, 22,008 sales) by ArrDee. A week after its debut, Sacrifice (10-12, 21,081 sales) departs the Top 10 for The Weeknd. Seventeen-year-old Liverpudlian Hazey’s TikTok-powered Packs And Lotions is this week’s highest new entry, debuting at No.26 (15,479 sales). On the chart every year since his 2004 debut, Kanye West has his first 2022 entry as featured guest on The Game’s Eazy (No.32, 12,608 sales). It is his 65th Top 75 entry, and the 11th for The Game, who has been absent from the chart since 2011. Tick tock… how quickly time passes when tracks lie dormant waiting to go viral on TikTok. Said platform is largely responsible for the belated debuts of Infinity by Jaymes Young, Go by Cat Burns and the re-emergence of Frank Ocean’s Lost this week. Originally released in June 2017 when it was a single from Seattle singer/songwriter Jaymes Young’s debut album Feel Something, Infinity has really taken off on TikTok, with upwards of 4.3m videos using it to date. It has been picking up momentum for 16 weeks, and finally dents the Top 75 this week, debuting at No.50 (7,671 sales), just ahead of August 2020 release, Go (No.53, 7,391 sales), the first chart entry for 21-year-old South London singer/songwriter Cat Burns.  It’s nine years to the week since Lost spent its only previous week on the chart – at No.53. Three weeks ago, it started a steep rise from its previous level of 1,263 sales in a week, partly due to a mushrooming of TikTok videos and partly because it was covered by Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir. Although on ACR, it re-enters the chart at a new peak this week, No.44, on consumption of 8,371 units. In a world without ACR and primary artist caps it would be No.29 (16,602 sales).  Also new to the chart: Is There Someone Else (No.45, 8,302 sales), The Weeknd’s 46th hit, which is allowed to chart because of a big drop off in support for How Do I Make You Love Me, No.22 last week but now ‘starred out’; Won’t Stand Down (No.56, 7,258 sales), the first single from Muse’s upcoming ninth album, their first hit since 2015, and their 31st in all; Hrs And Hrs (No.,60, 6,970 sales), the debut hit for Muni Long; and Iffy (No.75, 5,996 sales), the 64th hit for Chris Brown, and the first from his upcoming (10th) album, Breezy. There are new peaks for Where Are You Now (17-11, 21,619 sales) by Lost Frequencies & Calum Scott, Make Me Feel Good (35-17, 19,026 sales) by Belters Only feat. Jazzy, Down Under (25-19, 18,259 sales) by Luude feat. Colin Hay, The Motto (41-35, 11,751 sales) by Tiesto & Ava Max, Pushin P (40-37, 11,480 sales) by Gunna feat. Future & Young Thug, Money Calling (53-48, 7,810 ales) by Da BeatFreakz x Raye x Russ Millions x WeWantWraiths, To The Moon (66-58, 7,200 sales) by Jnr Choi, When I’m Gone (72-59, 6,988 sales) by Alesso & Katy Perry, and Top 75 returnee Acapulco (77-65, 6,471 sales) by Jason Derulo.  Singles consumption is up 3.18% week-on-week at 23,770,838 units – 14.45% above same week 2021 consumption of 20,769,231 units. Paid-for sales are up 0.23% week-on-week at 326,864 – 23.32% below same week 2021 sales of 426,246. Subscribers can access all the latest charts here.

New For '22: Mimi Webb's blueprint for a modern pop breakthrough

Staking a claim as one of UK pop music’s biggest TikTok success stories, Mimi Webb’s path into the music industry has been anything but conventional. Here, alongside RCA and her management team, the future star traces her journey so far, talks viral success and explains why singing in restaurants is never a bad thing for an aspiring pop sensation... WORDS: Anna Fielding PHOTOS: Frank Fieber Mimi Webb is driving. She’s on her way to work on her debut album, heading from her home in West London to a recording studio in Reading.  “Can you hear me?” she calls out over the noise of traffic. “I’m putting you through the speakers!”  Right now, Webb is spending a lot of time behind the wheel of her car, going to recording sessions, songwriting days and photo shoots. It’s also the place she records many of her TikTok videos, sat in the driver’s seat with her phone on the dashboard. The amount of time Webb currently spends in her car sums up where she is at in her career: her slick pop music is in constant demand, and she needs to be in multiple places one after the other. Webb’s breakthrough shines like a ray of light amidst the gloom of these recent unstable and often dreary years. She’s often dubbed a ‘pandemic pop star’, one who wrote songs throughout lockdown and got her first proper taste of fame via social media before landing in the upper reaches of the charts. Earlier this month, she won third place in the BBC Sound Of 2022 poll, further cementing her success. For Mimi Webb, life is all about moving forward. But today, our conversation begins back in 2019, when the singer was wandering the streets of LA aged 18.  “I thought I was so amazingly cool,” she says. “Walking about in LA, with my sunglasses on, thinking about how I’d just got a record deal.”  She had signed with Epic Records and was in California with her manager Robert Ronaldson to finalise the contract. In 2020, Ronaldson launched Robots + Humans, a label and publishing partnership with Sony Music and Sony Music Publishing, and he is now steering Webb’s career alongside Best Friends Management, home to Billie Eilish. She first met with Ronaldson a year before signing to Epic, after he heard her vocals on a drum and bass track. “I was just singing a topline for a DJ,” she explains. “It was a way of getting my voice out there.”  Then employed by Sony, Ronaldson played Webb’s music to various industry contacts, one of whom was a Californian entertainment lawyer who then passed the song to someone at Epic. Through this web of right place, right person, right time connections, Webb scored a deal with Epic in the US and RCA in the UK. Just before she signed, she had moved back in with her parents after music college. “And then they have this man phoning up saying I was going to Los Angeles because I had a record deal!” she says, her voice swooping upwards through the sentence to emphasise her disbelief. “It was amazing fun, but I knew getting a deal was just the first step, the start of the rollercoaster,” she continues. “I knew I had to ace it. I was thinking, ‘OK, great, but now I need to do the job.’ But I was inspired and very, very eager.”  Her second big break came in 2020. She was out for the night in New York with Charli D’Amelio, the planet’s biggest TikTok star. The two had met through their respective managers. They were out for dinner and there happened to be a piano in the restaurant, so Webb played a song she’d written called Before I Go.  “I’ve always ended up singing in restaurants,” says Webb. “It’s something I’ve been doing for years. Even when I was a little girl, my parents would have me up and singing. I’ve always loved it.”  D’Amelio recorded the performance on her phone and, in April 2020, she posted the video across all of her social media accounts, sharing it with over 130 million people via TikTok. “My favorite song btw,” D’Amelio wrote. “I was able to meet Mimi a couple months ago and I was so fascinated by how she could just sing so well and hearing her song come to life really just makes me so happy.”  “Thank you so much my girl!!” responded Webb. Her gratitude was not misplaced. D’Amelio’s followers were quick to pick up on the recommendation and the song soon went viral.  “It was just a nice video that Charli had done,” says Webb. “And it was so surreal watching the numbers climb higher and higher.”  Webb has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, but says the accounts she follows “are mostlypeople making history videos, I like the ones where you can learn something”.  The videos she posts herself are a mix of professional promotional footage and sweeter, unforced snippets where she does things like play her confessional break-up songs to her parents as they sit in her car. In one, her dad manages to get out the phrase, “I’m so proud of you”, in a whisper, looking very much like a man who doesn’t cry often but is on the verge of tears. Mimi Webb is Amelia Webb to her parents and the family are close. She mentions them frequently and withgreat affection. She also has a tight-knit group of friends who like to follow a big Saturday night out with wholesome walks in the country. Webb grew up in Canterbury in Kent, where one of her music teachers first spotted her talent.  “I was always, always performing,” she says. “I did the band nights and all the musical theatre. Being an artist was always a dream, but it just seemed so impossible.”  Her music teacher prompted a 12-year-old Webb to show off her voice. Webb, who had grown up listening to singers such as Adele and Amy Winehouse, told him she could sing and play the piano at the same time. She sat down and performed Someone Like You. Her astonished teacher called Webb’s parents, asking if they know their daughter had such talent and suggesting that she needed to do something with it. “I think, for my parents, it was interesting to hear that from someone musical,” she says. “They knew I’d always be up on stage at whatever holiday resort we were at, but I think my mum just assumed that all little girls liked to sing.”  It was a conversation that would change the direction of Webb’s life. At 13, she enrolled inThe BRIT School. By 16, she had left home in order to attend Brighton Music College, which is part of the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM).  “It was scary at first,” she says. “But then, being in a musical environment 24/7, I just threw myself into it.”  Before long, she was on the way to becoming a pop star. Her debut single Before I Go, boosted by 6.1 million likes for Charli D’Amelio’s TikTok video, has racked up 34 million plays on Spotify, where Webb has five million monthly listeners. Her first single of 2021, Reasons, was playlisted by BBC Radio 1, while Good Without hit No.8 in the UK singles chart in July, four months after its release. It now has 540,908 sales, according to the Official Charts Company.   “That, for me, was when things really started to kick off,” she says. “I had a single in the Top 10. That was mental to me. And especially as it was one where I felt I’d really started to shape myself as an artist.” Dumb Love, released in June, hit No.12 in the singles chart and has 264,462 sales. Webb’s debut EP, Seven Shades Of Heartbreak cracked the albums Top 10 in November and has sold 14,664 copies so far. But while Webb’s numbers are very much undeniable, the pandemic has added a layer of unreality to her trajectory. When she had a Top 10 single, she had only just played her first show as a signed artist. On June 3 last year, she walked on stage at Oslo in Hackney, East London. The 375-capacity venue was only 12.5% full, so that fans could stay socially distanced in line with restrictions.  “I didn’t mind,” she says. “I was so pleased to be performing and it was really intimate.”  She has, Covid permitting, a much bigger tour lined up for 2022, playing dates across Britain and mainland Europe. Later this year, she has a support slot on the US tour of Canadian star Tate McCrae. Then there’s the small matter of her debut album.  “It’s so exciting,” she says. “It’s been a few weeks of working on it now, and I really like where it’s going.”  The record is, she says “very emotional and very descriptive lyrically, but with proper pop production”.  She’s currently in the studio with Fraser T Smith, known for his work with Adele, Dave, Stormzy, Sam Smith and Kano.  “I want this album to be really, organically, me,” she says. “I’ve changed as a person and as an artist over the last few years. I’ve grown up and the time in lockdown allowed me to really refine what I want to say and how I want to present myself. I’m quite an emotionally open person and I like to think my lyrics reflect that.” The album’s arrival will bring yet another landmark. “I didn’t come into the industry in a traditional way,” she says. “With the pandemic, it was impossible to know what would happen and if it would all work. Every day was about finding my feet. But then it all started to fall into place.”  She’s still driving, and the connection glitches as she hits the countryside. Excited to record, she starts to say how keen she is to get there, before vanishing into a burst of white noise. The connection cuts out. But Mimi Webb is going places, and fast.   Meet The Team David Dollimore, president, RCA: “First and foremost, Mimi’s music is exceptional. She has worked out how to build an audience on TikTok and was busy doing that and teasing songs through lockdown. She really understands her audience, they were screaming along at her shows last year, which is quite mad considering how little she’s actually put out. She’s brilliant.”  Stacey Tang, MD, RCA: “Mimi has a really young fanbase and we’re trying to grow outside of that. The label is very clear about the balance, we may do daytime TV, but that will be in conjunction with TikTok. Because she’s done most of her work so far during lockdowns, people are used to seeing it in 2D, so being able to see her live has been great.”  Robert Winters Ronaldson, founder, Robots + Humans: “It has been super-exciting to see Mimi’s audience grow so much over the last year. She’s mastered how to engage with her fans online and has been writing some incredible new music.” Brandon Goodman, Best Friends Management: “Mimi has grown into an incredible artist in such a short period of time. This year will be all about continuing to tour and promote her Seven Shades Of Heartbreak EP, and, of course, release new music.”   Industry tastemakers salute the class of 2022... Abbie McCarthy, BBC Radio 1/BBC Music Introducing, @AbbieAbbiemac “As soon as I first encountered Mimi Webb’s music I knew she was going to be a superstar! She makes soaring emotional pop bangers that are so relatable and hooky, with a brilliant, slightly husky vocal.  “I gave Mimi her first radio play last summer, quickly got her in to interview on my BBC Music Introducing show and have been supporting her ever since. I also put her forward to play at Radio 1’s virtual Big Weekend, where she was outstanding, and got to show off her voice live. It came as no surprise to also see her geta place on Radio 1’s Brit List and she thoroughly deserved her place on the BBC Sound Of 2022 shortlist.  “Mimi has this amazing connection with her fans, despite breaking during the pandemic, because of the way she has used social media, and I think many artists will now be following her lead. You may have seen the TikTok that went viral of Mimi showing her dad that I had picked up the song on the radio and he is so proud. That was very wholesome content!  “Mimi certainly made an impact in the charts last year and, by the end of 2022, I think she will be a household name, so I’ll always say to her: ‘Don’t forget your day ones!’”

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