"Bang Bang" is a song recorded as a joint single by English singer Jessie J, American singer Ariana Grande and American rapper Nicki Minaj. The song was released on July 29, 2014 through Lava Records and Republic Records, the label that houses all three artists. The song is the lead single from Jessie J's upcoming third studio albumSweet Talker (2014) and is also on the deluxe version of Grande's second studio album My Everything, which was released on August 25, 2014. Although set to be released on July 29, the song was leaked a few hours earlier before its scheduled premiere.
"Bang Bang" is a pop, R&B, soul and hip hop song backed by "clap-heavy" production, and built over "big bouncy beats and horn blasts." Upon release "Bang Bang" was met with universal acclaim by both audiences and critics who praised Jessie's and Grande's vocals as well as Minaj's rapping. Commercially, the song fared well, debuting at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and so far peaking at number four, making it Jessie's J highest peaking song on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached the top 10 in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Bulgaria. The song will appear in the upcoming video game Just Dance 2015.
Jessie was played a demo of the song, which she decided to record. Following her recording, Martin informed her that Grande wanted to record a verse. Minaj later heard the song and jumped on it. Jessie added that "It was like a real females, come together, empowering, supportive [vibe], and then Nicki jumping on it was like the icing on the cake."
On July 9, 2014, Jessie J uploaded a 15-second snippet of the song on her Instagram profile. On July 23, 2014, another snippet of the song was uploaded to an Instagram profile, this time by Minaj. On July 27, Grande uploaded the third and final snippet on her Instagram account.
Sample of the song, depicting Jessie J hitting the high notes and the chorus
"Bang Bang" is an up-tempo soulful song, that features a "clap-heavy" production, built over "big bouncy beats and horn blasts.". The song is produced in the C minor key, at 75 beats per minute. The song has a run time of three minutes and twenty seconds. As for the chorus, J and Grande take the reins on the vocal duties, bringing in a sample of the classic Wham track "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and plenty of energy.
"Bang Bang" was universally acclaimed by both critics and audiences, Carolyn Menyes from Music Times called the song "[a] Hit of Summer 2014" and thought that "[the] song is going straight to the top of the charts". Zach Frydenlund from Complex praised Jessie J's and Ariana's vocals in the song but concentrated more on Nicki's "catchy verse" stating that "it's Nicki who really steals the show with her verse". Jason Lipshutz from Billboard responded positively to the song saying that the song itself "[is] composed of piercing vocals courtesy of two contemporary crooners, as well as rapid-fire spitting from the hottest female MC on the planet, "Bang Bang" rests tidily upon the Ariana Grande assertion".
Vulture's Lindsey Weber thought the song was "no Lady Marmalade" but praised it saying "it's catchy enough to make a splash". Chris Martins from Spin, stated that the song is "powerful", and credits Minaj for the songs noteworthy energy. "It's What makes the track so big? Well, um, ask Nicki Minaj." He goes on to further praise Minaj's performance on the song, affirming that "The "Anaconda"-taming MC rips a few mics on the loud and proud pop-soul song".
The song debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart at number one with 230,000 digital downloads sold in its first week. This marked the third-largest sales debut for a song in 2014, following Ariana Grande's "Problem" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off". The song debuted on the US BillboardHot 100 at number 6, making it the third highest new entry of 2014 on that chart, also following Grande's "Problem" and Swift's "Shake It Off". The song is Jessie J's second, Grande's fourth and Minaj's tenth top 10 single in the United States, peaking so far at number 4. Internationally, the song has since peaked within the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand and South Korea. It went #1 on UK iTunes in less than 40 minutes upon it's release.
The song's accompanying video was shot over two days in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Hannah Lux Davis. The video was officially previewed and teased in a Beats By Dr. Dre commercial that aired on August 20, 2014. Following the ad's airing, it was announced that the music video would arrive shortly after the trio's performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. On August 24, 2014 the official video was uploaded on MTV's website and was available for international viewing. On August 25, 2014, the video was released via Jessie J's VEVO account.