How Ya Doin'?

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Not to be confused with Hi, How Ya Doin'? or How R U Doin?.
"How Ya Doin'?"
Single by Little Mix featuring Missy Elliott
from the album DNA
Released 17 April 2013 (2013-04-17)
Format Digital download
Recorded
Genre
Length 3:13 (album version)
3:31 (single version)
Label Syco
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Future Cut
Little Mix singles chronology
  • "How Ya Doin'?"
  • (2013)
Missy Elliott singles chronology
  • "How Ya Doin'?"
  • (2013)

"How Ya Doin'?" is a song by British girl group Little Mix, featuring American rapper Missy Elliott. It was released on 17 April 2013 as the fourth and final single from Little Mix's debut studio album, DNA (2012).[1][2] The song's chorus is taken from Curiosity Killed the Cat's 1989 single "Name and Number".[3] The song's bassline and beat are sampled from The Whatnauts 1981 single "Help Is on the Way"[4] (both songs were sampled earlier on De La Soul's 1991 song "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey).")

Background[edit]

After becoming the first group to win The X Factor in 2011, and achieving their first UK number-one single with "Cannonball",[5] the group began recording "How Ya Doin'?" with producers Future Cut.[6] The recording of the song took place when Little Mix were on The X Factor Tour in the United Kingdom.[7] It was recorded at The Sample Factory in London, England.[6] In a January 2012 interview with the Daily Mirror, Perrie Edwards quipped, "We're going a bit urban, old school with a bit of pop. We wanna bring back old school harmonies. And Jesy beat-boxes and Leigh-Anne raps, so we're trying out different things."[8] Little Mix co-wrote "How Ya Doin'?" with Shaznay Lewis from British-Canadian girl group All Saints and the song's producers Future Cut.[6] It samples The Whatnauts' "Help Is on the Way" (1981) and Curiosity Killed the Cat's "Name and Number" (1989).[6] The song was mixed by Phil Tan the Ninja Beat Club in Atlanta, United States.[6] Its instrumentation was helmed by Future Cut, Jacob Quistgaard and Michael Hamilton, and Tom Coyne provided the track's mastering.[6] British rapper Slick Rick was originally enlisted to feature on the song, but pulled out before the release of DNA.[9]

Release[edit]

Following the release of the third single from DNA, "Change Your Life",

"Having Missy Elliott on our track literally means everything to us. She's been my idol since I was little, I literally adore her, and every single interview that would ask who's your dream collaboration to work with, I'd always say Missy Elliott. We've all wanted to work with her, she's just a legend. And something you dream of, that you never think is going to happen, and then when it did, I cried my eyes out, we were just in shock. To actually just hear her and see her and then when we first heard the rap, I cried."

Jesy Nelson talking to Joanne Dorken of MTV News UK about the group's collaboration with Missy Elliott on the song.[10]

Little Mix aspired to release "How Ya Doin'?" as the album's fourth single, but with a different marketing strategy to that of the previous single's release.[11] In an interview with Robert Copsey of Digital Spy, Jade Thirlwall mentioned, "It was tricky with 'Change Your Life' because a lot of fans already had it from the album, it's hard to push songs that have been available to buy for months already, whereas 'How Ya Doin'?' is a bit different."[11] The group were keen on the track featuring a guest appearance from another recording artist.[12] Jesy Nelson told Jocelyn Vena of MTV News, "We just wanted to change it up a little bit and make it more funky and, yeah, just give something a little bit different."[13] She added, "And plus we've never had a feature on any of our [singles]."[13] An opportunity to have American rapper Missy Elliott feature on "How Ya Doin'?" then arose, which Little Mix pushed for.[12] Speaking to Clemmie Moodie of the Daily Mirror, Nelson said, "As soon as we thought there might be a chance [Missy Elliott would] appear on the track we did literally everything we could to make sure it happened."[12] A collaboration between the group and Elliott was then arranged by Little Mix's A&R team.[14] Despite featuring on the group's song, Elliott never met up with Little Mix for the collaboration.[15] Instead, the rapper recorded and co-wrote her verse in the United States in 2013.[15] Elliott is considered an idol for Little Mix and her feature on the song was met with shock and disbelief from the group.[12] Media outlets were also surprised by the feature,[16] some noting Elliott's support of Misha B, Little Mix's fellow contestant, during their season on The X Factor, as reasoning.[12] "How Ya Doin'?" was chosen as a single to sonically depict the group's old school music roots, who they were inspired by and a change in sound from their previous singles.[13] Little Mix consider the song as "a brilliant single [that] makes you want to dance."[17]

The single version of "How Ya Doin'?" premiered on Capital FM on 27 March 2013.[18] Following the premiere, the version was met with universal praise from the group's fans who took to Twitter, deeming the song as "perfection".[19] The single's digital release date was pushed back and brought forward on numerous occasions. Of which included proposed dates of 14 April,[20] 17 April,[21] 5 May,[22] and 6 May.[21] It was, however, released on 15 April instead.[23]

Critical reception[edit]

A 19 second sample of Little Mix's "How Ya Doin'?", featuring its chorus.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Digital Spy's Robert Copsey awarded "How Ya Doin'?" four out of five stars, opining that Little Mix "have finally [settled] into their groove".[24] Copsey added, "And what better way to lead the pack than by sampling a De La Soul track and bagging a guest spot from legend of the field Missy Elliott for their latest effort?"[24] The song received three out of five stars from Amy Sciaretto of PopCrush, who wrote, "It's not as saccharine or as safe as their former fellow 'X Factor' alums One Direction, but then again, Little Mix aren't looking to satiate really young teenagers with their tracks."[25] Sciaretto went on to say, "There's more 'oomph' and bumping and grinding that takes place in their songs, since they are reaching out to an older audience."[25] She deemed the group's harmonies "flawless" and their vocal performance a better one than their girl group contemporary, the Spice Girls.[25] Sciaretto felt that Little Mix and Missy Elliott balance each other out on the song and concluded, "The track has its heels planted in several decades, but thankfully, the ladies and their voices keep tight control over the song so it doesn't drift and become unlistenable."[25] 4Music's Louisa Walker called the song "catchy" and praised its "infectious" chrorus.[26] Entertainment Wise's Alicia Adejobi positively reviewed the track, describing it as "edgy" and "catchy".[27] Adejobi also called the collaboration with Elliott, "the perfect boost [Little Mix] need to get noticed".[27] A writer for Redbrick felt that "How Ya Doin'?" was a highlight on DNA and "one of the most creative lovesongs that have been released recently."[28] Jon Hornbuckle of So So Gay deemed the song as "a sassy and funky number", adding, "With a 2012 Spice Girls album-track vibe throughout, it will make this a favourite for any girl group enthusiast."[29] Nicky Diaz from The Miami Hurricane and John Meagher of the Irish Independent listed "How Ya Doin'?" as highlights on DNA.[30][31] Fiona Shepherd from The Scotsman described the song as "a bright, bouncy pop number which suits [Little Mix's] DayGlo image".[32] Shepherd also praised the track's "infectious b-girl flavour" and "lyrical kiss-off".[32] Kate Lucey of Sugar deemed "How Ya Doin'?" as "a big track" and "awesome 'getting-ready-to-go-out' music".[33] Vicky Newman from the Shields Gazette praised the group's harmonies and the funk feel on the track, and highlighted it as a favourite on DNA and as a song "you can't help but tap your feet to".[34]

Popdust's Andrew Unterberger awarded the song four out of five stars, deeming its sample "an impressive loop" and a "good fit" for the group.[35] Unterberger went on to praise Future Cut's production on the song, writing, "Future Cut gives it enough of a modern pop sheen to keep it from feeling too recycled - even the goofy scratch effects feel appropriate". Unterberger also complimented Elliott's verse, calling it "a nice little 90's throwback," but felt that the song's lyrics were outdated.[35] Jamie Fullerton from NME negatively reviewed the track, describing it as "Jamiroquai fronting the house band on Britain's Got Talent".[36] Fullerton opined that Missy Elliott's rap was the song's main problem, and that "How Ya Doin'?" is an inferior version of Elliott's "Beep Me 911".[36]

Chart performance[edit]

"How Ya Doin'?" debuted at number 57 on the UK Singles Chart on 20 April 2013, before ascending 24 positions to number 23 the week after.[37] In its third week on the chart, the song climbed seven places to its peak of number 16,[38] marking Little Mix's fifth consecutive top 20 hit in the United Kingdom.[39] It charted for a total of seven weeks.[39] "How Ya Doin'?" has sold a total of 110,000 copies in the UK. The single debuted at number 55 on the Irish Singles Chart on 11 April 2013.[40] It then climbed 27 places in its third week on the chart to peak at number 26.[41] Consequently, "How Ya Doin'?" became Little Mix's first single to miss the top 20 in Ireland, but spent a total of seven weeks on the chart.[42] The single peaked at number 16 on the Scottish Singles Chart on 11 May 2013,[43] marking the group's fifth consecutive top 20 hit in Scotland.[44]

"How Ya Doin'?" was Little Mix's first single to chart in the Netherlands when it entered the Dutch Singles Chart at number 91 on 27 April 2013.[45] The song became the group's most successful single in France to-date, when it debuted and peaked at number 66 on the French Singles Chart on 4 May 2013.[46] It charted for a total of three weeks.[46] On 19 May 2013, "How Ya Doin'?" debuted at number 33 on the Australian Singles Chart.[47] After two weeks of fluctuation on the chart, it peaked at number 29 on the chart issued for 9 June 2013.[47] The song debuted and peaked at number 33 on the Hungarian Airplay Chart on 26 May 2013.[48] In Belgium, the song reached number 32 on the Ultratip chart in Flanders.[49] "How Ya Doin'?" marked Little Mix's second chart appearance in the Czech Republic when it reached number 92 on the Czech Airplay Chart during the 19th week of 2013.[50][51] On June 20, 2013, the song peaked at number 3 on Hungarian charts, making it the group's most successful single on that chart to date.[48]

Live performances[edit]

Little Mix performed the "How Ya Doin'?" on the Chatty Man show on 3 May, and on Sunday Brunch on 5 May 2013. On 9 May 2013, they performed the song on Daybreak. They also sang the song on their MTV Live session, and on French television programme, Le Grand Journal.

Music video[edit]

Directed by Carly Cussen, the shoot was set in East London in early March 2013. Little Mix released a few teasers of the video and did a countdown for the release date. They described the video as "really colourful, really old school" with "a lot of dancing". The video was posted on April 4, 2013 on their official VEVO account. It shows the girls in different colourful sets and clothes while dancing and singing to the song. Missy Elliott is later shown in an orange outfit studded with diamonds while performing her rap verses via a telephone before teasingly cutting the phone's cord.[52]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording and mixing
  • Recorded at The Sample Factory, London, England; mixed at Ninja Beat Club, Atlanta, United States.
Sampling
  • Contains elements from the composition "Help Is on the Way", written by James Carter.
  • Contains elements from the composition "Name and Number", written by Julian Brookhouse, Miguel Drummond, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot and Nicholas Thorp
Personnel
  • Songwriting – Darren Lewis, Iyiola Babalola, Shaznay Lewis, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, James Carter, Glenn Skinner, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot, Nicholas Thorp, Julian Brookhouse, Miguel Drummond, Missy Elliott
  • Production – Future Cut
  • Guitars – Darren Lewis, Jacob Quistgaard
  • Bass – Michael Hamilton
  • Keys – Darren Lewis
  • Drums – Iyola Babalola
  • Other instrumentation – Darren Lewis
  • Mixing – Phil Tan
  • Mastering – Tom Coyne

Credits adapted from the liner notes of "DNA," Sony Music Entertainment, UK.[6]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United Kingdom 27 March 2013[56] Radio airplay Syco Music
17 April 2013[1] Digital download

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Corcoran, Caroline (March 21, 2013). "Little Mix have teamed up with Missy Elliott on their next single, 'It's incredible!' says Jesy". 3am & Mirror Online. mirror.co.uk. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Little Mix, Missy Elliott team up in eye-straining How Ya Doin' video". Metro (Associated Newspapers). 4 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Little Mix's How Ya Doin'? sample of The Whatnauts's Help Is on the Way". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  5. ^ Betiku, Fehintola (17 July 2012). "Little Mix take their parents along as they get stuck into promotion for new single Wings". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Archived from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
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  42. ^ Peak positions in Ireland:
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