Change Your Life (Little Mix song)
|"Change Your Life"|
|Single by Little Mix|
|from the album DNA|
|Released||15 February 2013|
|Little Mix singles chronology|
"Change Your Life" is a song by British girl group Little Mix from their debut studio album, DNA (2012). The group co-wrote the track with Ash Howes, and its producers Richard Stannard and Tim Powell. Being the first song Little Mix wrote together as a group, it was inspired by their experiences on the eighth UK series of The X Factor and their fans. The lyrics, according to group member Jade Thirlwall are about feeling better about yourself and making something of your life. It is a harmony-laden, midtempo pop ballad with piano and violin accompaniment, and brief drum and bass breaks.
The song was released by Syco Music on 15 February 2013 as the album's third single. It received mixed reviews from music critics who complimented Little Mix's harmonies but were divided on the empowerment theme with some regarding it as an inferior version of 2012's "Wings". "Change Your Life" charted at number 12 in both Ireland and the UK, and became the group's second top 10 hit in Australia where it peaked at number eight. The accompanying music video shows the band rehearsing and playing a date for their first headlining tour, the DNA Tour. Little Mix promoted the single with televised performances on Children in Need, Dancing on Ice, The Graham Norton Show, This Morning and Comic Relief's Big Chat with Graham Norton. The song has been performed on all five of the group's concert tours, the most recent being the Summer Hits Tour in 2018.
Background and release
Little Mix co-wrote "Change Your Life" with Richard Stannard, Tim Powell and Ash Howes. Stannard was among the first producers to work with the group during their formation on the eighth UK series of The X Factor. It was also the first song Little Mix wrote together as a group; Jade Thirlwall said "I think you can really tell that when you listen to the lyrics... We had just come out of The X Factor, we were thinking about that and thinking about the fans, so it's quite an important one."
The group travelled to Stannard's studio in Brighton for the writing session. Regarding the writing process, Thirlwall recalled, "We hadn't written as a group before so we were very nervous and excited. We sat with [Stannard] and thought of ideas, what kind of sound we wanted because at that point we didn't know anything really." It was important to the group for the track to have a strong and positive message for their fans. They wrote "Change Your Life" with a female narrative in the first verse and a male narrative in the second verse so that the song could relate to both genders.
Little Mix first shared the cover art for "Change Your Life" on Facebook on 12 December 2012. An accompanying lyric video was released on Vevo the following day. Syco Music released it as the third single from the group's debut album DNA in Ireland on 15 February 2013 and then in the UK two days later. It was released as a digital extended play (EP) featuring an edited single mix, instrumental, and remixes by Bimbo Jones and Sonny J Mason.
Composed in 4
4 time and the key of A major, "Change Your Life" is pop ballad with a moderate tempo of 80 beats per minute. The song is constructed in a verse-chorus form, with a bridge before the third chorus. Little Mix's vocal range spans from the note of A3 to E5. The track opens with descending piano arpeggios and a D–A/C♭–E–A chord progression, while the verses have a sequence of D–F♭m–E and mix pop vocals with prominent violin accompaniment and a brief drum and bass break before the chorus.
Both verses feature solos performed by Leigh-Anne Pinnock in a British-accented spoken rap style, Jesy Nelson who uses a soulful alto and vibrato, and Thirlwall who sings the majority of the song's lines. Perrie Edwards adds a high harmony in the second verse, a high note after the bridge, and belts "Take it all" during the harmonised chorus which features kicks and handclaps. The lyrics, according to Thirlwall are about feeling better about yourself and making something of your life. She said, "The song's called 'Change Your Life' and that's what it's about really." Nelson stated that the track is about "not letting people put you down and always believing in yourself".
"Change Your Life" received mixed reviews from music critics. Lewis Corner from Digital Spy gave it four out of five stars and said Little Mix "reaffirm their sisterhood chemistry with pitch-perfect harmonies". Alim Kheraj from the same website wrote that the song's piano riff and chorus are "spectacular and actually do muster feelings of inspiration." John Meagher of the Irish Independent cited "Change Your Life" as a key track from DNA along with "How Ya Doin'?". In The Irish Times, Ailbhe Malone said its hook "will remain in your head for longer than it ought to" and although "not as immediately impactful" as the group's previous singles "Wings" and "DNA", "by the third listen, you'll be trying to copy Jesy's soulful alto."
The Guardian's Sam Wolfson wrote that it "starts off like it's going to be another patronising song about ignoring the haters", but its refrain had "a far better message to send to kids reared by Hannah Montana and told to stay true to themselves, when in fact, if everyone is calling you a prick, sometimes it just means you're a prick." Fiona Shepherd of The Scotsman believed the song "reprises the message of 'Wings' to lesser returns", while Knoxville News Sentinel critic Chuck Campbell said "Change Your Life" is performed with less conviction than "Wings". Dan Stubbs of NME chose "Change Your Life" as the publication's single of the week but said it "comes out on top simply by not being quite as horrible as the others" and commented, "'You're untouchable!' it says, as you look in the mirror and puke."
In January 2013, "Change Your Life" debuted at number 36 on the UK Singles Chart with first-week sales of 9,019 copies. It peaked at number 12 in its third week with sales of 19,999 copies, and spent a total of nine weeks on the chart. The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and has sold over 231,000 units in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company.
The single performed similarly in Ireland where it also peaked at number 12, a week after debuting at number 13. It fared better in Australia where it was used as the theme song for Australian reality television series House Rules, and reached number eight on the ARIA Singles Chart, making it Little Mix's second top-ten hit there. The track was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for selling 140,000 copies. In New Zealand, "Change Your Life" charted at number 29 and received a gold certification from Recorded Music NZ.
—Debbie Dufty, mother of Perrie Edwards, talking to the Shields Gazette about the music video.
On 13 December 2012, the group posted a lyric video of "Change Your Life" on their Vevo account. It was originally speculated that the music video would have visuals reflecting the theme of self-belief and overcoming self-doubt. On 15 January 2013, Jade Thirlwall told Robert Copsey of Digital Spy that the music video will showcase Little Mix's individual personalities, "We always want our videos to be the best we can do," Thirlwall explained. She also revealed that the video will be more mellow and real than the group's previous music videos. "We're just chilling and portraying the song and performing it how it should be; there are no fireworks or backflips, it's just us delivering a great song," Thirlwall added. Little Mix wanted to showcase who they are with the video by centering it more around themselves than in previous music videos. The official music video for "Change Your Life" was set to be released on 18 January 2013, but it premiered on Vevo on 31 January instead. It was filmed in two days. Scenes from the video were filmed at the Rhyl Pavilion Theatre in Rhyl when the group were performing a show there as part of their DNA Tour at the end of January in 2013. A spokesman for the theatre said, "We are very proud to be featured as part of Little Mix's 'Change Your Life' video and feel it's a huge achievement for the Rhyl Pavilion". The video features cameos from Jade Thirlwall's mother, Norma Thirlwall, and Perrie Edwards' mother, Debbie Dufty. Norma Thirlwall said, "After a while, everyone forgot the cameras were there, so it looks really natural". Following a product placement deal brokered by Starcom MediaVest's content division, Liquid Thread, the video also sees the Samsung Galaxy features exclusivity in its technology category. Andrew Wynd, head of media, corporate marketing for Samsung Electronics, opined, "It has been fantastic to be able to seamlessly showcase some of [the Samsung Galaxy's] functionality in the Little Mix video." Rupert Britton, content strategy director for Liquid Thread also commented on the deal:
We are thrilled with the brand integration in the new Little Mix video 'Change Your Life'. It's about aspiring to change your life for the better, and Samsung and the Galaxy camera fit very naturally with this ethos.
The music video for "Change Your Life" shows the backstage environment of the group's first solo tour, the DNA Tour. A reporter from the Daily Mail wrote that the video sees Little Mix "embracing their usually casual but edgy style". Jade Thirlwall is pictured wearing a banana-print top and Perrie Edwards matches her purple hair with a soft blue dress. Other looks include Jesy Nelson sporting a camouflage jacket and Leigh-Anne Pinnock wearing an oversized football shirt. Christopher Hooton of Metro described the group's look in the video as "new seapunk-meets-90s-star". Hooton also mentioned that the music video features the band "goofing around". The group is first pictured sitting around backstage while waiting to have their hair and make-up done. In another scene, Little Mix are filmed on their tour bus. This scene features Jade Thirlwall scribbling in a notebook as the other group members play around, laugh and take pictures of each other sleeping using the Samsung Galaxy. The group then look at the pictures they took together. In a different scene, Perrie Edwards is seen cuddling a puppy. Little Mix are also pictured singing "Change Your Life" to each other in a studio and preparing to go on stage at their Rhyl Pavilion tour date. Other scenes features the group in a dance rehearsal, using funny facial expressions and bonding with their mothers backstage. During the dance rehearsal, the group is seen practising dance moves to their DNA Tour setlist with their tour choreographer and backing dancers. In other scenes, the group is seen playing with their own Little Mix dolls and Thirlwall, sporting blue hair, is wheeled away in a cardboard box. Before going onstage, Leigh-Anne Pinnock is seen smiling as a make-up artist applies her final touches while Thirlwall is pictured applying her own make-up. The group then centre themselves as they show each other support by hugging one another before heading to the stage. After the show, the foursome is seen showing their solidarity by embracing one another again.
Alicia Adejobi from Entertainment Wise wrote that the music video proves that "girl power is well and truly back". Adejobi went on to highlight the scene where the group bonds with their mothers, deeming it the video's most touching segment and particularly reminiscent of the Spice Girls' music video for "Mama" (1997). Kate Lucey of Sugar gave the video a mixed review, "It's a little bit of a let down after the amazingness that was the 'DNA' video, but we'll let it slide, they've been busy." However, Lucey, complimented Jesy Nelson's sass and Perrie Edwards' style in the music video. 4Music opined, "We are slightly frustrated by the simple backstage tour-style video." A reporter from the Daily Mail positively reviewed the music video, "Even though [Little Mix] have had personal setbacks, the band seems as solid as ever [in the video]". The reporter deemed the video as their most personal yet, and praised the group's softer and fun-loving sides in it. The Daily Mail reporter went on to say that the video proves how close the group are and that it manifests that Little Mix are stronger than ever.
Little Mix performed "Change Your Life" for the first time on the BBC's Children in Need telethon on 16 November 2012. Lizzie Cox of Sugar wrote that the performance was mind-blowing. Following Perrie Edwards having her tonsils removed in December 2012 and Jade Thirlwall losing her voice, the group managed to perform the song live on Dancing on Ice on 20 January 2013. Despite their throat problems, Little Mix "whacked out a belter of a performance", according to Kate Lucey of Sugar who labelled the performance "flawless". 4Music positively reviewed the performance, "The girls looked and sounded amazing". The performance also received praise from the group's fans on Twitter. On 31 January 2013, Little Mix appeared on The Graham Norton Show for an interview and a performance of "Change Your Life". Carl Smith from Sugar praised the group's cute look during the performance and Jade Thirlwall's Minnie Mouse-inspired head-piece. On 14 February 2013, Little Mix did an interview and performed the single on ITV's This Morning.
"Change Your Life" is performed as part of the encore during Little Mix's setlist for their 2013 DNA Tour. Before the performance, the group change into their final costume for the setlist. After the performance, Little Mix then thank the crowd for coming, make shoutouts to the audience and thank their band. Shields Gazette who were at the tour's date at the Newcastle City Hall, wrote that the crowd chanted the group's name until they re-appeared for the performance of the song. A writer for newspaper praised the performance, "It was an all-round stunning performance from a band, who are destined to be huge [all over the world]." Lewis Corner of Digital Spy who was at the tour's date at the Hammersmith Apollo, opined, "The girls seemed genuinely humbled by the [crowd's] rapturous response." Corner added, "It's lucky Little Mix seem to enjoy touring so much, because they've got the whole world to travel yet." A journalist for the Express & Star who attended the tour's date at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton deemed the "Change Your Life" performance "powerful". The journalist also mentioned that the crowd were in riotous voice during the performance and further opined, "Little Mix may have been born out of a TV talent show but they are growing into a class act."
- Richard Stannard – production
- Tim Powell – production
- Serban Ghenea – mixing
- John Hanes – mix engineering
- Phil Seaford – mixing assistance
- Tom Coyne – mastering
|1.||"Change Your Life" (Single Mix)||3:21|
|2.||"Change Your Life" (Sonny J Mason Radio Mix)||4:21|
|3.||"Change Your Life" (Bimbo Jones Radio Edit)||2:48|
|4.||"Change Your Life" (Instrumental)||3:20|
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||140,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||7,500*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||231,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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