How Do I Breathe

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"How Do I Breathe"
Single by Mario
from the album Go
Released May 15, 2007 (US)
August 13, 2007 (UK)
Recorded 2006
Producer(s) Stargate
Mario singles chronology
"How Do I Breathe"
"Crying out for Me"
"How Do I Breathe"
"Crying out for Me"

"How Do I Breathe" is an R&B single by Mario. It is the first single from his third studio album Go. The single was released on May 15, 2007. It was produced by Stargate. On the issue date of July 7, 2007, the single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 91.[1] "How Do I Breathe" also debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 30 on download sales alone, the day before the physical release of the song. It also became Mario's last charting single in the UK. The song also peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The official remix of the song features Fabolous and the second official remix features Cassidy.[2] A rare third one features both artists and switches between beats. The song was co-written by Mario.

Writing and recording[edit]

Mario met Stargate, the producers from Norway. They met when Mario was overseas touring, and they talked about producing. They were up-and-coming at the time. Mario frequently heard their music on the radio and would later say he thought, "Wow, I really like their music. These guys are classic." Mario and Stargate made two songs, which they collaborated on with Ne-Yo, but they did not make the cut. Then they did two more songs, which Mario co-wrote, one of which was "How Do I Breathe". Mario said: "The truth is that I felt like the track already had a story to tell; but that there had to be a certain flow over the record. I had to show some vulnerability, and that is what the record is about. It's about being vulnerable and knowing that you lost something that so essential to your life. I'd say it's about 75% true to life, and the rest is just creative writing."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Mark Edward Nero of says "The track isn't particularly groundbreaking, but it has a simple charm, in a sort of Ne-Yo meets Toni Braxton kind of way".[4]

Aaron Fields of stated: "First single off the album, yet didn't have the success like "Let me love you" did. I remember thinking he was definitely back when I heard this song. I'm not sure why this song didn't get more attention as it is one of the better songs done by him, nevertheless I probably would have picked this for the first single as well. I still bump this one in the car."[5]

Music video[edit]

The video was directed by Melina and premiered on BET's Access Granted on May 23, 2007. One scene where Mario is dressed in a white t-shirt while singing in smoke, is similar to the scene in Kanye West's video "Touch the Sky".[6] After its premiere, "How Do I Breathe" received heavy airplay on BET's music video countdown show 106 & Park. It also appeared at number 87 on BET's Notarized: Top 100 Videos of 2007 countdown.[7]

Variations of "How Do I Breathe"[edit]

After the song was released, there were two different variations that were available. The official version provided by Sony BMG, which was included within the official music video, has different lyrics than the one obtained via a peer-to-peer file sharing network. The specific difference in the lyrics is seen within the bridge of the song near the end.

In the official version, the bridge's lyrics are as follows:[8]

"Ooh, I should've brought my love home, girl.
And baby, I ain't perfect you know.
The grind has got a tight hold.
Girl, come back to me ... Cause girl you made it hard to breathe...
When you're not with me..."

In the other version obtained via a file sharing network, the bridge's lyrics are:[9]

"Ooh, I can't get over you, no.
Baby I don't wanna let go.
Girl, you need to come home.
Back to me ... Cause girl you made it hard to breathe...
When you're not with me..."

The other version obtained over a file sharing network also features a shout out to former NFL running back Shaun Alexander by an untold DJ near the end of the track.[9]

In other media[edit]

On July 16, 2008, Kourtni Lind and Matt Dorame from the US television reality program and dance competition So You Think You Can Dance danced to "How Do I Breathe" as the part of the competition.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "How Do I Breathe" (radio edit)
  2. "How Do I Breathe" (Full Phat remix featuring Rhymefest)

Promo CD:

  1. "How Do I Breathe" (radio edit)
  2. "How Do I Breathe" (instrumental)

How Do I Breathe, Pt. 2:

  1. "How Do I Breathe" (radio edit)
  2. "How Do I Breathe" (Full Phat Remix featuring Rhymefest)
  3. "How Do I Breathe" (Allister Whitehead Remix)
  4. "How Do I Breathe" (video)

CD single

  1. "How Do I Breathe" (radio edit) – 3:38
  2. "How Do I Breathe" (instrumental) – 3:38
  3. "How Do I Breathe" (call out hook) – 0:10


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[10] 33
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 49
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 45
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 17[14]
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 61
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 21
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 46
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[18] 18
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[19] 61


External links[edit]