Level Up (Ciara song)

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"Level Up"
Ciara - Level Up single cover.png
Single by Ciara
from the album Beauty Marks
ReleasedJuly 18, 2018 (2018-07-18)
Length3:24
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)J.R. Rotem
Ciara singles chronology
"Get Up"
(2016)
"Level Up"
(2018)
"Freak Me"
(2018)

"Level Up" is a song by American singer Ciara released on July 18, 2018 by Beauty Marks Entertainment, as part of a new recording deal with Warner Bros. Records.

Influenced by the Jersey club variety of electronic dance music,[2] the song was written by Ciara, J.R. Rotem, Theron Thomas, Telly Brown, Jr. and Theron Feemster, with production by J.R. Rotem and Nas Luke. It also sample's DJ Telly Tellz's 2017 viral hit "Fuck It Up Challenge".[3] It arrived alongside a high octane music video directed, choreographed and featuring New Zealand dancer Parris Goebel, who appears alongside fellow New Zealanders ReQuest Dance Crew.

Reception to the music video was positive, with "Level Up" becoming the number one trending video on YouTube and spawning the Level Up Challenge, featuring fans and celebrities recording their own version of the video's choreography. The official remix for "Level Up" was released a week later featuring additional vocals from Missy Elliott and Fatman Scoop. Chartwise, "Level Up" peaked within the upper half of the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the United States, top forty in Hungary and top sixty on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Composition[edit]

"Level Up" is a song about empowerment and growth.[3] The song's title directly references Ciara's controversial #LevelUp marriage tweet, which some felt blamed women for being single.[4] She later cleared up the message, explaining that she wanted to empower women as she felt her "lowest moment" as a solo parent before learning to love herself.[5][6] Some critics also believed parts of the song were aimed at ex-fiance, American rapper Future.[7]

Promotion[edit]

In promotion of the single, fans initiated the "Level Up Challenge", which generated hundreds of thousands of responses on social media. The challenge consisted of fans mimicking the choreography performed in the accompanying music video. Ciara added onto the challenge by encouraging fans to share three ways in which they want to "level up" or better themselves. Fans and celebrities alike participated in the challenge, including Chris Pratt, Kelly Clarkson, Serena Williams, Macklemore, Janelle Monae, Missy Elliott, Jennifer Hudson, and Ciara's husband, Russell Wilson.[8] Ciara also performed the song as a part of her set list as an opening act for singer, Bruno Mars' 24K Magic World Tour (2018).

Remix[edit]

On July 26, 2018, Ciara premiered the song's official remix, featuring Missy Elliott and Fatman Scoop. The three of them previously worked together on Elliott's single "Lose Control".[9]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, "Level Up" debuted at 77 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on July 31, 2018, for the chart week dated August 4, 2018; it ascended to number 59 the following week.[10] It debuted at number 10 on the US Digital Songs chart that same week, becoming Ciara's sixth top-ten hit on the chart.[11]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Level Up" premiered on July 18, 2018.[12] The video, which features the New Zealand dancers of ReQuest Dance Crew, was directed and choreographed by New Zealander Parris Goebel, who also appears as a dancer. The music video was filmed in the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland. Ciara premiered a "Behind the Scenes" video through Trace Me on August 6, 2018.[13]

The dance-centric clip opens with the words: "Be your own boss, love yourself, get up and dance. Level up!". Then Ciara dances while wearing headphones and a black leotard with the words "Level Up", accompanied by the all-female Request Dance Crew, dressed in matching red activewear and Bose headphones.[14]

Live performances[edit]

Ciara has performed the song on the American Music Awards of 2018 and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The song is also performed on Bruno Mars' 24K Magic World Tour, where Ciara serves as an opening act.

Reception[edit]

The music video received a positive critical response. Spin magazine's Israel Daramola opined "Choreographed by dancer Parris Goebel, Ciara and ReQuest put on an electric, mesmerizing performance and make it look easy."[3] Within 24 hours of release, it became the #1 trending video on YouTube.[15]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[16]
  1. "Level Up" – 3:24
  • Digital download – remix[17]
  1. "Level Up" (remix featuring Missy Elliott and Fatman Scoop) – 3:49

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[18]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[19] 34
Belgium Urban (Ultratop Flanders)[20] 27
Hungary (Single Top 40)[21] 36
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[22] 7
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[23] 42
UK Download (Official Charts Company)[24] 79
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 59
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[25] 11

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[26] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BMI - Repertoire Search". repertoire.bmi.com.
  2. ^ http://thesource.com/2018/07/23/ciara-snags-a-hit-with-the-jersey-club-influence-in-level-up/
  3. ^ a b c "Ciara - "Level Up" Video". 18 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Ciara Ticks Off Single Twitter With Instagram Post Urging Women To "Level Up"". Yahoo.com. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ciara Clarifies Her "Level Up" Comment Towards Single Women". Vibe.com. January 22, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Ciara Makes a Comeback With New Single, 'Level Up' – The Source". Thesource.com. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Robidoux, Brandy (July 18, 2018). "Is Ciara Dissing Ex Future In Steamy New Single? See The Scathing Lyrics". Hollywoodlife.com. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Chris Pratt, Kelly Clarkson & More Participate in Ciara's New 'Level Up' Challenge: Watch".
  9. ^ Post, Chantilly (July 26, 2018). "Ciara Grabs Missy Elliott & Fatman Scoop For A "Level Up" Remix". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Ciara Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "Ciara Chart History".
  12. ^ https://www.rap-up.com/2018/07/18/video-ciara-level-up/
  13. ^ "Making The Video: Ciara – 'Level Up'". 6 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Video: Ciara – 'Level Up'".
  15. ^ "Winning! Ciara's 'Level Up' Music Video #1 Trending On YouTube". 19 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Level Up - Single by Ciara on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved Jul 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Level Up (feat. Missy Elliott & Fatman Scoop) [Remix] - Single". iTunes. Retrieved Jul 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Level Up / Ciara TIDAL". listen.tidal.com. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ciara – Level Up" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ciara – Level Up" (in Dutch). Ultratop Urban. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  21. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  22. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  23. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201840 into search. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  25. ^ "Ciara Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Ciara – Level Up". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.