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Mr. Saxobeat

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"Mr. Saxobeat"
Photograph of Alexandra Stan posing wearing a black top and fur over her shoulders
Single by Alexandra Stan
from the album Saxobeats
Released 28 January 2011
Format
Studio Maan Studio
Genre
Length 3:15 (Radio Edit)
Label Ego
Songwriter(s)
  • Marcel Prodan
  • Andrei Nemirschi
Producer(s)
  • Prodan
  • Nemirschi
Alexandra Stan singles chronology
"Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)"
(2009)
"Mr. Saxobeat"
(2011)
"Get Back (ASAP)"
(2011)
"Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)"
(2009)
"Mr. Saxobeat"
(2011)
"Get Back (ASAP)"
(2011)

"Mr. Saxobeat" is a song by Romanian singer Alexandra Stan, released on 28 January 2011 by Ego Records as the second single from her debut studio album, Saxobeats (2011). The track was written and produced by Marcel Prodan and Andrei Nemirschi, and was recorded at their Maan Studio. Musically, "Mr. Saxobeat" is a Eurodance and dance-pop song, with its instrumentation consisting of synths, techno beats, saxophone and horn. The lyrics echo the singer's vision of a perfect man; her vocal delivery has been likened to Barbadian singer Rihanna by a music critic.

Reviewers were positive towards the recording, with them praising its catchiness, the saxophone sequences and Stan's voice. "Mr. Saxobeat" received award nominations at the 2011 Romanian Music Awards and Los Premios 40 Principales 2011. Commercially, it became the singer's breakthrough single, reaching the top ten of the charts in more than 20 countries and being awarded various certifications. As of June 2013, the track sold almost one million units worldwide in less than a year.

For promotion, an accompanying music video was shot by Iulian Moga in Buftea, Romania. Uploaded on YouTube on 14 November 2010, it depicts Stan and two friends being arrested, interviewed by the police, put in jail and then escaping from the station. The singer performed the track on multiple occasions, and it was covered by artists such as Selena Gomez & the Scene and Omega. "Mr. Saxobeat" was also featured on television series and on video games Dance Central 3 and Just Dance 4.

Background and composition[edit]

In her youth, Alexandra Stan participated in various music-related contests, including the Mamaia Music Festival in 2009.[3][4] She was discovered by Romanian producers and songwriters Marcel Prodan and Andrei Nemirschi that same year at a karaoke bar in Constanța. They offered her a record deal with their label, Maan Records, and she recorded a promotional single titled "Show Me the Way".[4] The singer rose to fame in Romania with the release of her debut single, "Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)" (2009), which was given heavy radio airplay.[3] "Mr. Saxobeat", her next release, was recorded at the Maan Studios, with the writing and production process handled by Prodan and Nemirschi.[5]

"Mr. Saxobeat" is written in the key of B minor, while its tempo is set at 126 beats per minute. Stan's vocals span from F#3 to D5;[6] Maura Johnston from Village Voice compared her delivery to that of Rihanna "in its weary hoarsines".[1] The song is of the Eurodance and dance-pop genres.[1][2] The instrumentation of the track consists of "twinkly" synths, techno beats, a "ridiculously catchy" saxophone loop,[7] played by Cosmin Basasteanu,[8] and horn.[2] The saxophone prominently features a trill, "a very popular effect in sax house records", with it being digitally chopped to bits. Tris McCall from The Star-Ledger wrote, "The link between the saxophone and sexual expression is a long-standing one [...] Breath is tactile and sensuous, and the explosive sound of a sax in full blast carries with it some of the mad rush of desire."[9] Regarding the saxophone, Stan said when interviewed, "I consider saxophone a very hot and sexy instrument which is also very used in my region."[10] Josh Baines from Vice described the track as a "Balkanized club ballad", further comparing its sound to Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP's "We No Speak Americano" (2010). Billboard called "Mr. Saxobeat" a "one-off mainstream dance single" along with "We No Speak Americano".[11]

During the lyrics, Stan sings, "You make me this, bring me up, bring me down, plays it sweet/Make me move like a freak, Mr. Saxobeat", which Baines wrote was Stan's "vision of the perfect man". He also wrote, "The second verse informs us that he's a 'sexy boy' who can set Stan 'free,' but that he's just as 'shy' as he is 'dirty.' Mr. Saxobeat, so it would seem, contains multitudes."[12] Echoing this thought, Stan stated that "Mr. Saxobeat" was only her vision of the perfect man when on German television ARD.[10]

Reception and accolades[edit]

The song was met with positive reviews by music critics. During a review of Saxobeats, Celeste Rhoads from AllMusic saw "Mr. Saxobeat" as a club sensation along with "Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)" (2009) and "Get Back (ASAP)" (2011).[13] Rodrigo of Yam Magazine wrote, "One day, I heard Mr. Saxobeat by accident and I was instantly hooked. Thanks to its insanely catchy saxophone riffs and Stan's voice, Mr. Saxobeat is a very fun, upbeat song that you can smile and dance to no matter where you are. Plus, the song works like a charm for parties."[14] McCall of The Star-Ledger associated the song with the revival of the saxophone in music.[9] The Hollywood Reporter's Shirley Halperin listed the saxophone sequences in "Mr. Saxobeat" in her list of "12 Awesome Sax Solos".[15] Johnston, writing for Village Voice, said "the way they're employed" sounded like Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" (2009).[1] In his book Stars of 21st Century Dance Pop and EDM: 33 DJs, Producers and Singers ... author James Arena listed it in his "range of sounds that make up the world of the twenty-first century dance music".[16] At the 2011 Romanian Music Awards, "Mr. Saxobeat" won Best Song and was nominated for Best Dance Song.[17][18] The track also received a nomination for Best International Song at the Los Premios 40 Principales 2011.[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

Stan performing "Mr. Saxobeat" on the Austrian Sports Personality of the Year event in 2011 accompanied by saxophonist Cosmin Basasteanu who played the saxophone on the track.[8]

"Mr. Saxobeat" first experienced success in Stan's native country, where it reached number one on the Romanian Top 100 and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks.[20] Subsequently, the single debuted at number 47 on Spain's PROMUSICAE chart, peaking at number three in May 2011[21] and gaining a Gold certification for exceeding sales of 20,000 units.[22] The single further reached number six in France,[23] where it sold 97,000 copies as of 2011.[24] "Mr. Saxobeat" also notably reached number one in Austria,[25] Denmark,[26] Germany,[27] Hungary,[28] Italy,[29] Slovakia[30] and Switzerland,[31] and was awarded various Gold and Platinum certifications. While "Mr. Saxobeat" reached number three on the UK Singles Chart,[32] it became the first Romanian song to top the German Singles Chart since O-Zone's "Dragostea Din Tei" in 2004.[33] The track was that year's second most successful single there behind Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull's "On the Floor",[34] being certified three times Gold.[35]

Outside of Europe, "Mr. Saxobeat" first debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number 72 and peaked at number 25 in that territory.[36][37] The song spent 20 weeks on the chart[37] and was certified Platinum by Music Canada.[38] In the United States, "Mr. Saxobeats" sold 22,000 units in its first week of availability.[39] On 21 July 2011, the song debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 92 and continued rising every week until peaking at number 21.[37][40] It also managed to reach a number of Billboard's component charts, notably reaching number eight on the US Tropical Airplay chart[41] and number 11 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.[42] "Mr. Saxobeat" became the third Romanian song to top the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart[37] after Inna's "Hot" (2008)[43] and Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina's "Stereo Love" (2009).[44] By December 2016, the track was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA);[45] it sold one million digital downloads in the United States as of January 2012.[11]

In Australia, Stan's song reached the ARIA chart at position 32, peaking at number 19.[46] "Mr. Saxobeat" was later certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).[47] "Mr. Saxobeat" also debuted at number 36 in New Zealand in August 2011 and continued rising upon the charts until reaching number four,[48] similarly earning Stan another Gold certification awarded by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).[49] In Asia "Mr. Saxobeat" topped the Israeli Airplay Chart[50] and reached number nine on Lebanon's Lebanese Top 20.[51] In early 2012, the song debuted at the same position on the Japan Hot 100[52] and was later awarded Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).[53] As of June 2013, the track sold almost one million copies worldwide in less than a year.[54] Romanian label MediaPro Music further awarded Stan with a Platinum disc for this achievement.[55]

Music video[edit]

An accompanying music video for "Mr. Saxobeat" was filmed in Buftea, Romania by Iulian Moga on 1 November 2010.[56] The clip was uploaded onto YouTube on 14 November 2010.[57] A behind-the-scenes video was previously aired in November 2010 by Romanian television Music Channel.[58] Los 40 Principales cited the video for "Mr. Saxobeat" as one of Stan's best clips ever.[59] The video begins with scenes of police officers bringing a handcuffed Stan into a room of a police station to interrogate her along with two of her female friends. When she and her friends refuse to give the police any information, they lock them in a jail cell. Stan coaxes and successfully seduces the guard, while her friends steal his police equipment before locking him inside the cell and escaping. The group enters a dressing room where they find police outfits and disguise themselves as officers. They locate the chief's office and hold the police chief and other workers at gun point while duct-taping their mouths and hands to the chief's desk. Stan and her friends exit the office and walk inconspicuously through the front lobby and out of the building. Cut scenes show Stan dancing in her cell or her with her friends in police uniform.[57]

Live performances and covers[edit]

At most of her live performances of the song, the singer was accompanied by saxophonist Basasteanu on stage, which was his idea.[60] Stan performed the song at French event Starfloor 2011,[61] and on German show Ballermann Hits in late 2011; the latter appearance was controversial as the singer accidentally showed parts of her vagina.[62] She went on to perform "Mr. Saxobeat" at the 2011 Eska Music Awards,[63] German music show The Dome[64] and on German television ARD's Morgenmagazin as an acoustic version.[10] It was also included on the setlist of concert tours promoting her debut studio album Saxobeats.[5] Covers of the track were done by Russian singer Lena Katina in an acoustic approach,[65] American band Selena Gomez & the Scene on their We Own the Night Tour (2011–12) in Latin America,[66] and Dominican recording artist Omega,[67] whose version peaked at number 25 on Billboard's Latin Digital Songs component chart.[68]

Usage in media[edit]

"Mr. Saxobeat" was featured on the sixth episode of the first season of American sitcom Suburgatory titled "Charity Case"[69] and in the last episode of the final season of CSI: Miami, named "Habeas Corpse".[70] It was also added to the playlist of Cardinal Burns,[71] and was used for the sixth episode of the first season of Faking It.[72] The track can be further found in Xbox 360 games Dance Central 3 and Just Dance 4.[73][74]

Track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Saxobeats and Urban.ro.[5][56]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[123] Platinum 30,000*
Belgium (BEA)[124] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[125] Platinum 30,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[126] Gold 7,175[126]
France (SNEP) None 97,000[24]
Germany (BVMI)[35] 3× Gold 450,000^
Italy (FIMI)[127] 4× Platinum 120,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[53] Platinum 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[49] Gold 7,500*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[22] Gold 20,000^
Sweden (GLF)[128] 4× Platinum 160,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[129] 2× Platinum 60,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[130] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[45] Platinum 1,000,000[11]
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[131] Gold 50,000^
Summaries
Worldwide None ~1,000,000[54]

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

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Italy[132] 28 January 2011 Digital download Ego
France[76] 14 February 2011 CD single Play On /
Jeff
Denmark[133] 18 February 2011 Digital download Sony
United States[134] 24 February 2011 Ultra
United Kingdom[77] 21 April 2011 AATW
Germany[79][80] 6 May 2011 Digital download Sony
CD single
8 July 2011 CD maxi single
Italy[78] 28 June 2011 CD single Ego
Australia[135] 1 July 2011 Digital download Central Station

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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