Sittin' Up in My Room

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"Sittin' Up in My Room"
Single by Brandy
from the album Waiting to Exhale
Released December 12, 1995
Format
Recorded 1995
Genre
Length 4:52 (album version)
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Producer(s) Babyface
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Brandy singles chronology
"Brokenhearted"
(1995)
"Sittin' Up in My Room"
(1996)
"Missing You"
(1996)

"Sittin' Up in My Room" is a song by American recording artist Brandy Norwood. It was written and produced by Babyface and recorded by Norwood for the soundtrack of the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. The track was one out of five singles the album spawned and reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Norwood's most successful single on that particular chart up to that point. It is of note that the characteristic bass intro is a replica of the famous riff performed by bassist Larry Graham, of Sly and the Family Stone, on their hit "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".[1]

"Sittin' Up in My Room" was performed on several television and award show ceremonies, such as Late Show with David Letterman, the 23rd Annual American Music Awards, the 1996 Soul Train Awards and the 39th Annual Grammy Awards. A music video was also filmed, depicting Brandy keeping herself penned up in a retro, brightly-colored room after her friend tells her that her love interest is joining the party downstairs. Actor Donald Faison appears as her love interest in the video, directed by Hype Williams. It was nominated for Best Song from a Movie and Best Video from a Film at the 1996 MTV Awards.

Background and recording[edit]

"Sittin' Up in My Room" was written and produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.[2] Edmonds also helmed the drum programming, synthesizer, and wurlitzer sounds, while Michael Thompson played the guitar.[2] "Bassy" Bob Brockmann mixed the track; recording was overseen by Brad Gilderman.[2] The record was from a number of songs Edmonds specifically penned for the soundtrack of Forest Whitaker's 1995 romantic drama film Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett.[3] Musically, songs from fellow R&B singer Aaliyah's debut album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number (1994) served as an inspiration while starting the song idea for "Sittin' Up in My Room".[3] Edmonds finished most of the demo on his Los Angeles house, before Norwood came over for recording.[3] Commenting on the recording process, Norwood later elaborated: “I was going crazy with my vocal runs because I really wanted to impress Babyface. I knew how to pull back, but it was one of those things where I thought, ‘This is my chance!’ I always wanted to work with Babyface going back to ["Tender Lover"] [...] Actually, he was the most legendary producer that I had worked with to that point. So when I was recording ‘Sittin’ Up In My Room,’ I was thinking, ‘This is my chance to show Babyface that I could sing!’ But he was like, ‘You don’t have to do all of that. Just sing, baby. Just keep your vocals simple.’”[4]

Reception[edit]

Cheo Hodari Coker from the Los Angeles Times praised Babyface for his production on the song, stating "Babyface's funky-but-restrained background track is the real star of this jam. Using a pleasant mixture of plunking bass and synthesizer chords, [the song] proves that he has a grabbag of styles at his disposal."[5] Craig Lytle from Allmusic wrote that "with a Sly Stone twist, Babyface concocts a laid-back funk groove for "Sittin' up in My Room," which features the humble vocals of Brandy. Though the song does not allow her to unwind with her higher notes, it does, however, reveal her lower octaves."[6] In 2014, Complex magazine ranked the single 39th on its list of the 50 R&B Songs of the 1990s.[7]

Released as the second single from the soundtrack, "Sittin' Up in My Room" debuted at number forty-six and number thirteen, on the Hot 100 Singles chart and Hot R&B Singles chart, the issue date of December 30, 1995, respectively.[8][9] The single reached the number two on the Hot R&B Singles chart, the issue of February 17, 1996 and stayed there three consecutive weeks.[10] It also peaked at number two on the Hot 100 Singles chart (kept from the top spot by Mariah Carey's One Sweet Day), staying on the chart for a total of thirty-three weeks.[11] The single earned a platinum award by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on May 23, 1996, with 1,000,000 copies sold.[12][13][14]

Music video[edit]

Waiting to Exhale actor Faison appears in the video.[15]

The music video for "Sittin' Up in My Room" was directed by Hype Williams. Norwood declared filming as "fun" as she had a "great relationship" with Williams at that time, having previously worked with him on the videos for the Hip–Hop Remix of "I Wanna Be Down" and her second single "Baby".[15] Actor Donald Faison appears in the video; Faison played the son of Loretta Devine's character Gloria in Waiting to Exhale.[15] Commenting on the result, Norwood remarked: "It was a a great video, dance and everything. It was dope.”[15]

Track listings[edit]

US CD single #1 and Japanese mini CD
  1. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (album version) – 4:52
  2. "My Love, Sweet Love" (performed by Patti LaBelle) – 4:21
US CD single #2
  1. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (Doug Rasheed remix) – 3:53
  2. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (album version) – 4:52
US maxi single
  1. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (Doug Rasheed remix)
  2. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (Doug Rasheed hip hop remix) (ft. LL Cool J)
  3. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (Doug Rasheed instrumental)
  4. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (Doug Rasheed hip hop instrumental)
  5. "Sittin' Up in My Room" (album version)

Charts[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

In 1997, jazz fusion/contemporary jazz group Pieces of a Dream offered their take on the album Pieces.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bass Player Magazine, January 2000. Bassplayer.com. Accessed on 2009-02-23.
  2. ^ a b c Waiting to Exhale (Media notes). Various Artists. Arista Records. 1995. 
  3. ^ a b c Gentles, Gary (2010-05-05). "Babyface: Breaking Down The Hits". Singersroom. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Full Clip: Brandy Breaks Down Her Entire Catalogue Feat. Babyface, Monica, Timbaland, Kanye West, Diddy & More". Vibe. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  5. ^ Cheo Hodari Coker (February 4, 1996). "Pop Music: Simply Singles - No Waiting for 'Exhale' Follow-Ups". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ Craig Lytle. "Waiting to Exhale Soundtrack: allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ Werthman, Christine. "The 100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Complex. Rich Antoniello, CEO. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart listing for the week of January 13, 1996. Billboard. January 13, 1996. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart listing for the week of January 13, 1996. Billboard. January 13, 1996. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart listing for the week of March 2, 1996. Billboard. March 2, 1996. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart listing for the week of March 16, 1996". Billboard. March 16, 1996. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  12. ^ Best-selling Records of 1996. Billboard. January 18, 1997. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  13. ^ ""Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" single RIAA certification awards". The Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  14. ^ ""Sittin' Up In My Room" single RIAA certification awards". The Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c d Josephs, Brian (2012-08-21). "Brandy Tells All: The Stories Behind Her Classic Records". Complex. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  16. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Brandy – Sittin' Up in My Room". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Brandy – Sittin' Up in My Room". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  18. ^ "Brandy: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  19. ^ "Brandy Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Brandy. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  20. ^ "Brandy Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Brandy. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  21. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  22. ^ "American single certifications – Brandy – Sittin%27 Up in My Room". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  23. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard (BPI Communications Inc.) 109 (3): 61. January 18, 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Pieces overview". Allmusic.com. 

External links[edit]