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What's Your Name (Usher song)

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"What's Your Name"
What's Your Name Usher william.jpg
Single by Usher featuring
from the album Here I Stand
ReleasedAugust 18, 2008
RecordedEthernet Studios (Los Angeles, California), Patchwerk Studios (Atlanta, Georgia), Triangle Sound Studios (Atlanta, Georgia)
Usher singles chronology
"Moving Mountains"
"What's Your Name"
"Here I Stand"
(2008) singles chronology
"One More Chance"
"What's Your Name"
"All My Life (In the Ghetto)"

"What's Your Name" is a song by American recording artist Usher and features Written by Usher, and Ryan Toby and produced by, it was sent to radio on August 18, 2008 as the fourth single from Usher's fifth studio album, Here I Stand, and was later released as a compact disc single and digital download. "What's Your Name" is a mid-tempo electro dance song, and is based on new wave-influenced synth riffs. Usher and performed the song at the 2008 National Football League Kickoff game concert, and it was also used in a Sony Ericsson contest.

The song entered the Australian Singles Chart and the Canadian Hot 100; it peaked at numbers ninety-one and eighty-four, respectively.

Background and release[edit]

"What's Your Name" was written by Usher, and Ryan Toby, while it was produced by and the vocals were produced by Kuk Harrell. The song was recorded by Jeremy Stevenson at Patchwerk Studios and Triangle Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and by and Padraic Kerin at Ethernet Studios, Los Angeles, California. Dylan Dresdow mixed the record at PaperVu Studios, Los Angeles.[1] Usher explained to MTV News that the "lighthearted" song was written for his "younger, up-and-coming fans".[2]

"What's Your Name" was sent to US contemporary hit radio on August 18, 2008, and to US rhythmic contemporary radio on August 25.[3] The song was released as a CD single and music download in Australia and New Zealand on September 13, 2008.[4] it featured "What's Your Name" along with an instrumental version of the track.[5][6][7] Usher and performed the song at the warmup concert for the 2008 National Football League Kickoff game on September 4.[8] Sony Ericsson used "What's Your Name" in a customer competition to meet Usher. Contestants entered by sending videos of themselves singing twenty to sixty seconds of Usher's parts of the song.[9]


"What's Your Name" is a midtempo electro song,[10][11] and bases its melody on thrusting new wave-influenced synths.[12][13] It contains a "whimsical" beat that utilizes sirens and wind instruments.[14] Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune compared the song's synth riff to the music that was popular during the 1980s MTV generation,[15] while John Soeder from The Plain Dealer noted its similarity to British duo the Eurythmics.[16] Usher monotonously repeats the pick-up line hook, "What's your name?",[14] and thereby pays homage to his bachelor history.[13] The song's lyrics describe "the feeling you get when you run into a woman that makes you speak gibberish".[17]


Allmusic's Andy Kellman noted the song as a highlight of Here I Stand, and compared it to "Yeah!" (2004).[13] Chad Grischow from IGN also chose the song as one of the album's best tracks, and called it appropriate for "a windows-down spring car ride".[18] Digital Spy's Nick Levine called the song "rubbery" and danceable and compared it to Timbaland's work.[11] The Washington Post's Serena Kim praised's production and vocal appearance on "What's Your Name".[12] Sara Berry called it "a sleek, edgy dance hit".[19] In his mixed review of the song, Waleed Hafeez from The National wrote, "'What's Your Name', produced by, provides listeners with another club track, albeit an average one".[20] Dan Gennoe from Yahoo! Music called the song "disjointed and ultimately missable", noting that may have lost his Midas touch.[21] A writer for Stuff called "What's Your Name" the worst song from Here I Stand, describing it as "downright awful".[22] "What's Your Name" entered the Canadian Hot 100 at number eighty-four on June 14, 2008, but fell off the chart the following week, and made no reappearance.[23] "What's Your Name" debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number ninety-one on September 22, 2008.[24] The following week it moved to number one hundred, before slipping out of the chart.[25] It peaked at number fifty-one on the Australian Physical Singles Chart and lasted nineteen weeks in the chart.[26]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "What's Your Name" – 3:58
  2. "What's Your Name" (instrumental) – 3:58




  1. ^ a b Here I Stand (CD liner). Usher. LaFace Records. 2008.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Reid, Shaheem; Dotiwala, Jasmine (May 20, 2008). "Usher Recruits Fellow Newlywed Jay-Z For Marriage-Focused Track: '[At] Some Point In Life, You've Got To Grow Up'". MTV News. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "Available for Airplay". FMQB. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Whats Your Name". Sanity Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  5. ^ What's Your Name (CD single). Usher featuring Australia: LaFace Records. 2008.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "What's Your Name". Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  7. ^ "What's Your Name (feat. - Single". iTunes Store (Apple Inc). Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Associated Press (August 30, 2008). "Usher to kick off NFL season with concert". New York: MSNBC. NBCUniversal. Archived from the original on September 10, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "The Sony Ericsson WalkmanTM Phone Usher Contest". Sony Ericsson. Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  10. ^ Abbott, Jim (June 6, 2008). "Usher experiences growing pains". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Levine, Nick. "Usher: 'Here I Stand'". Digital Spy. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Kim, Serena (May 27, 2008). "Usher's Sensuous Storytelling Matures in 'Stand'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. Here I Stand at AllMusic. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Album Preview: Usher – 'Here I Stand'". Rap-Up. May 20, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  15. ^ Kot, Greg (May 29, 2008). "Turn It Up: Usher can't quite get settled down on 'Here I Stand'". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  16. ^ Soeder, John (May 30, 2008). "Usher takes a strong 'Stand' following hit 'Confessions'". The Plain Dealer. Advance Publications. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  17. ^ Cohen, Jonathen (May 17, 2008). "Hot B". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 120 (20): 16. ISSN 0006-2510.
  18. ^ Grischow, Chad (May 30, 2008). "Usher – Here I Stand Review". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  19. ^ Berry, Sara (June 4, 2008). "Former playboy Usher settles down on 'Here I Stand'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  20. ^ Hafeez, Waleed (July 1, 2008). "Here I Stand – Usher (Sony BMG)". The National. Mubadala Development Company. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  21. ^ Gennoe, Dan (June 3, 2008). "Usher – Here I Stand Album Review". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo! UK & Ireland. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  22. ^ "Here I Stand – Usher". Stuff. Fairfax New Zealand. May 20, 2008. Archived from the original on April 20, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  23. ^ "Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. June 24, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  24. ^ "The ARIA Report" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. September 22, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  25. ^ "The ARIA Report" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. October 6, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  26. ^ "The ARIA Report" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. February 2, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2011.