Bounce Back
A British girl group, Little Mix's pop music hasn't quite penetrated the North American markets, but "Bounce Back" just might be the hit they need. (Illustration by Claire Maske, Skidmore College)

‘Bounce Back’: the Hit to Catapult Little Mix to Popularity in the US?

This isn’t a shout out to my ex, but it is a shout out to all the people who haven’t heard Little Mix’s bops.

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Bounce Back
A British girl group, Little Mix's pop music hasn't quite penetrated the North American markets, but "Bounce Back" just might be the hit they need. (Illustration by Claire Maske, Skidmore College)

This isn’t a shout out to my ex, but it is a shout out to all the people who haven’t heard Little Mix’s bops.

Everyone is looking for the anthem of the summer, and Little Mix is not afraid to rise to the occasion. The UK-based girl group prepared mixers (the fans’ name for themselves) to bring the bounce back in June 2019 with the release of a brand-new single. “Bounce Back” is the quartet’s latest release since the debut of their fifth album, “LM5,” which has collaborations with artists such as Nicki Minaj and Sharaya J.

Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards are the four women behind the rising hit. The girl group formed on the British television show “The X-Factor.” Simon Cowell brought the four together after denying them further advancement in the competition as solo artists.

In 2011, Little Mix went down in history as the first group ever to have won “The X-Factor.” The women continued to slay in the music world, recording five albums, topping the Spice Girls’ Billboard record at No. 4 with their debut album “DNA” and winning several international awards.

However, there is one thing Little Mix is struggling with, and that’s crossing over to the United States. In multiple interviews, Little Mix has mentioned their desire to become more popular in North America and how difficult it has been to expand their market since the start of their careers.

The band opened for Ariana Grande during her Dangerous Woman tour in 2017. However, the worldwide tour did little to put a dent in the challenge of making a name for themselves in the United States.

“That’s our main aim: we really want to crack America,” Nelson told the Guardian, “We’re willing to put the work in.”

And “Bounce Back” has the power to change the fate of Little Mix’s emergence in the U.S., making them a household name for pop girl bands to come.

The first few seconds of the song introduces listeners to the nostalgic atmosphere of the ’90s and maintains it well throughout the track. The catchy tune is a whole three minute’s worth of harmonious vocals, triumphant trumpets and a tempo to be reckoned with. Also, the single borrows its chorus from Soul II Soul’s renowned hit, “Back To Life.”

Edwards seemed to be the most excited about the flash from the past. “It’s a bloody classic,” she exclaimed, “And it’s pretty darn good if I do say so myself.”

Actress and songwriter Jude Demorest, who is also known for her contributions to Fifth Harmony, helped craft the song. The “Star” actress dropped one of the first teasers for the single on her Instagram story to inform her audience of her upcoming work with the British girl group.

Nelson told Capital FM that an artist and repertoire representative gave the group “Bounce Back” after playing the track for Little Mix prior to their Brit Awards performance. Nelson said they all fell in love with the song moments after hearing it play.

“It’s such a vibe,” Pinnock said in the interview. “I think it’s like a summer anthem. It was a no-brainer when we heard it.”

Little Mix’s new single hit No. 1 in the UK in its first week and sold 30,000 copies in the United States. In a little over two weeks, the “Bounce Back” music video has reached over 18 million views. The track continues to climb the charts and makes strides as No. 34 on the World Singles Official Top 100.

“Bounce Back” is on the way to claiming its rightful place as the summer jam of 2019. Little Mix has put their best foot forward in their bid to achieve global radio domination from the coast of the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, clear through the heavy rotation of promotions for the tune. Pinnock, Edwards, Nelson and Thirlwall took to social media to promote the single both before and after its release.

The methods of promotion aligned with Drake, following the hysteria of the Kiki challenge. The band embraced the “Bounce Back” challengeencouraging fans to participate in double Dutch fun. While the girl group’s “Bounce Back” marches to the beat of its own drum, this method of promotion could increase the chances for the artists’ crossover.

It is far too soon to tell where this new direction will lead Little Mix; however, “Bounce Back” gives mixers and new listeners a taste of what is to come for the girl group. The track is not only their first song since “LM5” but also the first song under the band’s new record label.

Little Mix was signed into a contract with Syco Music, a label founded by Cowell, for most of their career. But the pop singers opted for a fresh start rather than renewing their terms with the label. Thirlwall, Edwards, Nelson and Pinnock found new wings under the representation of RCA Records.

In a recent interview, Cowell expressed his admiration for the women, confirming that their parting was on good terms. “As I said in my email to them,” he stated, “I stand by the fact they are the hardest working bunch of girls I’ve ever worked with. They deserve everything they’ve got.”

Cowell forgot to mention everything they have yet to receive, including a bigger fanbase in America and more.

Little Mix has peaked in the Billboard 100 charts with singles: “Black Magic” (No. 67), “Shout Out To My Ex” (No. 69) and “Wings” (No. 79). The tracks proved to be some of their more known works across the industry, and they will not be their last.

If the girl group could surmount the difficulties of working underneath a strict label and limitations on their creative control, then they totally have the ability to flourish underneath their new record label.

Yet, they don’t feel pressured to make more music just for the sake of putting it out there. The musical direction is clear and deliberate with “Bounce Back.” The girls were all in agreement about taking a chill approach and making sure they love and are proud of the content they make.

“We’re basically just playing it by ear,” Thirlwall said. “We’re not stressing ourselves out with having to create an album, and we’re not like rushing anything.”

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