A little over halfway into 2014, Ariana Grande already has two big hits: Her My Everything lead single “Problem” rose all the way to Number Two on the Hot 100, then the Zedd-featuring follow-up “Break Free” peaked at 15. After a few listens, it seems possible that the new “Bang Bang,” featuring Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J, could match their success.
The track, available to stream here, will appear on the My Everything deluxe edition and on Jessie J’s own forthcoming LP. It seems as though the track won’t be appearing on Minaj’s The Pinkprint, but the Queens rapper still provides an almost song-stealing verse, moving at a tempo that recalls her work on tracks like Trey Songz’ “Bottoms Up.”
Not by coincidence, “Bang Bang” was produced by the same team – Max Martin, Savan Kotecha and Ilya Salmanzadeh – who produced “Problem.” As reported in Rolling Stone‘s May story on Grande’s rise, Martin and Kotecha spent three weeks at the beginning of the year in a Los Angeles studio working on a half-dozen songs for the pop star’s then-forthcoming album. Longtime Martin collaborator Shellback and Salmanzadeh, a new addition to the hitmaker’s crew, came in to contribute lyrics.
This all happened because Martin’s daughter loved Grande’s music. “He has a young daughter that’s a huge Ariana fan,” said Wendy Goldstein, and A&R rep who had been trying to bring these artists together for the previous two years. “He said, ‘I’ve never seen my daughter excited about someone that I’ve worked with, and that’s really saying something.'”
“He’s the master of his craft because he knows how to teach it,” Kotecha said of Martin.