Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all things pop on Billboard’s weekly charts. In addition, you can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop.
Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard deputy editor, digital, Katie Atkinson, every week on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes. (Click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com).
On today’s show, we have Anne-Marie! The breakout British singer/songwriter is known for the 2016 Clean Bandit song “Rockabye,” also featuring Sean Paul, and for the buzzy new Marshmello collaboration “Friends,” which climbs 27-24 on our Pop Songs chart this week and is already a top five hit in her native U.K.
Anne-Marie only linked up with the sugary-sweet producer in December, when she went to thank him for remixing her song “Alarm” only to end up making a brand-new song on the spot. “He had his laptop out and he was playing a few bits he had worked on earlier on in the day, and I was like, ‘I need to write a song right now,'” she recalled. “So we literally wrote it in three hours, recorded it all, and it was done.”
Marshmello then took “Friends” and built the full beat around Anne-Marie’s instant inspiration. “I just love that he caters to what I wanted in that song,” she said. “He didn’t just make it a Marshmello song; it was both of us.”
Next up for Anne-Marie is her debut album, Speak Your Mind, which drops April 27. “I’ve always wanted to release an album. I know it might not be the focus of some people’s journeys right now as artists, but I grew up listening to albums on repeat,” she said, citing Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill and Christina Aguilera‘s Stripped as favorites. “They’re very important for me to hear everything that they’re trying to say instead of just what’s being played on the radio. I’ve always wanted to have this album out. So I’m pretty nervous right now, because, since I’ve started — I guess it’s been five years — so i’ve been writing this album for five years, and that expectation scares the shit out of me.”
One of the most-anticipated songs on the album is “2002,” co-written with her friend and sometime-tourmate Ed Sheeran. “This is about a particular year in my life,” Anne-Marie says of the song, which, according to a press release for the album, “recalls memories of a childhood sweetheart.” “It’s very different for me. I feel like, when I got in the studio with Ed, he’s literally incredible. I knew that he was really good at songwriting, but when I was in the studio, I was like, ‘Wow you’re so good.’ … He’s inspiring, honestly. I feel like this is a very reminiscent song. And I love those songs — when I hear those songs, I feel like I remember memories that I wouldn’t have remembered without that music. In this song, there’s a lot of stuff that might make you remember times in your life.”
Also on the show, we’ve got chart chat about how movie soundtracks are Nos. 1 and 2 on the Billboard 200 for the first time in nearly 20 years, plus moves and debuts for Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey, DJ Khaled, JAY-Z, Future and Beyoncé. Plus, we’ve got news on the return of American Idol, Taylor Swift‘s new “Delicate” video and a brand-new joint tour for JAY and Bey.
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