Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Elton John’s “Hold Me Closer” reinvents and resuscitates two of his older classics, while producer Hudson Mohawke sees a decade-old track take off thanks to a rather unexpected Reddit-bred viral moment and Yonaka benefits from a big Marvel credits sync.
Listeners “Hold” Elton John Classics Even Closer
Elton John is back on the Billboard Hot 100 this week thanks to “Hold Me Closer,” his new collaboration with Britney Spears, which marks the latter’s first new single in six years. Like last year’s “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix),” John’s team-up with Dua Lipa that stitched together four of his songs and became a dance floor smash around the globe, “Hold Me Closer” (released on EMI) combines decades-old songs from the pop legend’s discography in modern packaging — this time, with 1971’s “Tiny Dancer” and 1992’s “The One” serving as the track’s foundation.
Not surprisingly, “Hold Me Closer” has inspired some listeners to revisit, or discover, those classics on streaming platforms. Following the release of the Spears collaboration, “Tiny Dancer,” which serves as the basis of the “Hold Me Closer” chorus, rose 10.4% in weekly U.S. official on-demand audio streams during the week ending Sept. 1, while “The One,” which makes up its verses, was up 19.22%, according to Luminate. And while “Hold Me Closer” may reanimate John’s older material, the new single is already a bigger chart hit — blasting in at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and surpassing the chart peaks of not only “Cold Heart” (No. 7), but also “The One” (No. 9) and “Tiny Dancer” (No. 41). – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Every Click Counts: Hudson Mohawke Deep Cut Goes Viral for Being Terrible Sex Soundtrack
Hip-hop and EDM producer Hudson Mohawke is having a remarkable streaming bump after a post in the Today I F–ked Up subreddit went viral, referencing the left-of-center beat of his 2011 track “Cbat,” originally released via his Satin Panthers EP on Warp Records. In it, the author, “TylerLife,” wrote that after two years of having intercourse to the song “pretty much… every single time,” his girlfriend revealed to him she hates the Mohawke tune and banned him from listening to it in the bedroom.
“It gives me the perfect rhythm for doing the deed to,” he lamented. Later, reportedly, the girl’s family found the post, and she ended the relationship altogether. Over the past week, however, the legacy of the “Cbat” reddit post lives on. The song has spiked daily in U.S. on-demand audio streams since the post began to go viral late last week, gaining exponentially from well under 1,000 such streams last Wednesday (Aug. 31) to over 210,000 this Sunday (Sept. 4), according to Luminate.
The popularity has also been perpetuated by reposts of the song on TikTok and Twitter. So far, there are over 98K created videos to the song, and reposts of the song on Twitter have amassed up to tens of thousands of retweets. Mohawke himself seems to be enjoying the strange, unexpected virality too. The producer recently changed his bio to say “’Cry Sugar’ is better for sex,” in hopes of pointing fans to his new record of the same title. When one fan questioned if the whole post was an elaborate scheme to get people to listen to his music, Mohawke quote-tweet replied, “wish I was that smart hahaaaa.” – KRISTIN ROBINSON
Yonaka “Seize”s Opportunity With She-Hulk Credits Sync
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know to always watch to the end of the credits, lest they miss anything important revealed after the names finish rolling. That may have worked to the benefit of “Seize the Power,” a booming, confrontational sing-rap blast from English alternative outfit Yonaka, which topped the Shazam U.S. Top 200 over the weekend after closing out the third episode of new Disney+ streaming series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
It also led to a spike in the song’s streaming consumption, with “Seize” – originally released on their 2021 mixtape of the same name, through Creature Records – rising from just over 11,000 U.S. on-demand audio streams last Wednesday (Aug. 31), the day before the episode’s release, to nearly 37,000 that Friday (Sep. 2), the day after. Soon enough, MCU fans might be dutifully sitting through closing credits out of fear of missing out on new jams as much as plot points. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER