"It's My Birthday" (originally "Birthday") is a song by American recording artist will.i.am
featuring American singer Cody Wise
. The song was recorded in 2014 and released as a single in Australia
on May 27. The song is about celebrating every day as if it's your birthday. The song samples
the Indian song "Urvasi Urvasi
" from the soundtrack
of the 1994 Indian film ''Kadhalan
'', composed by the Indian composer A. R. Rahman
. The song also includes samples of the Jamaican track "Fi Di Jockey" by Aidonia
and Bounty Killer
. It received mixed to negative reviews from music critics, with some being negative towards will.i.am's lack of originality.
An accompanying music video
was released in May 2014 to YouTube
respectively. "It's My Birthday" topped the charts in the United Kingdom and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia. It was certified Gold and Platinum in the United Kingdom and Australia respectively. In the former country, will.i.am and Wise performed the song on the eight season
of ''Britain's Got Talent
'' in May 2014.
Background and composition
Wise was spotted by will.i.am after a performance of "Who's Lovin' You
" by the Jackson 5
at a concert when he was 13 years old.
After will.i.am saw Wise's performance, he flew Wise out and the two met.
Wise was signed to Interscope Records
in early 2014 through the imprint of will.i.am and he recalled being offered a deal with the label a few days after singing for will.i.am and Interscope co-founder Jimmy Iovine
After developing his musical skills with will.i.am as his protégé, the two recorded "It's My Birthday" in 2014; the song has subsequently become what Wise is best known for.
"It's My Birthday" is a hip hop
track that includes usage of Auto-Tune
will.i.am explained the meaning of it during a web exclusive for ''The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
'' on July 29, 2014 where he was joined by Wise, saying: "You get a license to do whatever you want on your birthday. I try to live in that celebrative, who-gives-a-f perspective and celebrate every day as if it was my birthday."
The song uses a sample
of composer A. R. Rahman
's track "Urvasi Urvasi
", from the soundtrack
of the 1994 Tamil
'', for both its intro and outro.
A. R. Rahman revealed on May 21 via Twitter
that he was partnering with will.i.am to recreate an early track of his, with will.i.am tweeting out thanks to Rahman the next day. will.i.am spoke about the process of sampling "Urvasi Urvasi" as part of the web exclusive on July 29, saying "We took portions of that song and put it over today's thick, urban electronic-type beat."
The song contains an additional sample of the Jamaican track "Fi Di Jockey" by Aidonia
and Bounty Killer
, with vocals from Aidonia sampled on the chorus and Bounty Killer's chanting of his "Big Ship Sailing" catchphrase also sampled in the song.
Release and reception
The song was originally set to be titled "Birthday" when will.i.am announced on May 21, 2014 that he was planning to release it as a single with Wise on July 6.
That same day, a snippet was shared of the song.
"It's My Birthday" was released for digital download
as a single in Australia
and the United States
on May 27 and May 29 respectively, marking will.i.am's first musical release since the album ''#willpower
'' in 2013.
The song was later serviced to US rhythmic contemporary
radio stations on June 24, 2014,
and released as a single in the United Kingdom
on July 6, as previously announced by will.i.am.
"It's My Birthday" received mixed to negative reviews from music critics, with will.i.am's lack of originality being mostly panned. Lewis Corner of ''Digital Spy
'' gave the song three out of five stars, stating: "The final result doesn't wander too far away from his recent successful offerings, but with a hint of the new here and there, will.i.am proves once again he can have his cake and eat it whether it's his birthday or not." Christina Lee of ''Idolator
'' wrote that "it's rather telling that not even the most bizarre parts of 'It's My Birthday' can distract from the cringeworthy lyrics ('Que bonita, que bonita / I can speak in Japanese / Kawaii, kawaii / Kawaii, I want your body')."
''RouteNote'' author RouteBot labelled the song as the worst of 2014, writing: "I actually thought that English was the performers second language, but then I realised it was Will.i.am! Terrible! What the hell has happened to pop music..." Trevor Smith of ''HotNewHipHop'' wrote in response to the song: "The rapper/producer channels Bollywood
on his new cut, which is more a showcase of Cody Wise's vocals than Will's. It also features some instrumental breaks, placing it firmly in more of an EDM
The music video
was uploaded to YouTube
on May 28, 2014, shot in the square aspect ratio of software Vine
and directed by Ben Mor.
It was uploaded to Vine the next day as over 40 separate clips.
The video, which utilizes claymation
, features both will.i.am and Wise.
Its scenes include a birthday party going wrong, twerking in a room decorated with pizzas and will.i.am posing as a priest and as Jesus
He can be seen at one point in the delivery room taking a selfie while a woman gives birth to a will.i.am lookalike.
Popular Viners such as Giovanni Watson, DeStorm Power
, King Bach
, Alpha Cat
and Jerry Purdrank also appear.
In the United Kingdom, "It's My Birthday" peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart
on July 13, 2014 – for the week ending date July 19, 2014 – becoming will.i.am's tenth chart-topping song in Britain. He scored five of these chart-toppers as a solo artist and five as a member of the Black Eyed Peas
respectively, with the first being "Where Is the Love?
" in 2003.
Liv Moss of the Official Charts Company
reported on July 9, 2014 that the song was on track to reach number one on the chart before its position was officially announced.
The song's combined sales figure was 42,000 on the day of Moss' report, one percent of which was due to audio streams
"It's My Birthday" became Britain's 51st best-selling song of 2014.
On June 19, 2015, it was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry
In Australia, "It's My Birthday" peaked at number four on the ARIA Singles Chart
and spending a total of 16 weeks on the chart.
The song was certified Platinum in 2014 by the Australian Recording Industry Association
. It ranked at number 74 on the year-end ARIA Singles Chart for 2014.
"It's My Birthday" also debuted within the top 40 of charts in New Zealand
On the German Top 100 Singles
chart, the song peaked at number 41.
It reached number 58 and number 71 on the Slovakia Singles Digitál Top 100
and Czech Republic
Singles Digitál Top 100 respectively. It performed the worst in France, charting at number 168 on the SNEP
will.i.am and Wise performed the song in the United Kingdom on May 29, 2014, appearing on the fourth semi-final of the eight season
of ''Britain's Got Talent
'', with will.i.am dancing around in pink during the performance. This marked will.i.am's debut appearance on ''Britain's Got Talent''. On July 21, the duo performed "It's My Birthday" with virtual body doubles on ''The Voice'' Australia
, which was said to be "one of the biggest performances of the whole night." On July 29, 2014, they performed the song on ''The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'', accompanied by the Roots
, and again at the first ever BBC Music Awards
on December 11, 2014.
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from Tidal
* Main artist – will.i.am
* Featured artist – Cody Wise
* Associated performer – Cody Wise, will.i.am
* Vocals – Cody Wise, will.i.am
* Producer – Damien LeRoy
* Composer & lyricist – A. R. Rahman
, Cody Wise, Damien LeRoy, Keith Harris
Charts and certifications
*List of top 10 singles in 2014 (Australia)
*List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the 2010s
*List of UK R&B Singles Chart number ones of 2014
Category:Interscope Records singles
Category:Song recordings produced by will.i.am
Category:Songs written by Damien LeRoy
Category:Songs written by Keith Harris (record producer)
Category:Songs written by will.i.am
Category:UK Singles Chart number-one singles
Category:Songs with music by A. R. Rahman
Category:Songs written by Cody Wise
Category:Songs about birthdays