Will OMI’s “Cheerleader” Be 2015’s Song Of The Summer?

Robbie Daw | June 18, 2015 5:20 am
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Slip on your shades, grab a glass of lemonade and check back each weekday over the next week as we present you each Song Of The Summer contender.

If RaeLynn had gotten really edgy by doing a bit of gender-flipping with the lyrics in her extremely polarizing 2014 country-pop crossover hit “God Made Girls,” the whole thing might have sounded a lot like OMI‘s “Cheerleader,” this summer’s reggae-tinged follow-up to last summer’s “Rude” by MAGIC!

Lyric Example: “God Made Girls”

Somebody’s gotta wear a pretty skirt,
Somebody’s gotta be the one to flirt,
Somebody’s gotta wanna hold his hand
So God made girls

Lyric Example: “Cheerleader”

She walks like a model
She grants my wishes
Like a genie in a bottle, yeah, yeah
Cause I’m the wizard of love
And I got the magic wand

Doing so, of course, might have caused RaeLynn to mentally short circuit, and so I digress.

Questionable lyrical content aside, “Cheerleader” was actually first released in 2012, and only turned into the global smash that we know today once it was remixed by then-19-year-old German DJ Felix Jaehn early last year. In typical pop fashion, the reworked version of Jamaican singer OMI’s hit topped charts in multiple countries around the world (including Australia, the UK, Germany, Sweden and Canada) before finally cracking the Top 10 here in the States this very week.

In case you’ve yet to take five seconds to seek out the original version of “Cheerleader,” here you go:

And here’s Felix Jaehn’s remix that you’re likely more familiar with:

“To me, it’s basically the same song,” OMI told Idolator a few months back, when discussing the remix. “If I say something in French and you say something in English, you’re appealing to two different worlds. It’s speaking to a different audience, but it’s the same song. And it’s a win-win for me, because it’s my vocals on both tracks.”

So what exactly does “Cheerleader” offer us? Last December, in a writeup titled “Anatomy Of A Hit,” NPR broke down the ingredients of Kelly Clarkson‘s signature ’00s jam “Since U Been Gone” upon its 10-year anniversary and noted that the 2004 classic “borrows a lot from the underground and from other strains of music.” Far less went into the remixed rendition of “Cheerleader,” which instead relies on the age-old pop gimmick of simplicity and repetition.

Here we have a basic reggae beat, two main piano riffs and that damn trumpet that floats casually throughout the (of course) three-minute song. It’s a concoction that succeeds in never quite setting your ears free once they’ve been exposed.

“Cheerleader” is as breezy and fun — again, if we take the song at surface value and conveniently choose to not get uptight over the lyrics — as past summer hits like the already-mentioned “Rude,” “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz, Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” and Mr. Probz‘s “Waves,” another cut that benefited from a German remix after its initial release.

So will “Cheerleader” ultimately be the song that comes to mind when everyone looks back on Summer 2015? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. At the very least, it’s made OMI very famous in his home country.

“I can’t go to the grocery store anymore,” the singer told us in April. “You know the saying, ‘A man is never a king in his own country?’ Well, Jamaica has proven that theory wrong.”

Do you think OMI’s “Cheerleader” will be the song of the summer? Let us know below!