‘Marvin Gaye’ is the debut single from singer/songwriter Charlie Puth. Born in New Jersey, the 23-year-old gained international recognition for both his written and vocal contributions to Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’, the soundtrack to Fast and Furious 7 written as a tribute to the late Paul Walker.
‘See You Again’ was a massive commercial success, debuting on 12 April 2015 at number 22 in the UK singles chart based on streams alone. By 19 April, it had climbed to number 1 in the official UK top 40 chart, and became the fastest selling single of 2015, selling 193,000 units and breaking the streaming record with a total of 3.68 Million streams that week. It remained in the number one position for a second week, selling 140,000 units and breaking its own streaming record with a total of 3.72 million streams.
Written by Charlie Puth and multi award winning songwriter Julie Frost, Marvin Gaye is the first single to be taken from Puth’s debut EP ‘Some Type of Love’. It features guest vocals from Megan Trainor, and is produced by Puth himself. According to a recent Billboard interview, the collaboration between Charlie and Megan came about when Megan heard the song at a party and wanted to make it a duet. “In one day, she knew the whole thing. We did it all in one take”.
Charlie and Megan’s vocals harmonise beautifully. This is notably Megan Trainor’s first release without writing credits; nevertheless, the track could’ve been made for her. Whether that’s testament to her vocal performance or Puth and Frost’s songwriting skills is for the listener to decide; I’d say it’s probably a bit of both.
The drum beat (and indeed the chosen drum sound), born in a Cahuenga Boulevard coffee shop, sounds as not dissimilar to that of Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know that I’m No Good’ origin; perhaps a strange comparison to make, but given the similar soulful genres perhaps not. As with any good pop song, the meaning of the lyrics is obvious; “spark romance and get that special someone in the mood”. It’s simple and gloriously laid back, with a ridiculously catchy melody. Hear it on the radio and you’ll be singing by the second chorus; and that’s how a soul / pop song should be.