On a Mission

Album: Ten (2010)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single from Ten, the second studio album released by teenage Australian singer-songwriter Gabriella Cilmi. The song has more of a dancier feel than her previous material. Cilmi commented to Digital Spy: "I guess it will surprise people who thought I was going to make 'Sweet About Me' part two. I surprised myself when I recorded 'On a Mission' and it totally shifted the whole album in a new direction. I've loved playing it to all my friends and watching their reactions - they certainly weren't expecting it either."
  • Cilmi told Digital Spy the story behind the song: "Well, I like to think of it as 'I Will Survive' for the 21st century. It's about unleashing your inner superhero and doing what you gotta do to get where you need to be - no matter how many brick walls you have to smash along the way. I really wanted to make a track with a disco influence too and something that would go OFF live! And it's not just for women - I actually co-wrote it with a big bald guy!"
  • The space-themed music video was influenced by the 1968 Jane Fonda science fiction movie, Barbarella. Cilmi noted to Digital Spy: "A director called Michael Gracey did the video. When he presented the idea to me, I was won over straight away. I always had a thing for Jane Fonda in Barbarella! She was my inspiration when we were shooting the video and I really did get into character. I'm sure you'll see a bit more dancing from me - though I'm not sure you'd call it dancing, more bopping and jolting!"
  • Cilmi admitted to BBC that the track borrows the bassline from Joe Jackson's 1982 hit "Steppin' Out." She added: "The whole song is a tribute to the early '80s disco sound - Flashdance, Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, and movies like Some Kind Of Wonderful and The Breakfast Club."
  • Cilmi explained to BBC News why she named the album Ten: "My birthday this year is on 10/10/10. Ten has always been my lucky number and it has a good energy around it."
  • Other tracks on Ten include songs with the titles of "Defender," "Invisible Girl" and "Superman." Cilmi explained to The Independent: "I wanted to have a superhero theme."
  • By 2010 Cilmi was tired of being a Pop star and got so stressed out that she had an anxiety attack before going up on stage at a sports event in London. "I had to perform 'On a Mission' dressed as a sexy alien and I thought, 'this is so far from where I wanted to be, how did I end up doing this?'" she recalled to The Independent October 25, 2013. "I remember bawling my eyes out."

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