Magic! is a Canadian reggae-pop band based in California. They are fronted by producer Nasri Atweh, who is best known for being one half of the songwriting and production duo The Messengers alongside Adam Messinger, (Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never
," Chris Brown's "Next 2 You
," Pitbull's "Feel This Moment
This story of a would-be groom who asks his girlfriend's father for her hand in marriage was released as their debut single. "I had this picture in my head of a guy asking a father for his marriage blessing and getting rejected," said Atweh. "It's fun, soulful, easy, and you know the hook right away. That's what we want our songs to do."
The song peaked at #2 in Australia and New Zealand and also reached #7 in the band's native Canada.
Magic! have also featured on Shakira's track "Cut Me Deep," from the Colombian superstar's eponymous LP, as well as contributing "This Is Our Time (Agora e'a nossa horra)" to the official FIFA World Cup Official Album.
Nasri was inspired to write the song after an unpleasant encounter with a drunken ex-girlfriend. He recalled to Rolling Stone: "It was a rough night, and she was mean. The next day, I was just writing: 'Why you gotta be so rude? Don't you know I'm human too?" That hook really stuck with Mark (Pellizzer, guitar) more than me - I didn't care. He kept saying, 'You gotta write that song.' I was like, 'I don't like it.'"
Eventually Nasri played the hook for Adam Messenger and he suggested the song should be more upbeat. "He was playing the guitar and I started singing this whole story," Nasri recalled. "Wrote it in about 15 minutes - it just came out. So, yeah, there's an evolution to the song, but it comes from somewhere real. I think that's why people feel it."
Nasri's love interest in the music video is played by Los Angeles model and actress Ayla Parker. She previously featured in the clip for Washed Out's "All I Know."
The song topped the Hot 100 on the chart dated July 26, 2014. It was Nasri Atweh's first visit to the summit of the Hot 100 as a writer. His previous best ranking was Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me
," which reached #6 in 2012.
Olivia Newton-John spent four weeks at #1 in 1980 with her song "Magic
." When "Rude" reached peak position 34 years later, "magic" became the first word to serve as both the title of a chart-topping hit and the name of an artist behind a leading song (exclamation point excluded).
Magic! were the sixth Canadian band to top the Hot 100. Treat yourself to a huge helping of crispy bacon and maple syrup (or any other stereotypical Canadian cuisine you have to hand) if you can come up with the other five. They were:
Bachman-Turner Overdrive - "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Barenaked Ladies - "One Week
Guess Who - "American Woman
Nickelback - "How You Remind Me
Sheriff - "When I'm With You."
Bet you thought Magic! were the first Canadian act to top the Hot 100 with a reggae-identified track. They weren't - Toronto-born Snow reached the summit with the reggae tune "Informer" in 1993.
Fun Fact: Nasri once hosted a birthday party for Snow's daughter when he was a teenager working at a Chuck E. Cheese entertainment center.
Nasri admitted his surprise over the song's breakout success. "Radio hasn't played this type of organic, reggae thing in years," he commented to Digital Spy
, "so we're very happy that it's working."
This is one of very few hit songs of the time to contain a guitar solo, which occurs after the second chorus. In lieu of guitar solos, most hit songs of this time used EDM elements in this bridge section.
This won Single of the Year at the 2015 Juno awards. Magic! also won the prize at the ceremony for "Breakthrough Group."