This is Barbadian Pop/R&B singer Shontelle's lead US single and second worldwide single from her second album, No Gravity
. "Licky (Under the Covers)
" was released as the lead worldwide single from the album and as the second US single.
The song was produced and written by Arnthor Birgisson with Ina Wroldsen. Birgisson is a member of the Swedish music production company Maratone along with Max Martin and has written for Westlife and Britney Spears. Norwegian songwriter Ina Wroldsen has penned several of The Saturdays singles, including their debut hit, "If This Is Love
Shontelle told the story behind the song to J-14 Magazine: "I really felt like ballads were missing from radio for a minute, and I knew that there was no song out there for heartbroken people. I just wanted to put a song out that gave people hope - things may not work out the way you want them to, but you can move past it and everything is gonna be okay. I know that a lot of people have a similar story and sometimes you need to feel like you're not alone. I knew that I might have to tell embarrassing stories about myself, but I might help someone realize, 'Okay, if Shontelle can figure it out, then I'll be alright.' It's not the end of the world - you can move on, and this is song is going to help you find the strength somehow."
Shontelle told Digital Spy
that she can relate to the song's lyrical content. She explained: "I'm literally living it right now myself. Sometimes you're in love and it doesn't work out and it breaks your heart - especially when it's a person you never saw that coming from, someone you thought could be The One. I think everyone has a heartbreak story and I definitely can relate."
The song's music video was produced by TAJ Stansberry and features American singer and model Steph Jones as Shontelle's love interest. The Barbadian singer told Digital Spy about the clip: "When we were thinking about the video, we thought about how the economy's been crap of late, labels are cutting budgets because no-one's buying music, and lots of videos aren't how they used to be. You know how they'd be like mini-movies and tell a full story? We wanted to accomplish that with 'Impossible' and I think the director, TAJ Stansberry, did a great job."
Shontelle discussed the difficulties of getting this song playlisted in an interview with Sound Savvy. Said the singer: "It was such a challenge working it – because a lot of stations didn't want to add it because it's a ballad. They were like 'no one cares about ballads now' and I'm like 'No, I'm bringing ballads back.' You got to believe it. Everyone would say the same thing. They would all say 'This is the best song I've heard for the year but I can't add it to my station because it's a ballad.' And we would leave stations so disappointed, sometimes I would be close to tears. Like, 'are you kidding me? You just told me this is the best song but you won't add it.' Then the people spoke. It was really the people that started online with fans just saying 'Hell no! that's crazy.' They basically like stalked and bombarded video stations and forced them to have to play it. Once we got over that hump it was like a mushroom explosion after that and I feel so lucky."
The song was offered to Leona Lewis before Shontelle recorded it. The Barbadian singer told Flavour Magazine she's happy the English songstress turned the track down. Said Shontelle: "I have been hearing that rumour for a long time, but I didn't believe it until it was actually confirmed while I was in Norway. I was like, 'Wow! I'm glad you turned it down, because I got to sing it!'
People turn down songs for different reasons. I don't know what her reasons were - maybe she couldn't relate to it at the time. Either way I'm happy that I sang it for all those heartbroken people."
British X Factor
contestant James Arthur released his version of the song
immediately after winning the finale on December 9, 2012. It debuted at #1 on the UK singles chart the following week, whilst Shontelle's original rendition also returned to the top 40.