Toronto, known for its vibrant music scene, has been a breeding ground for some of the most successful songs in recent years and throughout history. Among the multitude of talented artists emerging from this Canadian city, certain tracks have transcended borders and become global hits, captivating listeners worldwide. Canadians will be reminded of home, excited and proud to hear music by prolific artists including Drake, Alesia Cara, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber and more in bars, restaurants and more while traveling abroad. This article will examine some of the most commercially successful songs written by Torontonians. Looking to hone in your songwriting skills and become the next big star? At Greater Toronto Music School, are top Toronto music teachers are available to help!
Hotline Bling - Drake
Drake's "Hotline Bling" is a prime example of a song that achieved immense commercial success and became a pop culture phenomenon. Released in July 2015 as the lead single from his album "Views," the track quickly captivated audiences worldwide with its infectious melody and catchy lyrics. "Hotline Bling" reached unprecedented heights on various music charts, becoming one of Drake's most successful songs to date. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Drake's first top-three hit as a lead artist on the chart. It remained in the top 10 for an impressive 20 weeks, solidifying its staying power and enduring popularity. "Hotline Bling" also reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, further highlighting its crossover appeal.
One factor that contributed to the song's success was its viral music video. Directed by Director X, the visually striking video featured Drake's signature dance moves, which sparked a plethora of memes and parodies. The video became a cultural phenomenon, fuelling the song's popularity and cementing its place in popular culture.
"Hotline Bling" also inspired numerous covers and remixes by various artists. Its influence extended beyond the original recording, as artists such as Charlie Puth, Kehlani, Erykah Badu and Sam Smith released their own interpretations of the song. These covers added to its mainstream exposure and demonstrated the song's impact on the music industry.
Furthermore, "Hotline Bling" achieved significant commercial success globally, reaching the top 10 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany. It received multi-platinum certifications in various markets, including the United States, Canada, and Australia, underscoring its widespread popularity.
I Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd
The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" stands as a defining song in his discography and experienced remarkable commercial success and widespread popularity upon its release. Released in 2015 as the second single from his album "Beauty Behind the Madness," the track showcased The Weeknd's evolution towards a more mainstream sound while retaining his signature blend of R&B, pop, and electronic elements.
"Can't Feel My Face" quickly ascended the charts, reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, marking The Weeknd's first number-one hit on the chart. The song's catchy melody, infectious chorus, and energetic production resonated with listeners, allowing it to maintain a strong presence in the charts for an extended period. It remained in the top 10 for an impressive 26 weeks, demonstrating its enduring popularity and crossover appeal.
The success of "Can't Feel My Face" was not limited to the United States. The song achieved significant international success, reaching the top 10 in numerous countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany. It also received multi-platinum certifications in several markets, highlighting its widespread acclaim and commercial achievement.
The song's popularity was further amplified by The Weeknd's electrifying live performances, where he showcased his captivating stage presence and vocal prowess. Additionally, "Can't Feel My Face" received critical acclaim, with many praising The Weeknd's growth as an artist and his ability to craft an infectious pop anthem that retained his distinctive style. Furthermore, the track inspired a range of covers and remixes by various artists, further solidifying its impact on popular culture. Artists such as Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and Kelly Clarkson delivered their own interpretations of the song, adding to its mainstream exposure and demonstrating its lasting influence.
"Can't Feel My Face" played a pivotal role in catapulting The Weeknd to new heights of stardom and establishing him as a global music sensation. The song's catchy hooks, polished production, and The Weeknd's captivating vocals resonated with audiences around the world, propelling it to become one of his most commercially successful and recognizable tracks.
Love Yourself - Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" is a standout song in his discography, which experienced immense commercial success and resonated with audiences worldwide. Released in 2015 as the third single from his album "Purpose," the track showcased a more mature and introspective side of Bieber's artistry. "Love Yourself" swiftly climbed the charts, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Bieber's third consecutive number-one hit from the same album. The song's stripped-down acoustic sound, heartfelt lyrics, and Bieber's soulful delivery struck a chord with listeners, contributing to its widespread popularity and longevity. It spent a remarkable 24 weeks in the top 10, further solidifying its enduring appeal.
Beyond its success on the Billboard charts, "Love Yourself" achieved global recognition. It reached the top spot in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany. The song's relatable message about self-empowerment and letting go of toxic relationships resonated with listeners worldwide, propelling it to become one of Bieber's most successful and beloved tracks. "Love Yourself" garnered critical acclaim for its songwriting and Bieber's vocal performance. The song's co-writers, Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco, contributed to its emotive lyrics and memorable melody, enhancing its appeal to a wide range of audiences. The track showcased Bieber's growth as an artist, showcasing his ability to deliver heartfelt and introspective songs that transcended his earlier pop-centric image.
The song also inspired numerous covers and reinterpretations by various artists. Notably, British singer-songwriter James Bay delivered a popular live cover of "Love Yourself," which garnered attention and further propelled the song's popularity. The track's relatable lyrics and universal theme of self-love and acceptance made it an ideal candidate for reinterpretation by artists from diverse musical backgrounds.
"Love Yourself" played a significant role in Justin Bieber's artistic evolution and solidified his status as a pop megastar. Its chart-topping success, critical acclaim, and relatable message contributed to its enduring popularity. The song's introspective nature and memorable acoustic sound resonated with listeners of all ages, allowing it to become one of Bieber's most commercially successful and influential songs.
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is an iconic pop song that achieved extraordinary commercial success and captured the hearts of listeners worldwide. Released in 2011 as the lead single from her album "Kiss," the track quickly became a global sensation, catapulting Jepsen to international fame. "Call Me Maybe" enjoyed phenomenal chart success, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making Jepsen the first Canadian female artist to achieve this feat since Avril Lavigne in 2007. The song's infectious hooks, catchy chorus, and Jepsen's endearing vocals resonated with audiences, propelling it to spend nine consecutive weeks in the top 10 and ultimately becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.
The song's popularity extended far beyond the United States. "Call Me Maybe" topped the charts in numerous countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. It received multi-platinum certifications in several markets, solidifying its immense commercial success and enduring appeal. One factor that contributed to the song's widespread popularity was its viral music video. The playful and lighthearted visuals showcased Jepsen's relatable charm, garnering millions of views on YouTube and becoming a cultural phenomenon. The video inspired countless parodies and tributes, further propelling the song's exposure and solidifying its place in popular culture.
Moreover, "Call Me Maybe" inspired a wave of covers and reinterpretations by various artists. Notably, the Harvard University Baseball Team's lip-syncing rendition of the song went viral and garnered significant attention, leading to a surge in popularity for the track. Additionally, artists such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Selena Gomez expressed their admiration for the song, further boosting its exposure and acclaim. The success of "Call Me Maybe" can be attributed to its irresistible pop hooks, relatable lyrics, and Jepsen's genuine and infectious delivery. The song encapsulated the essence of a catchy and feel-good pop anthem, resonating with listeners of all ages and establishing Jepsen as a rising star in the music industry.
Stitches - Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes' "Stitches" is a breakout hit that garnered significant commercial success and catapulted Mendes to global stardom. Released in 2015 as the third single from his debut studio album "Handwritten," the song resonated with audiences worldwide, showcasing Mendes' talent as a singer-songwriter. "Stitches" climbed the charts with remarkable success, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It became Mendes' first top-five hit on the chart, marking a significant milestone in his career. The song's emotive lyrics, infectious chorus, and Mendes' heartfelt vocals struck a chord with listeners, leading to its extended stay in the top 10 for over 20 weeks.
The song's success extended beyond the United States. "Stitches" reached the top 10 in several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany. It received multi-platinum certifications in various markets, solidifying its status as a global hit and demonstrating Mendes' widespread appeal. One notable aspect of "Stitches" was its ability to connect with a wide range of audiences. Its relatable theme of heartbreak and the desire to heal resonated with listeners of different ages and backgrounds. Mendes' earnest delivery and raw emotion captured the attention and admiration of fans worldwide.
"Stitches" also inspired a number of popular covers and interpretations. Fellow artists and musicians embraced the song, with artists like Hailee Steinfeld, Fifth Harmony, and the cast of the TV show "Glee" delivering their own versions of the track. These covers not only showcased the song's enduring popularity but also highlighted Mendes' influence on contemporary music. Furthermore, Mendes' compelling live performances of "Stitches" solidified the song's impact. His energetic stage presence and ability to connect with his audience added another layer of appeal to the track, elevating its popularity and reinforcing Mendes' status as a captivating performer.
The songs and artists discussed above have helped to put Canadian music on the map by achieving remarkable commercial success and capturing the hearts of listeners worldwide. These songs have dominated the charts, received critical acclaim, and become cultural phenomena, solidifying the talent and creativity of artists from Toronto.
For aspiring songwriters looking to hone their skills and pursue their musical aspirations, Greater Toronto Music School offers an excellent opportunity. With a team of top Toronto music teachers, the school provides expert guidance and instruction to help individuals develop their songwriting abilities. Whether aspiring to become the next star or simply seeking to express themselves through music, the school's experienced instructors can offer valuable insights, techniques, and support. Contacting the Greater Toronto Music School can open doors to a world of musical growth and pave the way towards achieving songwriting goals.