Not only am I a couple of episodes behind on this year’s The X Factor — contestants were still in the judges’ homes the last time I tuned in — I’m also behind in sharing the debut single from last year’s winner, Melanie Amaro. No, not the British Virgin Islander’s cover of “Respect” that coincided with her appearance in a Pepsi commercial during Super Bowl XLVI, but a new original track, “Don’t Fail Me Now.”
Released in September, “Don’t Fail Me Now” was produced by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and penned by Livvi Franc (Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson). With Simon Cowell pulling strings behind the scenes, I fully expected Amaro to come bursting out with a Mariah-sized ballad, but instead her message about personal perseverance is wrapped in dance-pop. Considering what’s hot at this moment in music, that’s probably the wiser way for the 20-year-old singer to say hello to the world. And the track still gives Amaro ample opportunity to show off her pipes.
The music video for “Don’t Fail Me Now” was directed by Benny Boom (Nicki Minaj, JoJo) and premiered a little over a week ago.
While “Don’t Fail Me Now” has thus far failed to impact the Billboard Hot 100, Amaro’s arrival has been embraced by club DJs. Remixes by PaperCha$er, Ferry Corsten, Sexy Ray, and Flexican are rising on the Dance/Club Play chart, where “Don’t Fail Me Now” currently sits at #16.
A second single from Amaro, “Love Me Now,” was simultaneously released with “Don’t Fail Me Now.” Co-written by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart (Beyoncé, Rihanna), “Love Me Now” showcases a more urban, Mary J. Blige-like sound from Amaro.