Eric Saade released “Wide Awake” in his native Sweden back in May. But, despite his status as a three-time Melodifestivalen veteran and third place finisher at Eurovision 2011, the track failed to make much impact. It missed out on the Swedish charts completely. However, in a somewhat surprising twist, the single has gone on to become a major breakout hit in Russia and the surrounding region.
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A quick glance at the usual charts shows that the Saade invasion is real. At the time of writing, “Wide Awake” is fifth on the country’s Shazam chart and 20 on iTunes. But the real sign of success is his rise up the TopHit 100 — a consolidated airplay chart for the region, based on data from over 400 radio stations. After debuting at 173 on 17 July, the song has steadily climbed the chart, and currently sits at a high of 23. To put this in perspective, Sergey Lazarev’s Eurovision 2016 entry, “You Are The Only One”, peaked at 18. Polina Gagarina, the Tolmachevys and Dina Garpova all failed to crack the top 100. He’s also reached 49 on the organisation’s Ukraine specific chart.
So where is Russia’s sudden insatiable appetite for Eric Saade coming from? He was virtually unknown before now, although “Popular” did receive 1 point from the country at Eurovision 2011. For the most part, he has the DJ pairing of Filatov & Karas to thank. Because it’s their “Wide Awake” Red Mix, rather than the original, that’s getting all the attention. Riding high on the pan-European success of “Don’t Be So Shy”, the Russian duo have worked their magic once more. We’d already commended Saade for the song’s edgy sound, and that’s not lost in this version. In fact, the added house beats and vocal trickery arguably make it even better.
Eric Saade feat Gustaf Norén “Wide Awake” (Filatov & Karas Red Mix)
Eric Saade feat Gustaf Norén “Wide Awake” (Original Version)
Eric Saade Interview at Melodifestivalen 2015
What do you think of Eric Saade’s Russian success? Can he climb even higher in the charts? And why was “Wide Awake” so underrated in Sweden? Let us know in the comments below.