Back in 2008, Canadian songwriter Vince Degiorgio and other musicians specifically wrote a song for Amuro Namie, that was rejected. After a few months, Dutch artist Caro Emerald, who happened to be the demo singer, asked if she could use it as her debut single. Back It Up was released in 2009 and became a huge hit in The Netherlands.
Listen to a sample of ‘Back It Up’
Here’s how Vince Degiorgio recounted the story:
[Interview by Larry Leblanc, 2013.08.16, https://itallstartswithasong.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/vince-degiorgio-songwriter-publisher-profile]
Is it true that the smash Caro Emerald hit “Back It Up” was originally written to be pitched to an artist in Japan? And after Caro recorded it, the song was pitched to labels without any takers
Robin Veldman and Jan van Wieringen did a track, and (songwriter) David Schreurs and I worked on the top line. Wrote it about 1 A.M. in the morning. We had written it for a demo. Namie Amuro was looking for songs. She’s a huge pop artist in Japan. She had done some kind of retro EP, and I thought the song would be perfect for her. So I drank two beers, and I imitated Billy Holiday (on the demo). The next thing you know the first demo singer doesn’t show up. This other girl shows up and it’s Jan’s friend Caroline. We heard her, and Just looked at David and said, “Oh my God, this is something.”
It wasn’t obvious that “Back It Up” was a potential hit?
It sat on the shelf for two months. David kept mixing and remixing it. For two months, we were talking to each other, “What are we going to do with this?” He’d say, “We really have to work on the chorus.” We debated the chorus for two months. I argued that no one knows the second line of a hit at a wedding. He finally gave in. That’s the (original demo) version of the song. That’s me doing background vocals on the chorus.
[article by Sander Donkers, 2012.04.07, automatic translation from Dutch, https://www.vn.nl/hoe-caro-emerald-een-ster-werd]
Vince Degiorgio had the song in mind for Namie Amuro, “the Japanese answer to Madonna,” Schreurs offered it to various parties, but the responses were lukewarm than they expected. Weird, they thought, in their environment everyone was wildly enthusiastic. When nothing had happened after a few months, Caro asked the producers if she could have the song herself. Everyone thought that was a good idea. “The rest of the world thought: nice song,” says Schreurs. “But the four of us saw that golden ticket. We noticed it in everything: if you played it at a party, when we put it on the internet as an obscure download and everyone around the world thought it was crazy. “