“Just Hold On”
Neon Future III
December 10, 2016
Lyrically, the song contemplates the meaning of life, loss and death.
Tomlinson began associating with dance producer Steve Aoki from May 2016 after seeing a live set of his in Las Vegas. The two were later seen attending various parties together, where Aoki would also DJ, sparking rumours of an eventual collaboration. In November 2016, at the ARIA Music Awards, Aoki avoided answering questions from reporters about working with Tomlinson on new music. On December 1, The Sun reported Tomlinson had previewed new music with Syco bosses and they were impressed. On December 9, Dan Deakin released a formal statement announcing the passing of his wife, and Tomlinson's mother, Johannah Deakin. In his statement, he explained it was one of Deakin's dying wishes for Tomlinson to release and perform the song Just Hold On live. After Tomlinson's debut performance of the single on the X Factor finale, Simon Cowell noted that "Johannah had been looking forward to your performance", indicating that, until her passing, the single was originally intended to be a surprise release as part of the finale celebrations. On January 17 2017, during a Radio Disney interview, Louis described the meaning of the song as "aspirational. Although things are bad, you can look at the good. It came together pretty quickly." He also explained "it felt like a strong song, melodically...we played around with different tempos and different sounds." Aoki stated "It was natural. For me, listening to it for the first time, it had this sense of vulnerability that the song needed". Tomlinson later told SiriusXM: "As a sentiment, it's kind of just, whatever you've got going on your life, no matter what capacity, if it's a struggle, you just gotta fight and stay positive. Don't sit on your arse and feel sorry for yourself. Just say: "I will make something up, and I will make it better."
The single was released by electronic music record label Ultra Music, shortly before Tomlinson and Aoki's debut performance on The X Factor on December 10, 2016. After their performance, Just Hold On was officially premiered on Most Requested Live. The song was advertised through DawBell, a public relations company Harry Styles is also signed to. A Dvbbs and Attom remix will be released in 2017.
The song received positive reviews, with Time naming it as one of their "5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week", calling it an "undeniably catchy track, a surprisingly gentle mix of Aoki’s EDM backing and Tomlinson’s melodic boy band vocals". Music website DirectLyrics stated: "Although Steve Aoki's electro-house beat flows well with the uplifting message of the song, I hope Louis releases an acoustic version of "Just Hold On" in the future". Express also called the track "fittingly uplifting". We Got This Covered described Aoki's production, stating: "Aoki layers in mid tempo four on the floor rhythms, injecting a tropical vibe moving into the chorus with exotic melodies and undeniable groove. It looks like Aoki is hoping to get in on the EDM-pop crossover trend...of 2016. Thankfully, he doesn’t go the future bass route, opting instead to craft a tropical pop production elevated by Louis Tomlinson’s smooth vocal approach. “Just Hold On” is definitely catchy enough to get some heavy radio play, and Tomlinson’s presence on the song may just be enough to score Steve Aoki a full fledged pop hit."
Just Hold On reached #1 on iTunes in 30 countries in the 24 hours after release, including both artists home countries (United Kingdom and Japan). In the following days, the song would reach #1 on iTunes in an additional 13 countries, bringing the total to 43. The song peaked at #2 on the United States iTunes and reached #1 on the iTunes Dance Charts in 51 countries. Just Hold On entered the Global Charts on Spotify at #44, and acquired over 100 million streams by January 29, 2017. Tomlinson made his solo debut at #3 on the Billboard Social 50, which ranks the most active artists on the world's social media sites, receiving 1.4 million and 988,000 mentions on Twitter and Instagram. Just Hold on reached #1 on Spotify's UK Viral 50 Chart.
In the United Kingdom, Just Hold On debuted at #2 on the official Singles Chart. By January 2017, it had sold over 200,000 copies in the UK, resulting in Louis's first solo bpi Award. In Australia, the song debuted at #25 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified gold on January 23. In the United States, Just Hold On debuted at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart (becoming the only song to knock The Chainsmoker's Closer from the #1 spot on this chart since its debut there in August 2016), #6 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, #6 on the Digital Sales Chart and #10 on the Dance/Electronic Streaming Songs chart. In Austria, the single debuted at #8. The single went platinum in Canada in March 2017.
|Released||March 8, 2017|
|VEVO views||5,246,454 (as of March 24, 2017)|
Official RemixesA Just Hold On remix album was released on March 24, 2017. It features mixes from Rain Man, Dvbbs, Bad Royale, Attom, Two Friends, Shaan and TJH87, as well as a festival edit of the song by Aoki.
- ↑ 'It's not over until your dying breath': Heartbroken Louis Tomlinson's poignant song tribute to his mother is revealed after she dies aged 43 following secret battle with leukaemia
- ↑ Louis describing the song meaning
- ↑ Time Article
- ↑ DirectLyrics Review
- ↑ Express Review
- ↑ Steve Aoki And Louis Tomlinson Debut New Collab “Just Hold On”
- ↑ Louis Tomlinson's solo single is No.1 on Spotify's UK Viral 50 Chart
- ↑ Clean Bandit hold on to Number 1, with strong debuts from One Direction's Louis Tomlinson and X Factor winner Matt Terry
- ↑ bpi Award
- ↑ Just Hold On US Chart Debuts
- ↑ Amazon: JHO Remix Album