Christmas Number 1 2022 Contenders: Sidemen's Vik and JME talk Christmas Drillings - "The people have made it their Christmas song!"
Tis the season to be merry, and if you're YouTube super-group Sidemen, it's almost a time for celebration, as their song Christmas Drillings has quickly risen in the ranks in the race to become the Christmas Number 1 2022.
Featuring rapper JME (who you'll know from hit singles like Wiley's Can You Hear Me and That's Not Me with Skepta) and Sidemen members KSI, Tobi and Vik, the Christmas Drillings video has exploded on social media since its release two weeks ago, and is quickly rising up the Official Singles Chart. Up six places to Number 28 on yesterday's Official Chart Update, surging a further five places overnight. The track is now on the cusp of breaking the Top 20, at Number 23 today. Can the collective climb higher still before Friday?
This morning, we sat down with Vik and JME to discuss the origins of Christmas Drillings, how its transcended their sizeable YouTube audience and their chances of challenging current front runners LadBaby, Wham! and Mariah Carey for Christmas Number 1 this Friday.
Vik, for those reading this who might now know much about the Sidemen or the origins of the song - how did it come about?
Vik: So, we [Sidemen] have a YouTube channel, we make a new video every week. We like to challenge ourselves and have fun. We decided to see what would happen if half of us were given £100 to put together a song with no professional expertise or advice, and then the other half were given £100,000 and all the best professional music video equipment. [Christmas Drillings was given the 100k, with the other Sidemen coming up with This Or That]. We had to see what we could put together in 24 hours, I wanna say the song came out in about 4, and then we went to shoot the video.
Did you ever think we’d be here today discussing the song’s chances for Number 1?
JME: The thing is, we’ve actually done this before [as a video idea]. It was something fun to do. I knew that we were going to make a nice little song or whatever, but it started spiralling out of control. I remember at one point, you might be able to see it in the video, I was saying “guys, this is crazy, we’re actually making a good song.” It was crazy, and something we didn’t mean to happen at all.
And how does it feel to actually be here now?
Vik: Yeah, it’s as about bizarre as our entire career has been. We never know what’s around the corner!
Sidemen member Vik on the set of Christmas Drillings (Picture: Press)
JME, how did you first get involved in the track?
JME: Basically, since the inception of the Sidemen I’ve been somebody [in the background] as a friend. I’ve been part of the Ultimate Sidemen before, but I’m always talking to Vic and Tobi and the rest of the guys. I think they’d had this idea for a while, but it wasn’t originally supposed to be a Christmas song. Tobi hit me up [to get me involved in the video] but as soon as you ask me, I’m there. Straight away. They’re my friends. I always forger the stuff we shoot is going to be viewed by an audience. And I would say with this one…
Vik: It’s gone beyond the Sidemen audience. I thought we’d be making a song for our 6, 7 million fans on YouTube, that was fine. Then a week later, I saw hundreds of other YouTubers reacting to it, it started getting played on the radio…I’m actually glad there was no pressure to start with. The video has got 8 million views, the song has 7 million streams on Spotlfy…like, that’s a lot of people.
JME: I’m used to people reacting to my music videos or on my festival sets. I’m not used to being under a magnifying glass. There’s no fakery. It was literally on the spot. I’m a musician, obviously, so there was a bit more pressure on me in that sense. As soon as JJ [KSI] laid down the hook, I knew the job had been done. It was crazy. If I’d have known [the song would succeed like this], I would have never been able to set down my lyrics, I think.
We have some real unexpected contenders for Christmas Number 1 this year too - Stormzy’s Firebabe, Raye’s Escapism. The British public seems ready for a change
JME: I’ll be totally honest, I’ve got Stormzy’s album, so I’ve heard all his new music. All the other songs, I want to listen to them so bad, but I don’t want to give them even that one stream! I’m waiting for the chance. I might go on the Official Charts website and listen to the preview. But that’s it!
JME on the set of Christmas Drillings (Picture: Press)
We’re going to give you the chance to plead your case to the masses now, boys; why should people keep streaming, buying and downloading Christmas Drillings?
JME: It’s crazy because when you were saying that just now, I was thinking…the Sidemen ain’t going anywhere. The song is crazy. I’m saying we’re going to be a legendary new Christmas song that comes back in the charts each year. The support has been crazy. I do music myself and I’m independent, but to supported by this scene is incredible. For anyone that’s not listened to the song, first and foremost, the song is amazing. It’s actually amazing. Listen to it. Enjoy it! And hopefully we can perform it live sometime soon.
How are you going to be celebrating the song this Christmas if it does go to Number 1?
Vik: That's a good question. Have a day off! Put my feet up and have a nice Christmas drink.
JME: I always celebrate by playing music. If you can hear the bass when you turn in on my street, you know. When my daughter was born, when I first got this house...anything happens, I have music on repeat. I'll FaceTime the boys too.
Does all the success make you want to try again? Maybe next year?!
JME: What I like about is that everything that happens afterwards [you release a song] is a byproduct of what you wanted to do in the first place. Any song of mine that’s ever got anywhere on the chart what made for a totally different reason. If it resonates with people, that’s a bonus. Literally, this was just a video, and it turns out people have gravitated towards it. Because people love it, they’ve made it their own Christmas song!
Vik: I think it's a real privilege to be able to make something for our online YouTube audience and have it kind of transcend to where people are enjoying it outside of that. We're really happy it's an excuse to raise money for charity. We had our charity football match earlier this year, we raised over a million pounds for some great causes. We were always gonna give the proceeds of this song to charity. But then to see it getting all of the support from our audience from the mainstream from people who aren't in our audience that's even more exciting. And I think it's nice to be able to have a positive influence, especially around this time of the year.
The 2022 Official Christmas Number 1 will be announced on Friday, December 23. The full Christmas Top 40 will be counted down on BBC Radio 1's Official Chart Show with Jack Saunders from 4pm.
The full Top 100 Official Christmas Singles Chart and Albums Chart will be published on OfficialCharts.com from 5.45pm.
Christmas Drillings is out now.