Nearly a decade after recording the track for their debut EP, 2008’s Turbo Love (and re-releasing it on their self-titled first LP in 2010), Bag Raiders have scored an unexpected hit with “Shooting Stars,” thanks to a viral internet meme.
You may not recognize the song by name, but you likely know the meme. Simply, the track plays in the background of videos in which people fall through space, hence why a song with the title “Shooting Stars” would be a good fit.
The Australian electronic DJ duo’s track debuted at No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart dated March 11 and currently ranks at No. 14 (on the chart dated April 1). Bag Raiders’ self-titled album also debuted on the March 11 Top Dance/Electronic Albums survey, at No. 15, and reached No. 13 the following week (March 18).
The song’s overnight-success-years-later has come as a surprise to the twosome of Jack Glass and Chris Stracey. “We were expecting [the song] to be a little big, because people liked it at the clubs in Australia, but we obviously weren’t expecting a thousand of these videos to be made every day,” Stracey tells Billboard.
The meme grew in January after the song appeared in a 30-second video (posted Jan. 23) showing a man diving off a bridge. That clip has since swelled to 2 million global YouTube views. Then, the song’s appearance in a video synched to Lady Gaga’s Feb. 5 Super Bowl LI halftime show performance helped it reach even greater heights, with the clip having exploded to 8 million global views on Facebook since its posting.
Glass says that Bag Raiders originally created “Shooting Stars” as an instrumental but added vocals at the last second. Soon after its release, they performed it in Australian clubs, and local radio stations began playing it. “The song was definitely a favorite amongst our core audience,” Stracey notes.
With their new internet fame, the DJs have been embracing their popularity on social media, sharing some of their favorite viral videos featuring “Shooting Stars” and interacting with fans. “Yes, it’s funny and cool how popular it’s become, but we love how much the song has meant to so many people,” Glass says. “It’s nice having something like this happen because it helped give [the song] a whole new audience.”
As they plan their next tour, which they say will take them to the U.S. this summer, Glass and Stracey are still shocked about the newfound success of their song and how so many people jumped onboard with the meme. “It’s a testament to the internet culture, where you just take something and run with it to the point of insanity,” Stracey says. “And it’s really funny that it’s happening with our song.”