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"On Purpose" is a song recorded by American singer Sabrina Carpenter from her second studio album Evolution (2016), served as the opening track of the album. The track was written by Carpenter and its producer Ido Zmishlany. The song was released by Hollywood Records as the lead single from Evolution and it was premiered on July 29, 2016. "On Purpose" is a midtempo piano pop song with a tropical house chorus. In the song, Carpenter talks about a relationship that was not supposed to happen. It was accompanied by a music video directed by James Miller premiered on her Vevo channel on August 12, 2016. It featured Carpenter walking and touring London and Madrid.

"On Purpose"
Sabrina Carpenter - On Purpose Single Cover.jpg
Single by Sabrina Carpenter
from the album Evolution
ReleasedJuly 29, 2016 (2016-07-29)
FormatDigital download
RecordedOctober – November 2015
  • Zmishlany
Sabrina Carpenter singles chronology
"Smoke and Fire"
"On Purpose"
Music video
"On Purpose" on YouTube


Background and recordingEdit

After Carpenter released her debut album, she started writing new songs for her second album. Ido Zmishlany collaborated with Carpenter in several songs such as "No Words", "Feels Like Loneliness" and "Smoke and Fire" the latter being the supposed first single from Evolution.[1] In November 2015, Carpenter filmed a snippet from the song chorus. Carpenter explained that the song is quite ironic because it appeared accidentally. She also said that the song was meant to be a piano ballad, but it became something more fun and energetic.[2] On July 22, 2016, Carpenter revealed on her social media that the song will be released on July 29, and before that, she had already performed the song live.

In addition to producing "On Purpose", Ido Zmishlany engineered the track and do the additional vocal engineering. Nolan Wescott played the piano and do the vocal engineering. Serban Ghenea mixed the track and Chris Gehringer did the audio mastering at Sterling Sound in New York. The vocals were recorded at UMPG Studios in Santa Monica and the additional vocals were recorded at Faculty Studios.[3]

Composition and lyrical interpretationEdit

Musically, "On Purpose" is a three minutes and fifty-eight seconds piano-driven midtempo pop song with a tropical house chorus. In terms of music notation, "On Purpose" was composed using 4
common time
in the key of D minor, with a moderately tempo of 100 beats per minute.[4] The song follows the chord progression of Gm/B–Dm-C-Gm-Gm/B–Dm-C in the verses, B-C-Dm-Cadd4 in the pre-chorus and Dm-C-F-B in the chorus. Carpenter's vocal range spans from the low note F3 to the high note of D5, giving the song one octaves and five notes of range.[4]

Lyrically, "On Purpose" talks about a relationship that Carpenter didn't expect to arise.[5]

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by James Miller.[6] It was premiered on Vevo and YouTube on August 12, 2016. The music video was filmed in July 2016 and shows Carpenter touring London and Madrid.

Critical receptionEdit

Brittany Goldfield Rodrigues of ANDPOP said "The lead single off of the record hinted at more of an indie sounding Sabrina — matched with the same emotional lyrics and powerful vocals. The sweet and endearing love song is the perfect balance between ballad and up-tempo dance track. The lovely lyrics and beat-heavy chorus make for the perfect unique track to set the tone for the record".[7] Big City said "“On Purpose,” [is] an excellent move as it makes a true trademark of what the album is and where it is going. Everything happens for a reason, and the track perfectly portrays that EVOLution is purposefully meant to be a major success preparing to break down the barriers of Disney".[8]

Live performancesEdit

The first time Carpenter performed the song was in May 2016.[9] She performed the song at Elitch Gardens on June 11, 2016[10] and at Magic Springs[11] before she released the song. After the song was released, she performed the song at MusikFest 2016.[12] Carpenter performed the song on the Honda Stage at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on August 25, 2016, along with other new music before the release of Evolution.[13] The song was part of her debut headline tour, being one of the last songs to be performed.[14]

Credits and personnelEdit

Recording and management

  • Recorded at UMPG Studios (Santa Monica, California)
  • Additional vocals recorded at Faculty Studios
  • Mastered at Sterling Sound (New York City)
  • Seven Summits Music (BMI) obo Itself and Pink Mic Music (BMI), Songs of Universal, Inc/Music of Liberal Arts Publishing/Zmishlany Music (BMI)


Credits adapted from Evolution liner notes.[3]


Chart (2016) Peak
US Pop Digital Songs (Billboard)[15] 39

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2017 Radio Disney Music Awards "XOXO – Best Crush Song" Nominated [16]

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format
Worldwide July 29, 2016 Digital download


  1. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter on Twitter".
  2. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter on Disney". YouTube.
  3. ^ a b Evolution liner notes [CD] Hollywood Records (2016).
  4. ^ a b "Sabrina Carpenter "On Purpose" Sheet Music in D Minor". Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Meaning of the song and lyrics". Genius. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  6. ^ "On Purpose (Official video)". VEVO. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Brittany Goldfield Rodrigues (October 14, 2016). "ANDPOP - Track By Track Review Of EVOLution By Sabrina Carpenter". ANDPOP. Channel Zero. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  8. ^ Big City (October 14, 2016). "Big City - Track By Track Review Of EVOLution By Sabrina Carpenter". Big City. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter First Performance". Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter at Elitch Gardens". Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter at Magic Springs". Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  12. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter live at MusikFest". Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  13. ^ "Sabrina Carpenter To Perform New Music at iHeartRadio Theater Show - Ryan Seacrest - On Air with Ryan Seacrest". iHeartRadio. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  14. ^ "EVOLution Tour Setlist". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  15. ^ "Chart Search | Billboard". Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  16. ^ "Radio Disney Music Awards 2017". Retrieved March 5, 2017.

External linksEdit