Unless you never turn on a radio or live under a very sound-proofed rock (which sounds kind of appealing some days, I won’t lie), chances are you’ve had “Despacito” stuck in your head at least a few times this summer. The hit song by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (ft. Justin Bieber) is a perfect example of just how great musical collaborations can turn out when done right. It’s given me a bit of a throwback to the sensation that was 1999’s Santana and Rob Thomas hit “Smooth.”
Not all musical collaborations reach their potential (think: David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing In The Street”), but they often hit high notes and produce a product that’s greater than a sum of its parts. Just look at Jay-Z’s recent collaboration with a complete unknown (five-year-old daughter Blue Ivy) who laid down an entire verse on his latest album.
That’s just one of the many sizzling collaborations we’ve already seen in 2017. In the last seven months, we have seen the following join forces: Kygo ft. Selena Gomez; Sza ft. Kendrick Lamar; DJ Khaled ft. Chance the Rapper, Justin Bieber, Quavo & Lil’ Wayne; the Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay; Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos; Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna, Pharrell Williams & Big Sean; Katy Perry ft. Migos; Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber. And that is just scratching the top of the list.
You guys, the year of the collab is upon us and I, for one, am revelling in it!
Unexpected combinations — like that of Kygo and Selena Gomez — push our ideas of who these artists are, and what we can expect from them. It is refreshing to hear new sounds from familiar singers, and it opens up a whole world of musical possibilities. There was a day when you wouldn’t dream of a country artist collaborating with a rapper, then Nelly and Tim McGraw got together and now it doesn’t seem so crazy, does it? (Although, the world still needs respite from the rap/country mashups after LL Cool J and Brad Paisley’s “Accidental Racist.”)
We are living in a world in which all of our fantasy musical matches might just come true. And, better yet, they might actually be good.
Here are some of the rumoured, and hoped for, musical match-ups I am crossing my fingers for, along with the odds they’ll ever emanate from your headphones.
Okay, does this one feel like a give-in, or what? But we would be remiss to not mention the newest members of the Carter dynasty. When Blue was born, Jay sampled the two-day old babe’s cries on his song “Glory”, and Bey featured baby Blue in her own aptly-named song, “Blue.” Rule #1 of parenting multiple children: don’t play favorites. Rumi and Sir are already a month old. What’s taking so long?
Odds Beyonce and all three of her children collaborate on a song: 1/4
Odds of a Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran reunion: 1/3
The last we heard about this “confirmed” rumour was back in September 2016, when Kanye himself assured fans he and Drake had been working on new music together. About ten months have passed and there is still no sign of a song being released, leaving us to wonder if one ever will. However, the end of 2016 was rough on the Kardashian-West household, so who knows what kind of time and space Kanye is taking to get back in the game. There is one thing Kanye loves as much as himself and that’s getting people going. So if a collaboration is truly in the mix, he will take his time to make it great.
Odds Kanye and Drake follow through on their collaborative album: 1/1
A match-up that comes completely out of left field, Eminem and Adele are rumored to have been working together on Eminem’s new album. Last fall, the rapper announced a new album was in the works, and then in February, a Reddit leak of the album’s track-list showed several collaborations — including Adele. Of course, it’s now July and nothing concrete has materialized, but our fingers are still crossed. Now that Adele has wrapped up her major world tour, she could find herself with a bit more time on her hands. Just saying.
Odds the Eminem and Adele collaboration rumours are true: 3/2
Odds of Bon Iver and Solange collaborating on a song: 19/1
You might think this seems like the mandatory “funny prop,” but you would only be half-right. Dave Grohl recently addressed (except, not really) rumors Adele was going to be featured on the Foo Fighters’ new album, Concrete and Gold. While he didn’t say much (or anything?) about the Adele rumors, he did have this to say about another star: “You might have Shania Twain having a record-release party, or the guy from Deep Purple … And every so often we’d be like, ‘Hey, wanna come sing some backing vocals?’ and they’d just f**king do it.” His quote leaves the Adele rumours untouched, but might have just opened up a whole other can of ear worms for fans.
Odds of Shania Twain featuring on Concrete and Gold: 20/1
Odds of Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar collaborating on a song: 20/1
Photo credit: Brankestein [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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