Words: Abigail Boreski
Collaborations are one of our favorite aspects of the music industry. Sometimes there are collaborations that bridge genres like when country star Jason Aldean put out a song with pop icon Kelly Clarkson. Other times these works can unite generations like the 2015 sensation “FourFiveSeconds” that had modern-day big names, Rihanna and Kanye West team up with legendary Paul McCartney. The way we see it, it’s like a brownie with ice cream on top. Who doesn’t love brownies and ice cream as individual desserts, but when they get paired up, it’s intoxicating. So, here are five collaborations we’d love to see happen.
We all know Ariana Grande as the Queen of Pop, but her versatility is undeniable. The Broadway Alum showed off her R&B chops with her latest album release, Positions. A few months after this drop, ZAYN released his third studio album, Nobody is Listening. Both albums embrace themes of sexuality, seduction, and new love. So naturally, we couldn’t stop wondering what it would be like if these two were to collaborate on a song. Both notorious for their high notes, a collaboration would be, put it shortly, heavenly. We can almost hear the harmonies now and our ears are itching for it to become a reality.
Ever want to run away and live in a forest? We definitely have the inkling every now and again and I think a collaboration with these two would be the final push we need. Their songs transport you, whether to a bog or a cathedral and we think these two beautiful brains together could create one of the most timeless ballads of our generation. The use of imagery and religious motifs in their songwriting and storytelling is chilling. Welch’s powerful and haunting voice in tandem with Hozier’s warm tone would create a sound as smooth as the rushing rivers they conjure in their work.
When we think of beautiful lyrics and storytelling, these two women come to mind. They both beautifully tackle the human experience and bring characters to life in a way we haven’t seen many do in modern music. For example, in “the last great american dynasty,” Swift tells the story of Rebekah, the woman who lived in her home before her. In the song Cassiopeia, Bareilles personifies a star. Outside of their characters, their discographies act as diaries. Whether you are feeling lovesick, heartbroken, confused, alone, or whatever else, they have a song for that. They know what you are going through, and their music provides solace for all of it. A song from these two masterminds is something music needs.
With her 2020 release, Plastic Hearts, Cyrus has established herself as a budding rock icon. Serving a balance of ballads like “Never Be Me” and “Angles Like You,” and hard rock jams like “Gimme What I Want,” “Night Crawling,” and “WTF Do I Know,” Cyrus’s album quickly became one of my favorites. And it got us thinking about other rock-influenced artists and Harry Styles was the first one that came to mind. With his own ballads such as “Sign of the Times” and his rock pieces like “Kiwi,” “She,” and “Only Angel” a collaboration between Styles and Cyrus is a necessity. Both artists have masterfully reimagined rock for a modern audience and captured the attention of icons such as Stevie Nicks, Billie Idol, and Joan Jett. Both able to distort their voices, as seen in Styles’ performances of “Midnight Memories” and “Kiwi” and Cyrus’s covers of “Heart of Glass” and “Why’d You Only Ever Call Me When You’re High,” these two powerhouses could revive rock music.
Dua Lipa’s pop-funk sound and Liam Payne’s beautiful songwriting would produce a number one song on the Billboard 100. Lipa’s Grammy-winning record, Future Nostalgia, re-introduced disco to 2020 pop radio and gave us undeniable hits like “Don’t Start Now” and “Levitating.” Payne has his share of pop techno with his 2019 album LP1 and hits like “Strip That Down.” We’ve also seen Payne shine in pop with One Direction on songs like “Steal My Girl.” This duo could take the elements of Future Nostalgia and “Polaroid,” and give radio a huge song. And with Payne’s vocal versatility, we could get a really cool collaboration. We can just see myself driving down the highway with our windows down, blasting the Dua Lipa and Liam Payne masterpiece.
With that we’re off to write in our manifestation journals that we’ll perhaps see one of these collaborations happen sometime soon; until then we’ll just have to use our imaginations.
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