K-pop has seen a meteoric rise over the years, and with each successive generation of K-pop groups, the star only burns brighter, proving that music really does break through language barriers. This has also opened many doors for K-pop idols to work with western artists and has blessed us with tunes that are now on our playlists. Here are the 8 K-pop western collabs we got on the rerun!
1. “Ice cream” – BLACKPINK with Selena Gomez
Selpink near you! Sweet, sugary ice cream with a funny, catchy, neat “ice cream” promises to be our new summer bop. While most of the BLACKPINK songs have some English lyrics, the distinguishing feature of “Ice Cream” is that most of the lyrics are in English, which makes it easier for international fans to join in (not that Korean lyrics ever gave us a break, oops) . . It was a pleasure to hear the girls sing so extensively in English, especially since their singing voices sound a little different than when they sing in Korean. Selena Gomez’s lines also blend in seamlessly with the melody. Her gentle, girlish singing style goes perfectly with “Ice Cream”! Sweet yet cheeky, that was all we could have wished for on a summer collab track.
Are we ever going to catch them playing this live together? We can only hope!
2. “Boy with windward” – BTS with Halsey
Playful, carefree and oh so catchy, “Boy With Luv” was one of the highlight releases of 2019 (certified platinum!). The funk pop track has so much color that the lyrics lead us on an escape towards positive growth. I thought Halsey’s post was an interesting addition – think of cute vocals played by the rap verses that follow, creating an addicting contrast.
With BTS known for their choreographies, it was a no-brainer for Halsey to jump into the action as well, and the resulting collective dance take was epic!
The name of the song says it all, and boy what a song to get up and flicker! “Let’s Shut Up & Dance” has a dark, sexy atmosphere that was perfectly complemented by the flowing movements throughout the music video.
The K-Pop Western collaboration also took time to celebrate dances and dancers from all walks of life to show how the art of dancing, much like music in this case, rises above cultures. This went perfectly with the cinematic shots of various cities, from the tropical colorfulness of Jamaica to downtown Seoul.
And let’s face it, how could you have a tune that inspires people to get up and dance without the dance legends that are EXOs Lay and NCT 127!
4. “Play It Cool” – MONSTA X. with Steve Aoki
“Play It Cool” is signed by Steve Aokis everywhere, and we’re all for it! The track is perfect for driving (as Aoki proves at the beginning of the music video); The mellow and mellow voices of MONSTA X merge with the beat and when the bass drops you can’t help but groove.
The elegant choreography of MONSTA X only serves to make the dark, grainy beat work harder when we switch from its relaxed scene in a bar to the dance break in a dimly lit hall.
5. “Other game” – Got7Jackson with Gucci Mane
One of Jackson’s solo works, “Different Game”, is special not only because it’s a collaboration, but also because of the cross-cultural references peppered throughout the music video.
In it, the rapper makes it clear how his career and work with Got7 and Team Wang transcend cultural boundaries in an upbeat track that can easily make you feel pumped up. Gucci Mane offers a verse that further dwarfs their collective accomplishments.
In a flawless collaboration between Grammy nominated Gallant, Eric Nam and Tablo, “Cave Me In” is an R&B track that unites the trio’s unique musical styles for an intoxicatingly smooth, slow jam.
It’s a song that will take you through some emotional ups and downs. The best thing to do is to put it in a playlist for your Tipsy Thursdays (some songs are better appreciated if you are easily tipsy and full of emotion!).
7. “Freal Luv” – EXOs Chanyeol with Far East Movement, Marshmello and Tinashe
One thing is for sure, “Freal Luv” has many artists and influences associated with this one, and what a pleasure it is to see and hear R&B, electro and pop vibes merge together.
The smooth flow of EXO’s Chanyeol crosses with Tinashes melody to create a sensual track to swing to. As the song was entirely in English, it was particularly impressive that Chanyeol helped both the composing and writing the lyrics!
8. “Written in the Stars” – Red velvetWendy with John Legend
Born from a collaboration between two absolute vocal legends, one can say with certainty: “Written In The Stars” is a beautiful and soulful piece!
Wendy’s soft, ringing voice harmonizes with John Legend’s lower baritone and delivers an enchanting love ballad about lovers with star crossings that almost came into being.
The duo even teamed up to shoot a romantic music video in the California desert. So be sure to check this out!
Hey Soompiers, what other K-Pop x Western artist collaborations do you hope to see in the future? Let us know in the comments below!
Aetcult is your friendly K-Beauty enthusiast who loves her tea on and next to her face (no lie). In between crafting new beauty products, she’ll likely write about what she finds, revise her coursework in Korean, and jam on the latest K-pop song. Say hello to Am on Tumblr.
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