K-Pop has had a widespread interest among listeners and Western artists want a piece of the global phenomenon. Since the beginning of the year, there have been a couple of standout collaboration singles that brought the best of the East and West together. Here are this year’s six must-hear collaboration tracks that you need to listen to:
1. Monsta X’s I.M and Elhae
Over the weekend, Monsta X’s rapper I.M. dropped his first solo mixtape that includes track ‘Horizon’, featuring his favourite American singer Elhae. The rapper ditches his aggressive vocals for a more chilled out, calmer vibe in this new contemplative love track, which is entirely sung in English.
2. Jonas Blue and IZ*ONE
Rookie girl group IZ*ONE covered London-based producer Jonas Blue’s mega-hit track ‘Rise’ with their own unique sound in English. The surprise collaboration was his first ever with an Asian act, which makes it all the more reasons to listen to it.
3. Red Velvet, Ellie Goulding and Diplo
Girl group sensation Red Velvet teamed up with Diplo to record a bilingual remix of Ellie Goulding’s hit 2018 song ‘Close To Me’. Members Wendy and Yeri co-wrote the Korean lyrics for the song alongside Goulding’s original lyrics. The quintet perfectly added their vocals and own distinctive touch in place of the song’s original collaborator Swae Lee.
4. EXO’s Lay and Far East Movement
The EXO member has had been a busy year. Apart from his collaboration with Jason Derulo and K-Pop boy group NCT 127 for the Michael Jackson tribute single ‘Let’s Shut Up and Dance’, he joined forces with hip hop and electronic music group Far East Movement on track titled ‘Love Bird’. The song talks about how things are better when two people are together rather than apart from each other.
5. Katie and Ty Dolla $ign
Hip hop and R‘n’B artist Ty Dolla $ign lent his trademark voice in the new version of Katie’s first solo single ‘Remember’, which was originally released June of last year. Showcasing her powerful voice, the future R’n’B genre track dropped on April 17 and is Ty Dolla $ign’s first ever collaboration with a Korean artist.
6. RM and Honne
Electro-soul band Honne excited fans by re-releasing their single, ‘Crying Over You’, featuring a verse from BTS’s leader and rapper RM and vocals by singer and musician Beka. RM’s self-written lyrics perfectly suits the emotional reflective message of the remix song. The UK-based duo previously worked with the BTS member on song ‘Seoul’ from his latest solo project ‘Mono’.