When musical opposites get together, we see chart toppers with a difference
Genres are tradition. Yet for true music lovers, cross-genre collaborations often make for very interesting sounds. This past year has seen some straight-up cool musical pairings that surprisingly worked. Pop royal Lady Gaga teamed up with the King of R&B for Do What U Want, from her third studio album, Artpop, resulting in some rather strange lyrics and a tune heavily influenced by Kelly and his bluesy swag. Avicii made waves by bringing on board Dan Tyminski for Hey Brother and Aloe Blacc for Wake Me Up. Both were lively mixes of dance beats and foot-stomping country music — a first for EDM fans. Hip-hop hero LL Cool J and country star Brad Paisley got together to turn out some quirky country hip-hop with Accidental Racist, and following in his
footsteps, Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul became what Billboard calls ‘an interesting force to reckon with’ thanks to Bailando, a flamenco meets street rap tune.
But it was at the biggest awards ceremony in the music world that gave us the best live mix collaborations we’ve seen in recent times. Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton came together for a country gig singing Highwayman, Okie From Muskogee, and Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys at the Grammys. Not far behind, Metallica roped in Lang Lang, the prodigal Chinese orchestra pianist to give the metal tunes from the 80s a spectacular change. But perhaps most unforgettable was Daft Punk, Pharrell, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder coming together for Get Lucky, Le Freak, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and Another Star.
Recording artistes too picked up on the trend while women in the industry were making themselves seen and heard— Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s Fancy, Demi Lovato and Cher Lloyd’s Really Don’t Care, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj’s Bang Bang, ensured that even if they stepped out of the limelight for a bit, teaming up with top singers won them star points. Who ever thought that Jennifer Lopez needed an Iggy Azalea to give her that added oomph, clearly hasn’t watched the video for Booty! Talk about steamy girl power.