Collaboration among artists can make good songs turn into great ones. Surely, the alternative scene has witnessed this, whether it’s Alex Gaskarth and Mark Hoppus joining forces to create Simple Creatures or even My Chemical Romance and the Used coming together to work on “Under Pressure.”
These collabs, of course, were no surprise, as the artists live in the same world and share similar fanbases.
Genre-bending is growing increasingly popular in music. In turn, we’re being blessed with a slew of unique collabs from artists who seemingly orbit in different musical spheres. Check out these crossovers that we never expected below.
“death bed (coffee for your head)” – Powfu, beabadoobee
Canadian rapper and lo-fi artist Powfu made a dream collab that went viral for its unique combination. He decided to sample beabadoobee‘s sweet, acoustic “Coffee” for this track’s background. The two seem like an unlikely pair, but Powfu took the indie sound and placed it well against his soothing rap verses. More indie, rap pairings, please.
“Boy With Luv” – BTS, Halsey
We had no idea that Halsey would fit so perfectly into the world of K-pop, absorbing the colorful aesthetic and choreographed dancing. Obviously, Halsey is pretty familiar with musical experimentation, performing everything from the rock ‘n’ roll “Nightmare” to the country-tinged “You should be sad.” It was a pure delight to see the artist team up with BTS, otherwise known as one of the most influential boy bands in the world, and become the perfect eighth member.
“More Than The Fairy” – Death Grips, Les Claypool
Les Claypool is best known as the funky bassist and founder of Primus. However, it was incredible to hear his bass sensibilities mesh with experimental hip-hop unit Death Grips on their single “More Than The Fairy.” You can hear Claypool slapping away in the intro and throughout the track. His instantly recognizable playing blended with Death Grips’ always refreshing industrial stylings seamlessly.
“deathwish” – Stand Atlantic, nothing,nowhere.
Recently, nothing,nowhere. fans got to see the multi-talented artist go full pop punk with a splash of his emo-trap sound in his feature on Stand Atlantic‘s “deathwish.” All it confirms is that nothing,nowhere.’s Joe Mulherin can really cross over into any genre he’d like to with ease. Hopefully, we get to see more dynamic features soon.
“heavy metal” – Bring Me The Horizon, Rahzel
What happens when you combine a legendary alternative act and a celebrated beatboxer/former member of the Roots? You get Bring Me The Horizon and Rahzel‘s scathing track “heavy metal,” calling out the fans who don’t want to see BMTH grow into new sounds. Rahzel was a unique choice as the artists seemingly live in two separate worlds. Yet, his beatboxing added a new depth to this song that few others have, as it’s a true art to blend different genre elements so effortlessly.
“Ordinaryish People” – AJR, Blue Man Group
Yes, you read that correctly. The chart-topping brother trio AJR teamed up with the famous performance artists Blue Man Group to make “Ordinaryish People” come to fruition on their new album, OK ORCHESTRA. Blue Man Group may be known for their hilarious silent comedy routines and neon paint drum performances, but they’re also famous for making instruments out of, well, anything and everything. Their quirky instrumentals made from PVC pipe exist in a genre of their own and perfectly blend with AJR’s bright, experimental brand of pop. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get a super-interesting music video to see the unique instruments at work, too.
“Save Rock And Roll” – Fall Out Boy, Elton John
Fall Out Boy are legends in the alternative world, but Elton John is an icon internationally, whether you like music or not. Fans of the band were surprised to see the quartet work alongside the same man who wrote music for The Lion King on the title track for Save Rock And Roll. Undoubtedly, John’s deep pipes melded perfectly with Patrick Stump‘s iconic yearning. Notably, Save Rock And Roll has several interesting collaboration choices beyond this, including “Just One Yesterday” with Foxes, “The Mighty Fall” with Big Sean and “Rat A Tat” with Courtney Love.
“The Kiss Of Venus” – Dominic Fike, Paul McCartney
Dominic Fike has been dominating the modern alternative scene with his hip-hop flair and notable collabs with Halsey, Omar Apollo, Justin Bieber, Denzel Curry, Remi Wolf and many others. However, the most interesting crossover in Fike’s career thus far has to be with Paul McCartney. The former Beatles member became a fan of Fike through a friend’s recommendation and ultimately picked him for a reimagining of “The Kiss Of Venus” that appears on McCartney III. The two transformed the original acoustic ballad into a modern pop, soul-infused hit that was appreciated by music fans who are both young and young at heart.
“t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” – WILLOW, Travis Barker
The “Wait A Minute!” singer stunned alterative listeners everywhere in the best way possible when she dropped “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” featuring the pop-punk drum stylings of blink-182‘s Travis Barker. WILLOW mixed indie/alt edge with her soulful vocals and went full rock ‘n’ roll. And this is just the start of her venture into pop-punk and alternative territory as she has a song with Avril Lavigne on the way, too.
“Daisy 2.0” – Ashnikko, Hatsune Miku
Ashnikko didn’t team up with just any artist—she teamed up with Hatsune Miku, aka the first Vocaloid developed by Crypton Future Media. Miku is characterized as a 16-year-old pop idol who can speak English, Japanese and Chinese. She has even performed as a projection onstage and has quite the cult following. The two joining forces to remix Ashnikko’s TikTok viral “Daisy” was a clever and delightfully surprising move. The new production choices and Vocaloid/electronic elements pair excellently with Ashnikko’s raunchy hip-hop-infused pop sounds.