Artist Collaborations That Need to Happen in 2023

Songs with featured artists often turn out to be some of the best ones. It makes sense; get two (or more) great artists in the same room, and they’re bound to make great music. Features help bring out different sides of an artist, and as fans, they hold us over while we wait for our favorite artists to release something new. It’s hard not to fantasize about what would happen if our favorite artists jumped on a track together. Here’s a list of our dream collaborations for 2023, and hopefully, they won’t stay dreams for much longer.

SZA x Frank Ocean 

Unlike Frank Ocean, SZA was nice to her fans and actually gave us her latest album, SOS, a 23 track record with no skips. Ocean fathers the genre of alternative R&B and SZA mothers it. A collaboration between these two would make so much sense. The vehement passion heard through lyrics that generate feelings of regret, nostalgia, anger, and forgiveness are the epitome of what these artists invoke within their listeners. The relatability of their vulnerable lyricism and their chilling soulful voices has impacted a generation and has created cult fanbases. CTRL and Blonde are cult classics that came out in the 2016-17 golden era of hip hop/R&B music and they're albums that are cohesive in their storytelling of longing, nostalgia, heartbreak, and the anxieties that accompany evolving as a human being. This collab would be an instant hit and the harmonizing would be flawless.

- Ben Wego

Bad Bunny x Rihanna

With Bad Bunny’s global dominance concretized and Rihanna’s immortal relevance showcased during her Superbowl Halftime performance, these two Caribbean pop stars would make a hit. Both superstars are sex icons and effortlessly represent themselves and their culture. For Bad Bunny, a song with Rihanna would mark his place as our generation’s most iconic Reggaeton and now, pop artist. Rihanna’s catalog shows that no genre is unreachable for her. From songs like “Pon de Replay” to “Umbrella” to “Bitch Better Have My Money” to “Love on the Brain,” Rihanna will always add her own flair and elevate a song. With both artists being Caribbean, this collaboration would show the versatility and diversity of two cultures so prominent in American culture. Also, the music video would go insane. 

- Erica Wei

The Kid LAROI x 44phantom

The Kid LAROI transcended to the next level of celebrity after his 2022 hit, “STAY,” with Justin Bieber, and I think this collab would help 44phantom reach that next level too. Both of these artists infuse a little angst into their pop and hip-hop-driven instrumentals and top it off with hooks that get stuck in your head for days. 44phantom started taking off after his 2022 single, “don’t sleep, repeat (feat. Machine Gun Kelly).” Since then, he’s dropped consistent hits and leaned more into the pop sound. If you haven’t heard of him, check out his last single, “ugly," which became my hyper-fixation for all of April. 44 has smooth vocals that I think would pair well with The Kid LAROI’s emotional, raspy delivery. They both can body a verse or hook, and a song together would be an absolute bop.

- Nate Rummel

Billie Eilish x Joji

Billie Eilish and Joji are two artists that have found success with their soft heartbreaky and dark melodies. Eilish’s songs like “when the party’s over” “hostage” and “i love you” are sonically similar to Joji’s style present in ‘Glimpse of Us’ ‘SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK’ and “Die For You.” The two artists share an incredible velvety vocal range that would certainly compliment each other if they ever did collaborate. The artists are also not afraid to experiment and introduce new sounds in their projects as seen with Eilish on “Happier Than Ever” - a rock infused hit and Joji’s “Run,” which also has a belt and rock studded sound. Billie and Joji both fit the acoustic sound with songs like ‘worldstar money interlude’ by Joji and ‘party favor’ and ‘Billie Bossa Nova’ by Billie Eilish. Their ability to convey emotion with their lofi aura mixed with alternative and hip hop influences matched with the moody vocals are exemplary components for a beautiful collaboration.

- Ben Wego

The Neighborhood x liza

Everyone knows The Neighbourhood. I talk all about them in this article, and if you don’t know who they are I can’t help you. Aliza Kate Barlow, or liza, is a cross between Gracie Abrams and Hayley Williams of Paramore. Check out her 2023 single, “brandy boy," and you’ll see what I mean. The Los-Angeles based singer and songwriter is quickly making a name with only four songs on streaming services so far. At times, her sound is loud and high-energy, and at others, it’s mysterious with dark production and vocal atmospheres. This is the side of her I think would mesh well with The Neighbourhood. Listen to “What Did I Do,” and tell me it doesn’t have the same borderline-evil energy as The Neighbourhood’s “Daddy Issues.” Nothing hits harder than these types of songs on late-night drives, and if these two linked up, I can only imagine they’d make a banger.

- Nate Rummel

Brent Faiyaz x The Weeknd

With these two toxic kings, either battling it out for most toxic or egging each other on, what could be more enticing with summer around the corner and people outside? For their collaboration, I hear dark and moody, in a sonic crossover between “JACKIE BROWN” and “Reminders.”  With The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) announcing the conclusion of performing under that stage name, I wonder if the toxic thematic through-line will remain relevant if a collaboration does happen. Although, I see it as a great opportunity for Tesfaye to do some clever storytelling and marketing by using Faiyaz’s artist reputation as an anchor. Even for Faiyaz, his recent single with Marshmello shows his exploration of new sounds. I am putting it out in the universe that something is in the works, or someone reads this blurb! 

- Erica Wei

Rihanna x Tame Impala x ASAP Rocky

Ever since Rihanna covered “New Person, Same Old Mistakes (Same Ol’ Mistakes)” on her 2016 album ANTI it is quite obvious that she can absolutely kill it on a Tame Impala song. Rapper Asap Rocky (also the father of Rihanna’s child) previously collaborated with Tame Impala on “Sundress” back in 2018. Rihanna has yet to collaborate with Rocky and Tame Impala all the more reason this collab should happen. Rihanna’s psychedelic R&B entranced tracks like “Kiss it Better” “Diamonds” and “Love On The Brain” are prime examples of her incredible range that coincide with the trippy love sprinkled vibes of Tame Impala. A$AP Rocky’s releases like “L$D,” “Everyday,” “Fashion Killa,” ‘Excuse Me,’ ‘Kids Turned Out Fine,’ and ‘Purity’ all exude a kaleidoscopic style that matches the energy of Rihanna and Tame Impala. Tame Impala has collaborated with rappers like Thundercat (“No More Lies”) and Travis Scott (“SKELETONS”). A collaboration with Rihanna, Tame Impala, and A$AP Rocky would be absolutely incredible and is absolutely necessary. 

- Ben Wego

Post Malone x 21 Savage

You’re probably like, “don’t they already have a song together?” Yeah, they have two, but that’s besides the point. I need more. I’ve always been a fan of Post Malone, and adding 21 Savage makes these songs ten times more badass than anything Post would make on his own. Post Malone’s “rockstar (feat. 21 Savage)” was probably the only thing I listened to leading up to his beerbongs and bentleys album release. The track was nominated for multiple Grammys and left listeners asking for more… and why 21 Savage has a twelve car garage for his measly six cars. 21 did address this discrepancy in his track, “all my friends,” with Post the following year, letting us know that he did in fact buy six more cars. The two compliment each other so well and haven’t missed yet; I’m just waiting for them to go three for three.

- Nate Rummel

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