Regardless of what music genre you vibe with the most, true enthusiasts know the power music has to bring people together regardless of origin or background. When your favorite artists from different musical backgrounds join forces, it’s like your different worlds are colliding to make your fangirl or fanboy dreams come true.
As proof, here are 10 collabs between K-pop idols and international artists to add to your playlists.
MAMAMOO’s Hwasa and Dua Lipa
Hwasa is known for being one of the power vocalists in K-Pop girl group MAMAMOO. She’s also looked up to by fans for her self-confidence and self-expression in the K-Pop scene, paying no mind to antis who criticize her for wearing what she wants.
It’s no surprise that fellow pop star Dua Lipa got the South Korean performer to feature on a remix of the track “Physical” from her 2020 studio album Future Nostalgia. The two had initially met after performing together onstage at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in South Korea where Dua Lipa won the International Favourite Artist award.
GOT7’s Jackson and 88Rising
Outside of his K-Pop group GOT7, Hong Kong-born Jackson Wang is a budding creative in the music scene. He started his own label, Team Wang, where he writes his own lyrics and conceptualizes for everything else concerning his solo music.
Whether he’s with GOT7 or not, Jackson is quite the social butterfly. He has collaborated with one of our faves, Joji, on “Walking” produced under the label 88Rising.
Aside from working with the “Sanctuary” singer, a remix of 88Rising artist Stephanie Poetri’s “I Love You 3000” also featured the GOT7 rapper.
Red Velvet’s Wendy and John Legend
Red Velvet’s Wendy isn’t her group’s main vocalist for no reason. She’s got sweet but powerful vocals which fans can easily distinguish from anywhere. In 2018, Wendy got to work with John Legend for the single “Written in the Stars.” The song is part of SM Station which is a project of SM Entertainment, the agency that handles Red Velvet.
NCT Dream and HRVY
NCT Dream is the sub-unit of K-pop boy group NCT designated for the younger members, which made their collab with HRVY truly a dream. The 21-year-old singer from the UK got onboard to work on “Don’t Need Your Love” with the K-pop boy group for another SM Station project.
Wonder Girls X Akon
Before the likes of TWICE and Blackpink have been formed, the girl group Wonder Girls was one of the most popular groups in K-pop. They even opened for the US leg of the Jonas Brothers’ tour back 2009 and you’ve probably heard of their popular hits like “Nobody” and “So Hot.”
In 2012, the group collaborated on the catchy electro-pop song “Like Money” with singer Akon, who’s famous for tracks like “Don’t Matter” and “Smack That.”
BTS’ RM and HONNE
Global artists BTS are no strangers to Western collabs. As a group, they’ve teamed up with big names like Sia, Nicki Minaj, Zara Larsson, and Lauv for different tracks. Individually, though, many of the members—especially the group’s rappers-slash-producers—have also embarked on solo projects with international artists.
The group’s leader, RM, tapped producing duo HONNE to help co-write and produce the song “seoul” for his second mixtape mono. It’s a relaxed and melancholic track whose lyrics tackle the word’s—both the name and the place itself—similarities to “soul.”
In 2019, a remix of HONNE’s popular track “Crying Over You” featuring BEKA was also released. The new version included a verse from the BTS rapper.
BTS’ SUGA and Halsey
Aside from spitting fire during his rap verses in BTS songs, SUGA is also a revered producer in South Korea. He’s worked with top Korean female soloists like HEIZE, Lee Sora, IU, and SURAN, the latter of which he’s won an award with at the 2017 Melon Music Awards.
Fresh from their 2019 collab “Boy With Luv” which was the title track for BTS’ 2019 album Map of the Soul: Persona, Halsey invited the group’s rapper-producer to feature on a song, eventually called “SUGA’s Interlude,” in her 2020 album Manic. On choosing SUGA to work with her on the track, Halsey said in an interview with Beats 1 Radio that she found the rapper’s lyrics on his solo projects to be “introspective,” not shying away from opening up about his struggles with mental health, which fits right in with the concept of Manic.
BTS’ j-hope and Becky G
While he makes up one-third of his group’s passionate rap line, j-hope is a dancer at heart and even acts as his group’s dance captain. One of the songs that heavily influenced him as a child pursuing dance is Webstar and Young B’s “Chicken Noodle Soup,” which he later remade into a trilingual track featuring Latina singer Becky G and American dance group The Lab. The remix inspired the #CNSDanceChallenge on various social media platforms and received praise from the OG artists.
AB6IX and Lizzo
K-pop rookie group AB6IX—pronounced A-B-Six—only got to debut in 2019, but the group is steadily putting their names out for the world to know, starting with a remix of Lizzo’s popular “Truth Hurts.” The five-member boy group sings in both English and Korean in the remix, which is just as much of a bop as its OG version.
G-Dragon and Missy Elliott
Perhaps one of the most iconic east-meets-west collabs to date would be that of Missy Elliott and G-Dragon. The leader of BIGBANG, the group dubbed as the “Kings of K-pop,” reached out to the Grammy Award-winning rapper and songwriter to work on the song “Niliria.” They even got to perform the song together onstage during the 2013 KCON in LA, a yearly music festival bringing different K-pop acts to perform across the world. Truly, the stuff of legend.
Curious about these collabs? Listen to the songs here:
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