The Hallyu wave has brought global attention to many aspects of Korean music and culture. From Psy’s iconic "Gangnam Style" that broke world records on YouTube to BTS’s massive mainstream success in Western media, we have seen K-pop become a driving force in the global music market. The growing spotlight on Korean music as a whole has led to some interesting and unexpected cross-cultural collaborations with artists from different backgrounds and countries. Here are some underrated crossover collaborations you need to hear!
1. Conor Maynard and Shaun - Way Back Home (Sam Feldt edit)
Although Shaun’s original rendition of the song is well known, this remake of the song puts a brighter, upbeat twist on the song. The addition of Conor Maynard’s smooth vocals and English lyrics, as well as Sam Feldt’s remake of the beat, presents the listeners with a bouncy new take of an already beloved tune.
2. Superfruit and Amber Liu - Fantasy
This smile-inducing song by Superfruit, an American music duo featuring two members of the famous acapella group, Pentatonix, makes you want to get out of your seat and move to the punchy kicks and catchy melody. Amber’s singing and rap feature further contribute to the songs bright atmosphere by highlighting her bright and happy personality. The music video is also a treat to watch. I mean… who doesn’t want to see Amber dancing with a crew of backup dancers wearing yellow bodysuits?
3. Junoflo and RiRi (prod. by Ryan Hemsworth) - luvluv
This bop is smooth as butter and features the sultry vocals of up and coming Japanese R&B artist, RiRi, and rapper Junoflo was produced by Ryan Hemsworth (of the famous Hemsworth brothers!). RiRi combines her sultry vocals with Junoflo’s clean and clever rap lyrics, giving you smooth feels that carry mad summer vibes. This global cross collaboration features talents from three different countries, and is definitely worthy of your ‘luvluv!
4. Tablo and Joey Bada$$ (prod. by Code Kunst) - Hood
Although this pairing was highly unexpected and came at a time where global collaborations were not as common, Tablo and Joey Bada$$ presented some remarkable bars that showed off both complex and beautiful lyricism while talking about their respective upbringings. The impeccable production by Code Kunst seals the deal for this moody hip hop song.
5. Epik High and End of the World (Sekai No Owari) - Sleeping Beauty
Epik High is well known for working with a variety of artists in for features on their songs to bring a new dynamic to their music. This collaboration with acclaimed Japanese pop band, End of the World (Sekai No Owari), resulted in a beautiful and heartfelt chill-hop song about unconditional love. The breathtakingly beautiful animated music video accompanying this song is a must watch as well.
6. Khalil Fong, Zion.T, and Crush - Flavor
This groovy song truly showcases the amazing talents of the three kings of smooth-as-silk vocals. Khalil Fong brings his personal 'flavor' to the table (metaphorically and literally) with the help of Zion. T and Crush. The transitions between English, Chinese, and Korean are seamless on top of a groovy beat that has a unique sound that sets it apart from the rest of the crowd.