Happy new year! Let’s ring in 2022 with a brand new edition of What’s Going On. This week, we’re celebrating the new year with nothing but star-studded collaborations. Titans like Mary J. Blige, Lights, and Katy Perry managed to drop some brilliant new singles right before 2021 ended that saw them teaming up with other fantastic artists and DJs. Plus, there’s a couple of other really neat musical team-ups that we’ll also get into. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.
Lights ft. Elohim– Canadian pop chanteuse Lights is hitting the road with her “Baby I’m Back” North American tour this April and in anticipation, she’s dropped her new single “Real Thing” featuring L.A.-based singer-songwriter Elohim. The light and airy indie-pop confection is home to lyrics that are unabashedly honest and at points, even quite scathing. Describing what her new single is all about, Lights says: “‘Real Thing’ challenges the traditional concept of ‘The one for you.’ I don’t think it actually exists, but we are predominantly sold this idea that we need to find one person, lock them in forever, and you can’t change and grow. We’re always looking for the real thing, but it’s not always fucking real.”
Listen to Lights’ new single “Real Thing” ft. Elohim below.
Mary J. Blige – The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul wants you to feel “Amazing” with her new single featuring DJ Khaled. With roles in the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect and TV drama Power Book II: Ghost, plus her own Amazon Prime documentary Mary J. Blige’s My Life, it’s hard to believe Mary found the time to unleash a pair of singles to close out 2021. “Amazing” and “Hello Gorgeous” both strike an inspirational tone, encouraging listeners to feel good and put their best foot forward. If you can’t get enough of Mary J. Blige, you can check her out on February 13, 2022 as part of the Super Bowl LVI halftime show alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar.
Listen to Mary J. Blige’s new single “Amazing” ft. DJ Khaled below.
Alesso & Katy Perry – Katy Perry sure knows how to end a year. The pop diva who rocketed to fame with “I Kissed A Girl”, ended 2021 by kicking off her new Las Vegas residency and dropping her new single with Alesso. “When I’m Gone” perfectly blends Perry’s pure-pop with Alesso’s slick EDM stylings. Proclaiming his excitement about working with Katy Perry, Alesso says: “I’m so thrilled that “When I’m Gone” is finally out. We’ve been waiting the whole year to share it with all of you. I’m honoured to collaborate with Katy on such an amazing dance record and with ESPN to become the first artists to premiere our music video at halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship. I loved working with her and think this song and video came out super special.” Stay tuned to the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship on January 10th for the premiere of the “When I’m Gone” music video during halftime.
Listen to Alesso & Katy Perry’s new single “When I’m Gone” below.
Pom Pom Squad – Brooklyn band Pom Pom Squad released their debut album Death of a Cheerleader in 2021 to widespread critical acclaim. The indie rockers capped off their year with a cover of Nada Surf’s classic 1996 hit “Popular.” And if that’s not cool enough, they got Nada Surf’s singer-guitarist Matthew Caws to join them on the song. If you’re a fan of the original, you’ll love Pom Pom Squad’s rendition. Talking about the collaboration with Nada Surf, frontwoman Mia Berrin says: “Working with Nada Surf was such a dream. They’re such an incredible group of individuals and were so kind to everyone in PPS during our time out on tour together. It’s hard not to be inspired by their career, so to intersect with their legacy even a little bit is really special.”
Listen to Pom Pom Squad’s cover of “Popular” ft. Matthew Caws from Nada Surf below.
ALOK & Steve Aoki – They collaborated before on the single “Do It Again” and now Brazilian DJ/producer ALOK and Steve Aoki are back with “Typical.” This time, they are also joined by Swedish singer-songwriter Lars Martin. As you’d expect, “Typical” is an absolute banger that showcases the best of both superstar DJs. Discussing the collaboration, Steve Aoki says: “ALOK & I first worked together on our collaboration ‘Do It Again’, and it was so well received that we couldn’t wait to work together again on ‘Typical.’ This track, just like ‘Do It Again’ combines both our very distinct sounds to develop something really special…and complemented with vocals by Lars Martin, this is the perfect track to close out 2021.”
Listen to ALOK & Steve Aoki’s new single “Typical” ft. Lars Martin below.