The Year of the Duet – R&B Artists Are Stronger Together In 2021

2021 Is The Year of Duets In R&B. 

In 2021 we’ve seen the resurgence of R&B singers teaming up and making beautiful duets together. The two most successful duos of the year have been; the Silk Sonic pairing of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars and then whoever has a SZA feature, but beyond that – there have been many more duets worth our attention! Which pairing did you least expect? And who are you dying to see team up? 

Here are some of the tag team vocalists that joined forces this year to serenade you:

SZA & Kali Uchis – fue mejor

Both Kali Uchis and SZA incorporate Spanish and English into their verses making for an incredibly impressive track both lyrically and sonically. SZA appears on this a few times, because she appears to be the cheat code to making popular music. There are few features in music more valuable than SZA. This song is soulful, it is sexy, and it’s relatively new – just coming out this Fall.

H.E.R & Kane Brown – Blessed & Free

This is a rare crossover between an R&B artist and a country superstar. To be fair, I’m a hip-hop writer so my knowledge of Kane Brown is limited, however he must be pretty beloved because he’s selling tickets to a nationwide arena tour. This is probably the only song that H.E.R has ever been on where another artist mentions “moonshine,” but it’s a nice change of pace. If you hate country music, you probably won’t like this song – but if you can stomach 45 seconds of country to start the song, you’re rewarded with H.E.R’s angelic voice.

Kehlani & T-Pain – I Like Dat 

The last song had a country singer, this song features T-Pain and Kehlani dresses as cowboys in the video! This song is really unique, it’s a bit of a “Buy U A Drank” sequel as T-Pain explains that “she don’t want drinks no more.” The pairing of T-Pain and Kehlani works perfectly and the beat is reminiscent of 2011 mixed with a little 2021. I Like Dat is my favorite song by either artist from the last few years.

Silk Sonic – An Evening With Silk Sonic

Perhaps the biggest collaboration in the last 5 years – Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars have teamed up to create the power group “Silk Sonic.” After what felt like a year of dropping singles, the duo dropped an album of silky smooth classics. From front to back An Evening With Silk Sonic delivers, expect Grammys and all sorts of accolades for Silk Sonic in the future.

Jorja Smith & Sasha Keable – Killing Me

This is a soul filled slow jam duet between two vocalists that compliment one another well. Killing Me is a great song for a movie trailer of a romantic drama, both Jorja Smith and Sasha Keable are bouncing off one another in a way that’s reminiscent of the early 1990’s.

Majid Jordan & Drake – Stars Align

The stars have truly aligned in Toronto as Drake graces the group Majid Jordan with an ever valuable Drake feature! Although Majid Jordan is a duo already, this song is still a duet because Majid Al Maskati and Drake are the only vocalists on the song. Stars Align is reminiscent of “Find Your Love Drake.” This is a straight forward 1980’s inspired R&B track laced with disco sounds and Phil Collins drums.

Doja Cat & SZA – Kiss Me More

This may have been the song of the year. If you say you don’t know this song, you’re wrong. You’ve heard this song and you probably bopped your head and tapped your toe to it. Doja Cat has been one of the most prolific artists of the early 2020’s and has risen to superstardom. SZA is the hottest feature in all of music. Of course Kiss Me More was a hit. In seven months the video has been viewed nearly 250 million times and it has been listened to on Spotify more than 850 million times, why not listen again? 

Mario & Chris Brown – Get Back

Get Back is an homage to the early 2000’s for the first minute or so until the trap drums come in and the song really takes off. The combination of Mario and Chris Brown is about as sweet as it sounds. This song is relatively, be one of the first to show your friends!

Tiwa Savage & Brandy – Somebody’s Son

Following the trend of taking popular internet phrases and turning them into songs, Tiwa Savage and Brandy bring life to the phrase Somebody’s Son. This is an afro-beats / R&B fusion, Tiwa Savage is from Lagos, Nigeria the same place where Tems and her mega-hit Essence was born. Get ready for this song to be everywhere! It’s an undeniable hit.

Tone Stith & Maeta – Something In The Water

Fall in love to Something In The Water by budding artists Maeta and Tone Stith. Both artists released their debut albums this year and could be names worth getting to know.

Summer Walker & SZA – No Love

To end this list is the album everyone has been talking about – Summer Walker’s Still Not Over It. There are plenty of great collaborations on Still Not Over It, but as we’ve said previously – SZA is the hottest feature in music right now. This song has been out for about 12 days, give it about a month to be on every radio station.