With the release of her new single “Problem” just days away — featuring Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea — Ariana Grande is at the top of our list of most anticipated albums of 2014. Aside from “Problem” and few other snippets of tracks Ariana shared with her fans months ago, however, we’re not quite sure what to expect from Ariana’s sophomore effort. With an album packed with collaborations — from Iggy to Chris Brown — we know her follow-up to Yours Truly will be nothing short of stellar thanks to the amazing amount of talent Ariana is teaming up with.
Being the “It Girl” of the moment pretty much means that everyone wants to work with you, but who do we want to see Ariana work with? Here’s our wish list of five artists we want to see Ariana Grande collab with next.
If Ariana Grande owned 2013, then 2014 most certainly belongs to Pharrell. The Hip-Hop hitmaker not only swept the Grammys with Daft Punk and scored an Oscar nomination for his worldwide phenomenon “Happy,” but he also released his critically acclaimed sophomore solo album G I R L. The album features appearances by Kelly Osbourne, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, JoJo, Alicia Keys, Tori Kelly and Leah LaBelle. So it seems logical that the next step for Ariana would be teaming up with Pharrell on her next album. Her vocal ability and his musical genius could produce a total Song of the Summer contender.
2. Justin Bieber
This one seems like a given. And seeing as Ariana has already worked with Chris Brown, she’s clearly not worried about tarnishing her good girl image. Not only do Justin and Ariana have rabid followings on social — we’re pretty sure Twitter would shut down if these two announced a collaboration together — but they also have similar sounds. Say what you want about Justin’s questionable behavior, but the 20-year-old can sing. His smooth vocals mixed with Ariana’s breathy vibrato would be like heaven to our ears. Scooter Braun, make it happen!
3. Sam Smith
Despite his incredible debut on Saturday Night Live earlier this month, English singer-songwriter Sam Smith is still relatively unknown in the U.S. (You know, unless you’re really cool and have Nirvana on vinyl.) So what better way to bring him to the forefront of stateside popularity than with a collaboration with America’s sweetheart Ariana Grande? Plus, he has some serious pipes, which could take this collab from slowjam status to a powerhouse diva duet worth playing on repeat (and singing in front of your mirror).
In 1998 Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey teamed up for the super-ballad “When You Believe.” And in the same year, Brandy and Monica released their R&B classic “The Boy Is Mine.” We think it’s about time two divas teamed up for a chart-topping single, and when it comes to vocal ability, the only singer who can keep up with Ariana’s scale is JoJo. This pop diva can not only keep up with Ariana’s register, but she might even give the diva-in-training a run for her money. Is there anything more exciting than hearing two powerful female vocalists on one track? We have chills just thinking about this potential duet.
5. James Blake
This Grammy-nominated English singer-songwriter can help take Ariana’s sound in a new, exciting direction. Known for his collaborations with Chance the Rapper, electronic music producer James Blake could add a lo-fi hook to Ariana’s pop vocals, elevating her from cutesy popstar to a more progressive artist. Ariana Grande 3.0, anyone?