Which Pop Stars Should Daft Punk Work With Next? Our 5 Suggestions

David Black
Daft Punk

The Weeknd became the latest pop star elevated by the otherworldly presence of the Robots on Wednesday (Sept. 22), with the debut of "Starboy," the Daft Punk-featuring title track to his upcoming third studio album. Though Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have been fairly choosey with collaborations over their two-decade career, they've made the most out of joint efforts with some of pop's brightest talents this decade.

The Weeknd Unveils 'Starboy' Title Track With Daft Punk: Listen

The duo's production work on Kanye West's Yeezus in 2013 resulted in several of the album's most singularly brain-scrambling cuts (including album opener "On Sight" and lead single "Black Skinhead"), while their own Pharrell-featuring "Get Lucky" was a neutron glitterbomb that helped launch both artists' simultaneous comebacks. Now, the night-vision electro-pop of "Starboy" seems poised to rocket Abel Tesfaye back into the Top 40 stratosphere.

The duo's benevolent touch would no doubt benefit the catalog and career of just about any relevant pop artist right now. But Here are our five recommendations, along with back-up suggestions in case the starting five prove unavailable.

Future

The Robots meet the Astronaut: It's almost too obvious. Future has made a career out of expertly curated collaborations with many of hip-hop's least-earthbound producers -- Mike Will Made It, Metro Boomin, Zaytoven -- but working with an interstellar duo like Daft Punk could really warp the rapper's purple-hazed bangers into the fifth dimension. Not to mention that the one thing Future's career is missing is an undeniable pop single: Believe it or not, Nayvadius Cash has never had a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 as a solo lead artist. Ask Pharrell how the Robots might be able to help with that.

If Unavailable: A Young Thug - Daft Punk mind-meld would no doubt yield similarly singular results.

Pharrell and Kanye West Heap Praise on Daft Punk in Doco Trailer: Watch

Twenty One Pilots

The biggest alternative breakout act in years really owes nearly as much to dance as rock, with singles like "Car Radio" and "Lane Boy" seamlessly stuffing trance and drum 'n' bass into 21P's jack-in-the-box brand of pop. Would Tyler and Josh be up for matching wits with Daft Punk to emerge with the crossover smash to end all crossover smashes? At least it'd be a fair fight: Twenty One Pilots are the only other duo on our wish list.

If Unavailable: If we recall, Halsey handled a recent tango with another electronic super-duo pretty well.

Usher

Mr. Raymond is certainly no stranger to collaborations with dance producers: he's had hits helmed by such DJ luminaries as David Guetta ("Without You," 2011), Swedish House Mafia ("Numb," 2012) and Diplo ("Climax," 2012). Indeed, if there was one thing his latest LP Hard II Love was missing, it was that knockout-punch team-up with a club titan, and certainly none would be as worthy of working with Usher's peerless vocal talents as Daft Punk. We could use a new top-notch Daft Punk love jam, anyway; it's been 15 years since "Something About Us."

If Unavailable: Justin Timberlake may not really need the help, but a club-slaying effort with DP behind the decks could give him another decade's worth of credibility.

Usher Sounds More Like His R&B Contemporaries On 'Hard II Love'

Gwen Stefani

"Make Me Like You" threatened to fully unleash the disco diva within the former No Doubt frontwoman, but what Gwen really needs is her own "Can't Get You Out of My Head": a technotronic love-potion that'll still sound like the future 40 years from now. Daft Punk are the perennial innovators to give it to her, and frankly, it'd be good looking out for them to lend a hand to their fellow Buzz Bin-era pop survivor. Robots need good karma too.

If Unavailable: It seems so unlikely that Madonna never worked with Daft Punk that you may have forgotten that her "Music" was actually co-produced by Mirwais, not them. Better late than never.

Sam Hunt

So of course, there's much safer predictions to go with here. Frank Ocean will almost certainly work with Daft Punk at some point in his life. Beyonce probably has an entire album's worth of collabs with Thomas and Guy-Manuel ready to blast the next time she runs out of Netflix shows to binge-watch. James Blake and Bon Iver are gonna trip over one another racing to be the first to have their Unexpected Club Moment blessed by the Robots.

But let's give the dudes a challenge, and instead use our last suggestion to pair them with Sam Hunt, one of the rare country stars to take the post-millennial, it's-all-just-pop-music approach to his genre. Hunt has the built-in hybrid sensibilities that he could attempt a futuristic dance-floor killer and have it not just end up sounding like a 103.5 KTU remix of "Honey I'm Good." At the very least, he and the Punkers could give us a CDM jam to finally replace "Wake Me Up" in the cultural memory.

If Unavailable: Dare we even dream of Daft Punk granting Taylor Swift her scorching Inhuman After All comeback moment?


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