Global hitmakers release new joint track
Collaborations don’t come much bigger than PNAU and Khalid’s heavyweight meet-up for their new single “The Hard Way.” The two artists share a combined total of over 70 million monthly listeners at Spotify, with a host of international No. 1 smashes to their credit, with their biggest moments including PNAU’s unmissable Elton John and Dua Lipa collab “Cold Heart” and Khalid’s “Lovely” alongside Billie Eilish.
“The Hard Way,” out via Sony Music Germany/RCA Records, instantly lives up to its billing. It’s big scale contemporary pop at its finest, with PNAU’s sublime synthpop providing the towering melodies and supremely confident hook that allows Khalid’s starry vocal majesty to shine. The two artists really lean into each other’s vibe to establish a depth of feeling, with Khalid’s lovelorn lyricism and sentimental emotions complemented by PNAU’s ability to evoke nostalgic ‘80s sonic elements within a modernistic production.
“We are so very excited to share this with you,” says PNAU’s Nick Littlemore. “Working with Khalid has been an absolute dream, we hope this song shall live in your hearts like it does ours.”
“It’s just awesome, it’s feel-good but then the lyrics have that melancholy, bittersweet thing about them,” adds Khalid. “It’s that juxtaposition, that the lyrics are heartbreakingly sad but if you listen to the song you can’t help but smile. Those are my favourite songs, the ones that contradict. Just waiting for the world to hear it, they’re going to attach to it and just love it.”
PNAU are Australia’s biggest streaming exports, a multi-Platinum ARIA award-winning electronica trio with Nick Littlemore joined by Peter Mayes and Sam Littlemore. Their career is rooted within Australia’s underground dance scene, but they possess a midas touch for a crossover dance hit which saw them achieve huge domestic success with “Go Bang” and “Chameleon” before delivering a global smash with “Cold Heart.” Now approaching two billion streams, “Cold Heart” fired to No. 1 in the UK and saw PNAU reach the US Top 10 for the first time, resulting in award nominations at the BRITs, the Ivor Novellos, the Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Awards. PNAU have also remixed and/or collaborated with Diana Ross, Tame Impala and Lizzo, most recently teaming up with fellow Aussie superstar Troye Sivan for “You Know What I Need”, while simultaneously nurturing a new era of talent with their own record label, Lab 78.
Khalid is a multi-Platinum global superstar who has been heralded in the TIME100 list of The Most Influential People. He has taken the world by storm since releasing his debut single “Location” while still a teenager, leading to two global hit albums in the shape of “American Teen” and the critically acclaimed Billboard No. 1 Free Spirit. He has collaborated with some of music’s biggest stars, achieving UK No. 1s with Benny Blanco and Halsey (“Eastside”), and Ed Sheeran (“Beautiful People”) as well as further UK Top 10 hits, both solo (“Talk”) and with Logic and Alessia Cara (“1-800-273-8255”), and Marshmello (“Silence”). In 2020, he was named the youngest artist to surpass 15 billion streams on Spotify alone and was named BMI’s Pop Songwriter of the Year. To date, Khalid has exceeded 30 billion streams, and has been nominated for seven Grammys, and won six Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, a Teen Choice Award, an MTV Video Music Award, and an MTV Woodie Award. He was also honoured with the Key To The City in his hometown by The Mayor and Council of the City of El Paso. This summer, Khalid will be joining Ed Sheeran on his + – = ÷ x Tour playing major stadiums in select cities across North America.