Make it happen, YG! BLACKPINK and Ariana Grande collaboration clues have taken over the internet after the K-pop girl group announced on Wednesday, July 22, that they will release their second single from their upcoming album in August. The announcement, which was posted on the band’s Instagram, included the faces of each of BLACKPINK’s members—Jisoo, Jennie, Lisa and Rosé—with the text: “New Single. August 2020.”
Beneath the members’ faces was a white box that read: “Featuring?” with a giant question mark, which confirmed that BLACKPINK’s next single will have a featured artist. But who is it? As of now, one of the most popular theories is that the featured artist is none other than Ariana Grande. Here’s why: In a June 2020 interview with PopCrave, music producer Tommy Brown—who’s worked with Grande on songs such as “Thank U Next” and “7 Rings”—revealed that he traveled to South Korea in the past year to work with the four-member girl group on new music.
“I did a little bit of work with BLACKPINK when I went to Korea. I have music with them that’s really, really incredible,” he said at the time. “I think the world is going to love them. I also worked with Ariana Grande, you’ve seen some of it online. But we have incredible records with both acts. Right now is the time I’ve been my most creative!”
Though Brown explained that he worked with BLACKPINK and Grande for separate records, fans believe that it’s possible Grande is the mystery artist on BLACKPINK’s upcoming song because of their shared musical connection. In an Instagram Live in April 2020, Brown opened up about how hardworking BLACKPINK’s members are.
“I absolutely love BLACKPINK and I had the chance to record with the group,” he said at the time. “They are really a phenomenon, the girls are on another level. I fell asleep in the studio for about 8 hours and when I woke up, the girls were still recording diligently.”
Another clue that Grande may be the featured artist on BLACKPINK’s song is that the “Thank U Next” singer was seen liking Jennie’s Instagram post announcing the new single. Some fans also believe that Jennie hinted at the collaboration in June 2020 when she posted a picture with the caption: “No tears to cry 💧💙,” which some users thought could be an Easter egg about Grande’s 2018 song “No Tears Left to Cry.”
BLACKPINK’s upcoming single comes after the release of their current single, “How You Like That,” in June. “How You Like That”—which was BLACKPINK’s first single since 2019’s “Kill This Love”—is the lead single from the band’s upcoming album, which will be released in September 2020. The record will consist of 10 songs and will be the band’s first full-length album. Their upcoming single also comes after BLACKPINK was featured on the song “Sour Candy” from Lady Gaga’s new album, Chromatica in May 2020.
“BLACKPINK’s first new song, which will be released in mid-June, is a pre-release title track. The BLACKPINK members are currently preparing to film the music video for the song, and they are picking up the pace of their final preparations, including practicing their new choreography,” YG Entertainment said in a statement in May 2020. “The second new song, which is a special kind of a new song, is scheduled for a release in July or August. As it’s a first studio album that [BLACKPINK] has been preparing for a long time, we hope to create more opportunities for the group to greet fans through performances and other content than in any year before through a three-step, multi-phased release.”