July 15 marks the unofficial halfway point of the summer, and four of the hottest stars in music came together for “Stay With Me,” a song aiming to be a chart-topping smash for the sunny season. With Calvin Harris at the helm, the collab features the vocal power of Halsey, Pharrell Williams, and Justin Timberlake– all of who appeared in the accompanying video. The visual features the three singers vibing and grooving along. JT does his best “Jamiroquai in ‘Virtual Insanity’” impression by dancing on a floor that seems to move and shift. Halsey struts around in a pair of knee-high boots and short shorts. Pharrell feels himself under the flashing lights, and Calvin? He makes an appearance but at the end.
Calvin gave fans an early preview of what this new project would entail by posting a snippet to his Twitter. The teaser video showed a Rolls Royce, Justin dancing in a mirrored room, Halsey in a blue top (with wavy blonde-ish hair), and a funky disco guitar line. A low voice repeats “dance” on the beat, implying that this collab was made for the roller disco, the dance floor, and late-night parties.
“Stay With Me” marks Calvin’s third single from his upcoming album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2, which arrives on Aug. 5. This will be Calvin’s sixth studio album and first since 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. He previously released “New Money” with 21 Savage, and “Potion,” which featured Dua Lipa. The rest of the album will lend the spotlight to Stefflon Don, Chloe Bailey, Charlie Puth, Pusha T, Shenseea, Tinashe, Normani, Lil Durk, Offset, 6lack, Coi LeRay, Busta Rhymes, Latto, Swae Lee, Jorja Smith, and Snoop Dogg (h/t Billboard).
“There were a few things I wanted to do differently on this one because I felt like the first one, the idea was there, but I didn’t fully carry it all the way through,” Calvin told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 when discussing the differences between Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. “I was making beats, and I was just making beats. I was like, I’m going to make beats that are like this, and then I’m going to try and get some artists on it. And that’s how I tend to do things with dance music. So I approached it in the same way, and I was like, I’ll just make beats, except they’ll sound like this, but they’ll still clearly be electronic beats.”
“Whereas with [Vol. 2] I was like, well, I want to have more, I want to have live drums, and I want to have guitars and stuff,” said Harris. “I wanted the original essence, and I want the layers and the grit and the dirt, and I don’t want everything to be mixed perfectly. I want things to be too loud, and I want things to be like, you know, I want things to be like Sly And The Family Stone when it’s just mixed on the fly, and it’s like, oh, he’s going to do a solo now, and you’ll turn him up, and he’s too loud, but it just sounds, I want that.”
Justin Timberlake was recently heard on Jack Harlow’s album when he teamed with Jack for “Parent Trap.” Other than that, things have been quiet for the “SexyBack” singer – save for Rolling Stone dubbing him the “king of cringe” and GenZ eating him alive after he joined TikTok. Halsey dropped “So Good” on June 9, a song about their relationship with their partner Alev Aydin, who both directed and co-starred in the music video. Pharell has also been busy, dropping “Cash In Cash Out,” his collab with 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator.