While the music industry has become saturated with collaborations made just for the sake of collaborating, think Sheryl Crow's 'Threads' and DJ Khaled's 'Father of Asahd', there are times where collaboration brings about a musical experience like no other. It's when two artists, sometimes with almost nothing in common, connect on a level that goes beyond genre and musical styles. One such collaboration is 'Heartstrings' by up-and-coming rapper-singer-producer Felly and Latin American jazz music legend Carlos Santana.
Completely in Tune
Felly, real name Christian Felner, rose to prominence through his debut album 'Surf Trap' under Sony Music's Same Plate Entertainment. But success didn't just come overnight. Felly made the rounds in the underground music scene with hits such as 'Fabrics' and 'Love of Mine', both of which have garnered millions of streams on major online streaming platforms.
His popularity is no surprise considering his unique and captivating sound that fuses elements of jazz, rap, and hip-hop that seamlessly blends together to create music that is truly his own. To capitalise on the momentum brought about by the success of 'Surf Trap', Felly has dropped a slew of singles to help build up the hype for the imminent release of his next album. And there may be no track that does this better than 'Heartstrings' his collaboration with Latin American legend Carlos Santana.
Working with a Living Legend
While some may find this collaboration strange, Santana has collaborated with many musicians from varying genres. Santana's chart-topping song 'Smooth', one of his biggest hits, is a collaboration with Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas.
Santana has also dabbled in the world of hip-hop prior to 'Heartstrings' as seen in his collaboration with Tyga on the song 'Mamacita', which goes to show how relevant Santana still is to modern music. The song's music video even puts him front and centre, rocking his iconic PRS Santana I as he shreds in the middle of a barroom brawl.
'Heartstrings' is a great example of a collaboration between two artists that are completely assured of who they are and what they bring to the table as Felly and Santana give the world a masterclass on how to play off each other. Carlos Santana's iconic blues overdrive is courtesy of his masterful use of the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, which helps in lending an aggressively passionate and harmonious distortion to the song, an unexpectedly perfect accompaniment to Felly's laidback trap rhythms and lyrics. Santana adds texture to the song without overpowering Felly, further emphasising what makes this song so great. This practice of restraint goes to show that sometimes less truly is more, which Santana undoubtedly understands as he lets Felly's impeccable musicality and technical skill carry the song throughout.
Overall, Santana taking a backseat and letting Felly do his thing results in a perfectly balanced song that is catchy beyond belief. And while some people may find it a little simple compared to Felly's other tracks, simple in this case may be the right approach as there's a certain beauty to 'Heartstrings' that stems from its straight-forward nature. Sincerity in music is so sparse nowadays that this track is a breath of fresh air.