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Rema and French the Kid join Clean Bandit on new single, ‘Sad Girls’

The Afrorave ground-breaker and Romford rapper swap verses

By Joe Goggins

Rema, French the Kid and Clean Bandit in a press shot for 'Sad Girls', 2022
The collaborative track follows Rema's debut LP, 'Rave and Roses'. (Photo: Press)

Rema and French the Kid have teamed up with Clean Bandit for a new single.

‘Sad Girls’ sees Afrorave pioneer Rema and Romford rapper French lending reflective verses to a laid-back instrumental from the chart-topping Cambridge trio. You can listen to it below.

It makes the latest in a series of recent collaborations from Clean Bandit, who in the last 18 months have worked with the likes of iann dior, 24kGoldn, Backroad Gee and Ayo Beatz. For Rema, meanwhile, it provides one of the biggest platforms yet for his genre-fluid, experimental style, hot on the heels of the release back in March of the Nigerian’s debut full-length, Rave and Roses, which saw guest turns from 6lack, AJ Tracey and Yseult.

Speaking about the hook-up with Rema, Clean Bandit said: “Rema is one of our favourite artists in the world, so we were again honoured when during a recent 24-hour stopover in London, he spent a night with us in the studio.”

“He wrote his verse for ‘Sad Girls’ at about five in the morning towards the end of the session,” the band continued. “We were so tired but he was totally energetic, and witnessing the creative process was one of the best experiences we’ve had in the band’s history.”

“The meeting of musical styles contained in this song is exactly what we strive for and have always strived for since the beginning of Clean Bandit,” they concluded. “The weaving of unexpected sound worlds in organic moments, creating songs that we love.”

Meanwhile, an extensive recent interview with Rolling Stone UK saw Rema reflect on his heritage, as well as the personal significance of bringing African culture to audiences around the world.

“It’s a blessing, he said. “And never will I ever carry that competitive mindset. All we’re here to do is take our culture and spread it to the world and attract people back to their roots. I’m grateful and I’m really proud of what the legends have done before me, and I’m graced by the fact that I’m also creating a fine ground for the next generation after me.”